The Justification of, Reason For, and Logic Behind Nullification – And Why It’s Necessary

March 18, 2013 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Imagine this: you and your neighbors –13 households total – started a “neighborhood watch” program because you found it the most effective way to provide for your safety, protection, and happiness.  You mutually agreed upon certain rules, guidelines, and powers; appointed one individual as the enforcing officer of the pact; and declared that his decisions would be “the supreme by-law of the neighborhood, when duly enacted, pursuant to the powers granted.” And as 37 more houses were built in the neighborhood, they likewise joined the pact: and life was good.

 

However, eventually the enforcer became venal and decided to aggrandize himself by taking on more and more powers and obligations which were never envisaged, desired, nor granted him; and in fact these new restrictions and usurpations by this man eventually became cumbersome, and restrictive to your Liberties, happiness, and financial well being.  His arrogance was such that he thought he controlled you, the homeowners, the creators of the pact, the creators of his position and powers, the genesis of his very existence; and augmented his powers to authorize taking money from the richest household to give to the poorest.  Eventually, it came to pass that over half of the souls living in the neighborhood were living off the labor of the top five.  Most households found this unfair and damaging to the overall happiness and well being, and wanted no part of it. But he invoked the “supremacy clause” to justify these acts, even though they were against the will of most of the homeowners who created the entity and therefore his position; and nowhere specified as powers he had.

 

Now: would you, creator of this otherwise non-existent entity, the purpose of which was to protect you from those outside your neighborhood and from these very acts, continue to abide by this counterproductive way of life, which is using the powers you created for good as a way to do you harm?  When he invokes the “supremacy clause” of the pact that you created, do you allow him to continue to damage you with and because of it; or do you instead explain to him that it applies only to those powers he was granted, for the purpose given, “to provide for your safety, protection, and happiness”?  You could also eliminate the pact, his position, and all associated powers… but most would agree that’s a bad idea.  The neighborhood watch program isn’t the problem, it’s the usurpations of un-granted powers that is the REAL problem.

 

Those who believe that nullification is illegal, unauthorized, et al, show an immense ignorance for the premise of individual Liberty, what the federal government is, how/why it came to be, who created and therefore controls it, what are the inherent Natural rights we possess as beings created in the image of our Creator, and what rights we relinquish and retain when we leave the state of Nature to form a society, etc.  I AM NOT SAYING you are ignorant if you disagree with me in my opinion that nullification is necessary and the best – if not only – way to save our nation’s way of life (I am not so arrogant as to call someone ignorant because we disagree on an opinion). However I am stating as fact that you show ignorance of the purpose for and workings of our system of government and Natural rights as a whole, if you feel that the creator controlling the creature is somehow unjust.

 

An individual State refusing to comply with a federal act that is duly enacted within the powers granted to the federal government and adhered to by the remaining 49 would be a form of insurrection and a cause for contention and concern (I’ll address this later in more depth).  However, that the federal government – an entity created by the States for a specified purpose, and with specified powers and areas to exercise those powers – be allowed to consider itself so superior that it should ignore attempts to alter or contain it, and threaten punishment upon its creators for attempting to do so, is patently absurd when candidly considered.

 

While the word “nullification” often draws the same reaction as Yankees, Steelers, or Cowboys, the word itself isn’t important; the ideal matters. Understanding that laws passed ultra vires (beyond the powers) are null and void, and that the States retain control of the government they created is what matters.

 

To assure them the States’ sovereignty would remain intact, Alexander Hamilton, author of 51 Federalist Papers, told members of New York’s ratifying convention that “acts of the United States…will be absolutely obligatory as to all the proper objects and powers of the general government…BUT the laws of Congress are restricted to a certain sphere, and when they depart from this sphere, they are no longer supreme or binding…the states have certain independent powers, in which they are supreme.

 

And in December 1787, Roger Sherman observed that an “excellency of the constitution [is that] when the government of the united States acts within its proper bounds it will be the interest of the legislatures of the particular States to Support it, but when it leaps over those bounds and interferes with the rights of the State governments they will be powerful enough to check it.

 

Hmmmmm……this sounds different from the faith in and interpretation of the Supremacy clause as taught in high schools and law schools, and articulated by Senators Brian Kelsey, John Stevens, and the like.  So who should we trust: Stevens/Kelsey, or Hamilton, Sherman, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and the like??

 

Since our first settlers in 1607, governmental structures throughout this continent have been of, for, and by the people; in essentially Republican forms.  The eastern board of the Continent, stretching inland until terrain made further expansion cumbersome, was separated by borders – some physical, some imaginary – into colonies.  Each colony had different governments within itself; township, local, county, etc.  In each instance, the colony was its own final arbiter of any matters requiring the powers of government.  These colonies (eventually known as States) were afforded the luxury of being free from harassment or plunder from world powers and governments, even while this newly-created freedom they enjoyed led to prosperity and wealth in some cases at a pace never before seen or known, because of the protection afforded by the world’s supreme power of the day – Great Britain.

 

At no point did any of the States have any thought or desire to create a NEW, centralized and concentrated, powerful government body to join together and become a nation of their own: they felt they were their own “nations” as States.  However, because of poor governance, wasteful spending and wars (among other things), Great Britain decided to start exacting higher payments from the States for this blanket of security – without asking for or acquiring their consent. When they pushed back, Great Britain went beyond monetary demands, and attempted through nefarious measures to disrupt the comfort, safety and happiness of the citizens throughout the various States. For these and other reasons, the first thoughts of having to form their own new governmental body and join themselves for the cause began to arise in the mid 1750s to mid 1760s; and within 10 more years were agreed upon as necessary.  But they still didn’t think to form a new nation; rather simply to band together for protection from this ensuing threat – and born were the Articles of Confederation.

 

Fast-forward through victory of the war and further expansion/development of the North American economy, plus debts collectively incurred to other nations, and some of the brightest minds of the day (Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Jay, etc.) realized that dangers existed, which for the first time ever made it necessary for the States to create a NEW government body, and become one nation.  Not one concentrated or overly powerful, rather one where the States would remain the final arbiter in matters of domestic concern, but with limited and enumerated powers serving a specified purpose; “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty…” – and born was the Constitution, and the United States of America.

 

This new government was given 18 – 21 specifically enumerated powers, which were agreed to be respected by all States, governments, and citizens as “the supreme law of the land;” so long as they were “made in pursuance of [This Constitution].” Furthermore, it was declared that all laws “which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing powers, (not any powers, only the foregoing powers), and all other Powers vested by this constitution (not any powers, only vested powers) in the Government of the United States” were likewise granted in order to secure this “more perfect Union, et al.”

 

Some argue that the word nullification not being found in the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, etc. is “proof” that it is unauthorized.  No, the word does not appear: however those documents (and more) declare and support the ideal that no government – period – is the final arbiter of man’s happiness or security; but it’s created to protect it.  And likewise, any body of the people which creates an entity retains the power to alter or abolish said entity.

 

So when the States determine that laws passed by the federal government, are not made “pursuant to the Constitution,” or which negatively affect their citizens’ safety or happiness will not be followed, enforced, adhered to, or allowed to be enforced by those working on behalf of that created entity; I’m not sure how the argument against that is logically formed.  Again, I’m not talking about a single State – don’t attempt to take me out of context.

 

Now, it would be absurd to assume that a single State can itself invalidate a federal law, especially when passed pursuant to the powers granted in the Constitution.  That would be nothing more that State-sponsored anarchy – a clear violation of the agreed upon contract between the several States.  But it’s equally as absurd to assume that States can’t refuse to enforce, or prohibit the enforcement of within their borders, laws which a majority of States deemed to have been passed non-pursuant to the Constitution.  This is not insurrection or anarchy, nor an attempt to invalidate federal law; it’s simply of non-compliance of an effectually nugatory demand.

 

And what if all 50 States invalidated a federal law as overreaching, ultra vires, or interfering with the safety and happiness of its citizens?  Will anyone argue that our only option would be “this sucks, but it’s ‘the supreme law of the land’ and we must follow it”?  If that’s your belief, then you need an education in Natural rights and Liberty.  But if you realize the inherent absurdity in that statement, then in truth you also believe nullification is necessary and logical; we would simply need to agree on a plan to implement it.

 

We are not controlled by tyranny or ruled by tyrants, but willing subjection to a governmental body acting ultra vires can be considered nothing less than a soft-tyranny by anyone with an open, studied, and candid mind.  And if we saddle ourselves to complacency through an ignorant adherence to the ‘Supremacy Clause’ of the Constitution, then we become serfs to our own creation.  Neither virtue nor Liberty is revealed in the act of subjecting oneself to a government acting outside of its granted powers: such would be complacency, the death of Liberty; a position far out of line with the tenor and spirit of our Natural rights of self governance best articulated in the Declaration of Independence.  Such would be a literal betrayal to those who have fought and died for Liberty’s torch.  Liberty is controlling your government, not letting it control you.

 

It’s time for us as citizens to fight where we can win; retaking our State Legislatures with people who understand these concepts, and are willing to be ostracized by their fellow citizens, ‘elites’ in the media, and the Republican Party Establishment.  If you’re looking for friends, this is not the way to make them; if you’re looking to re-establish Liberty, this is what must be done.  Mark Twain said “In the beginning of a change, the Patriot is a scarce man; and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds the timid join him – for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot.

 

Are you willing to be a Patriot?  Subjection to government is never a duty, it’s always a choice! What is your choice?

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