Monday, November 11, 2013


Well, I've been convinced.

Nullification is a valid, constitutional, legal, viable remedy for Central Government over-reach.

I became enamored of the idea the moment I heard about it, but then I heard that Mark Levin has expressed his opinion in no uncertain terms, and with his typical dose of insults, that Nullification is unconstitutional, and that anyone who believes otherwise is a Leftwing Kook.

I mostly respect Mark Levin and his opinions. He seems to me to be as angry and as concerned about the dangerous Statism that has taken over our country as I am. I enjoy his rants...because I generally feel the same.

So it was with some concern that I read about his vehement disagreement, and, indeed, howling vituperation against any that support Nullification as a currently viable tactic, or dare suggest that Jefferson and Madison, particularly in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions against the Alien and Sedition Acts, were encouraging it.

As a result of this disharmony in my own brain, I sought out argument from both sides, and have read, not exhaustively, but significantly the arguments for both sides.

Here, in a nutshell is what I have come up with:


Insists that all laws passed by Congress are required to be obeyed by all people of the United States. Period. That to permit anything else is to invite anarchy and break up the Union.

That if Congress acts beyond its Constitutional mandate, we may....while obeying their unconstitutional to form a Constitutional Amendment Convention of 2/3 of the States in order to amend the Constitution to force the Central Government, who is violating the Constitution, to obey the Constitution. (more on this later*)

The fact that this is a long-term, perhaps multiple decade endeavor matters not. Until such curative Amendments are ratified by 3/4 of the States and the Constitution be duly amended, there can never be any justification for not obeying a law passed by Congress, ordered by the President, or permitted by the Supreme matter how illegal, vile, criminal, immoral or unconstitutional.

But wait, what if the Congress, seeing the States working to hold a Constitutional Amendments Convention, passed a law outlawing such a convention? Such a law would obviously be a direct violation of Article V of the Constitution. But if, by anti-nullifiers logic, we must always obey all laws passed by Congress, unconstitutional or otherwise (or risk anarchy!) what are we to do if they pass laws—unconstitutional or otherwise— that close any route of redress?

Please note that people who claim Nullification illegal claim the same about Secession, so we couldn't even legally take our ball and go home!

Aren't they in fact saying that the Central Government can do anything it wants and we just have to obey it? How is this different from tyranny? How is this different from an absolute monarchy.

Do you suppose the Founders had this in mind when they ratified the Constitution? matter how cleverly and hysterically they argue their point, this is always what is comes down to:  We have no right to resist an unconstitutional government. We must be good, little submissive, obedient subjects to our master, the Central Government.

Of course that's not what they THINK they're saying, but if you take their argument to it logical conclusion, that's where it ends up.

Sorry Mark. Much as I love ya, buddy, you're wrong.

(Happily I'm so insignificant, he will never become aware of my dissing his feeble argument, and therefore will be spared being pierced by his high-pitched slings and arrows.)

Regarding the fact that Mark is a trained lawyer, and therefore some might give him the advantage in this argument just because of his "expertise"....please note this wonderful quote:

"Being trained in the law should not be mistaken for being well educated."

I love that...and I believe most of my attorney friends would agree. Besides, this is not an issue of law, but of history. And in that, others are more expert. And it is to those I turned to find the argument FOR Nullification.

On final thought: "Constitutional law is not The Constitution, it is what judges have said about The Constitution"


The States have the right to nullify an UNCONSTITUTIONAL law within their own borders; refuse to enforce it; refuse to  cooperate with Federal agents in enforcing, and indeed act as a shield for their citizens against any Federal action to arrest, intimidate or otherwise harass them.

This cannot be used willy-nilly against any old law they don't like, but only those deemed unconstitutional, in that they violate guaranteed natural rights, or are beyond the permitted scope and jurisdiction of the powers enumerated to the Federal Government by the Constitution.

This argument necessarily requires that the Supreme Court, as part of the Central Government, NOT be the final arbiter of Constitutionality of Congressional or Executive acts. It reclaims the right of States, as parties to the Compact that created the Federal judge the Constitutionality of its laws.

This is as it was in the beginning...and should be today. The Supreme Court, in a series of its own decisions, granted itself the power to be the Oligarchical Rulers of America, by seizing the final and unquestionable right to determine what is, and what it not permitted and Constitutional.

By a branch of the Federal Government, created by the States and the People, this is an intolerable usurpation of power, and must be checked.

Nullification is one way to do that.

In brief: If the States and The People have no right to independently resist the unconstitutional encroachments of the Central Government of their liberty, their persons, their jurisdictions, their territory, their property, but must obey its every dictat while pleading to that same Central Government for redress, then the Constitution is a sham, and the United States of America has ceased to exist as it was founded, and Liberty and Rights are nothing more than empty words sans meaning and substance.

That may be okay for some, but it ain't okay by me.


* This is a simplistic and in one sense unfair way of putting this argument...even though it does have some obvious merit. The fact is, the Central Government Judiciary Arm, the Supreme Court, has violated the spirit and meaning the the Constitution in favor of itself and its fellow Central Government branches by "interpreting" certain phrases in the Constitution to mean what they were never meant by the Founders to mean, most particularly the Commerce clause and the General Welfare clause.

Amendments can be put in place that clarify, define and limit any further such "interpretations" that increase the size and reach of the Central Government—and, in fact, eliminate any powers previously assumed by the Central Government based on such "interpretations".

This would obviously be a good thing.

If the Central Government would be ruled by the Amended Constitution. The suggestion above is not outrageous in imagining that if the Central Government will not be ruled by the clear and knowable truth of the Constitution as currently constituted...why would anyone trust that such a body would suddenly be brought to heel by more words on paper?

Surely there must be a real method of enforcement by which the States can bring the Central Government under Constitutional control.

And it is this that the Anti-Nullifiers do not permit by their argument.


And here are a few others you might recognize who agree - commenting on the book "NULLIFICATION" by my new hero, Thomas Woods.

“During these times that challenge our freedoms there is no one more qualified to make U.S. history relevant to the fight against big government than Thomas Woods. This book is a must read for all who cherish liberty.”-Barry Goldwater Jr., Former Member of Congress

“Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.’ It turns out that at least two thirds of congressional spending is absent of any constitutional authority. That means that at the very least, it is going to take the vigorous use of nullification to restore the American republic. Anyone in the Tea Party movement or elsewhere who really wants to limit government ought to start with this highly readable and informative book.”-Walter E. Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics George Mason University

“In clear and well-documented arguments, Tom Woods gives hope to those who wish to tame the federal monster as the Framers intended — by using the utterly lawful and historically accepted principle of nullification. You must read this book.” -Hon. Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst FOX News Channel


  1. Publius Huldah weighs in on this too. I think she is right on nullification but wrong in her criticism of Mark Levin. Levin's proposal is supported but I too disagree with him on nullification. I have written about it myself and see it as a moral imperative as well as legal in that the federal government is the servant creature of the interests of the states, not its master. The states must decide if the federal government is operating within its bounds, not the court creature of the federal government.

    The problem I see with amendments is they will never keep pace with the abuse. The only answer to remove congressional abusers is to remove the people in congress but that is not guaranteed to work. Good laws will not make bad people good and the idea there is no recourse but to comply with their will is absurd on its face. Nor is this a democracy where the majority sets aside those parts of the Constitution it doesn't like restraining its power.

  2. I had never heard of Huldah until I read her repudiation of Mark Levin just two days ago. I, too, disagreed with her about Article V. Indeed, I'm not even sure I understand her objection.

    She just seemed really, really, really mad at Levin; emotional rather than rational, and I was not impressed. She sounded like a talk show host stirring up her audience rather than a scholar (or lawyer) arguing her case.

    That being my first impression, I have to admit, I would not trust any opinion offered by her. She struck me, actually, as exactly what Levin called Nullification proponents: a kook.

    1. She is saying nullification is the proper route and a convention is not. Levin is saying just the opposite. I think they are both half right.

      I do agree her rant against Levin appears to be more of a spectacle than reason. She is very sound on other constitutional issues.

  3. WTF? This Nullification stuff seems like a bunch of chair arranging while the ship is going down. The inmates are running the asylum and they are all socialists/communists and uneducated idiots who just want their freebies. I'm sorry to disappoint but my opinion is that we have passed the tipping point and it is time to lock-n-load. Time to clear the land of the vermin that infest our great land. It won't be pretty. Time for talking, words written, or any other politics has been over for years now. God bless America, the real America as founded in 1776.

    1. If what I have read is correct, South Carolina has nullified ObamaCare. It was passed in the legislature and signed by the governor. It bars enforcement and has penalties for those who try to enforce it.

      You may still be right but about the last resort but civil disobedience on a massive scale may do just the same thing. Imagine a 2 week general strike by the folks who actually work and have to produce something for a living. Extend that idea to a few "other" things demanded by the federal government, and who knows ...

    2. Aguila I hear you. I don't think that anyone here hasn't thought exactly the same at one time or another in moments of despair.

      But before we resort to the LAST RESORT....we still have a couple of things we should at least try:

      Nullification and Secession.

      If those fail, we can always opt for Jefferson's Tree of Liberty option.

      Trying nullification doesn't take that off the table...just puts it a little further down the list of options.

    3. Gunslinger, to me nullification just delays the inevitable and secession is, well, a part solution. Would we really leave the rest of the land to the rats? I am only saying that the system is broken, the fix is in, and between the current arrangement between wall street, banks, insurance companies, and socialists/communists and their supporters like all those known in dem circles as such in addition to George Soros and his kind, time to let loose with a few "Punishers" of our own. Time to go hunting. I would call it Pest Control because we have an infestation on our hands that is out of control.

  4. It is not possible to ignore Jefferson's liberty tree in this case. say what you will, only blood will correct this course. and only blood will suffice.

  5. Lot of cans being kicked down the road. oh scuse me put down the list of options. my bad.

  6. Actually, it comforts me to know you guys will be there when the shootin' starts.

    I, for one, don't for a moment dismiss the notion that it might just come down to that considering what's going on.

    I just don't want to leap into something that utterly final before 1) we have to and 2) we're ready.

  7. One of the best assessments I've seen of the pro's and con's of Nullification vs. an Article V Convention. Good job.