Skip to comments.Other Opinions: Growing defiance
Posted on 02/05/2013 6:53:37 PM PST by 11th_VA
You may have heard the word nullification bandied about recently. Its basically a fancy word for ignoring a law.
Juries sometimes do it, if they think enforcement of a law will result in an injustice. Merriam-Webster defines nullification as the action of a state impeding or attempting to prevent the operation and enforcement within its territory of a law of the United States.
And now, increasing numbers of sheriffs and others across the country are publicly saying they will engage in nullification if faced by federal gun or health care laws they find unconstitutional.
Ignoring laws is rarely a good thing. Wed say never but were reminded of Rosa Parks and other civil rights icons peaceful defiance of the immoral laws and customs of segregation.
An increasing number of folks are no less convinced that Washington is trampling on other civil rights.
Sheriffs in Idaho, Oregon and Texas have announced their intent not to go along with expected gun control laws. Other officials have said they wont enforce the health care law. A state representative in Tennessee wants to make it a crime to enforce gun or ammunition bans in that state.
And several hundred gathered at the South Carolina capitol recently for a Nullify Obamacare rally. They were promised efforts by several state officials to block federal encroachment.
Theres a proud tradition of states rights in South Carolina exemplified not that long ago by the light bulb. When federal law began phasing out production of the incandescent light bulb, South Carolina lawmakers passed The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act to allow for its production and sale within the state, which Washington cant prevent.
But nullification has rarely seen this much favor since the Civil War, and may only gain steam if Washington continues down the path of trying to run everyones lives.
Washington may have no one but itself to blame for the rise of the nullification movement particularly the Obama administration, which has set the standard for ignoring the law.
It was this administration, after all, that decided not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. Even though the Dream Act cant pass Congress, Mr. Obama enacted it via executive order announcing that his administration would not deport illegal aliens who came here as minors. There is no such exception in the law.
His administration also announced that marijuana crimes would not be a priority again, picking and choosing which laws to enforce.
When it appeared the defense industry might have to issue layoff notices to workers because of impending sequestration cuts just before the November election, the Obama administration encouraged contractors to ignore the law that seemed to require the notices.
The Obama administration also tried to block enforcement of state anti-voter-fraud laws last year.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate has failed to pass a budget as required by law the past four years and the Obama administration has announced it wont have a federal budget ready by the statutory deadline.
We dont endorse the ignoring of laws. But if theres a growing sentiment of defiance toward enforcement of federal laws in the land, Washington cant exactly throw stones.
It has perfected the art.
Thank you for posting this! Just about sums it all up for me.
The Federal Grand Jury is the 4th Branch of Government
Most of this article is going to quote other scholars, judges and legislators as I piece together a brief but thorough history of the federal grand jury for your review. But the punch line is my personal contribution to the cause:
Investigating seditious acts of government officials can be deemed inappropriate or unavailing by the prosecutor, or the judge can dismiss the grand jurors pursuing such investigations. Consequently, corrupt government officials have few natural enemies and go about their seditious business unimpeded.
UNITED STATES CITIZENS SITTING AS FEDERAL GRAND JURORS ARE THE FOURTH BRANCH OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
My input into this vital fight is no more than the analysis of a few carefully used words. It only took a small sleight of pen back in 1946 to hide our power, and it wont take more than a few words to take that power back. But a proper overview is necessary for most of you who are unfamiliar with the issue at hand. So let me provide you with some history and then well see what went wrong and how to correct it.
HISTORY OF FEDERAL GRAND JURY POWER
I want to draw your attention to a law review article, CREIGHTON LAW REVIEW, Vol. 33, No. 4 1999-2000, 821, IF ITS NOT A RUNAWAY, ITS NOT A REAL GRAND JURY by Roger Roots, J.D.
In addition to its traditional role of screening criminal cases for prosecution, common law grand juries had the power to exclude prosecutors from their presence at any time and to investigate public officials without governmental influence. These fundamental powers allowed grand juries to serve a vital
An honest newspaper! From their Editorial Staff. Good to know there’s apparently at least one decent paper.
Bears repeating. Especially at the "media" as they whine about states trying to dilute what Zero is trying to do to this country (and they will!). Love the part about the light bulbs. I'm going to check and see if Florida will do the same.
[[We dont endorse the ignoring of laws]]
Not sure why not? Especially when our elected officials ARE ignoring hte laws and removing our rights? Not too long ago the federal government tried enacting a federal law (caqn’t remember what it was, but it was an assault on freedoms If I remember right) And many states took a stand and said “Nope- Not on our watch you’re not goign to do this to the peopel you SERVE!”) and htese states stood strong agaisnt hte federal law, and refused to abide by it and forced the government to back down because htere was no way for hte government to enforce the law in the states that refused to enforce it
The PEOPLE hire officials to SERVE THEM=- the officials are NOT hired/elecvted to serve themselves and noone else- When an elected official REFUSES to serve the peopel any longer, and does deals behind colsed doors i nthe middle of the night because they KNOW the peopel woudl reject the proposal- then the elected officials are NOT doign the job they were hired to do.
The peopel then have a right and responsibility to REMOVE that official from office OR to refuse to abide by the laws that violate their freedoms- NY has a PERRFECT opportunity to stand up now and REFUSE to abide by the tyranical gun laws- but I doubt they will do so- Wayne Lappierre has a PERFECT opportunity to tell the federal government “Nope=- NO MORE gun laws- You can’t even enforce3 the ones you already have, and there are THOUSANDS of laws and you have gone way too far in your restrictions- the peopel say NO MORE! but it’s doubtful wayne will do so
[[His administration also announced that marijuana crimes would not be a priority again, picking and choosing which laws to enforce.]]
A perfect example of LAWLESSNESS BY OFFICIALS who are elected to enforrce laws, NOT to ignore them nor to make them without due reprsentation (Boston Tea Rebellion?)- they were hired to do a job, and they are FAILING to do their job- You or I when we fail to do our job- We get FIRED!
Not only ignoring laws, but breaking laws. For example federal, state, and international laws were broken during the fiasco called Fast and Furious.
Sums up my feelings as well ... glad to hear I’m not alone.
Now is the time to proudly fly your Gadsden Flags, ( I have the black background Gadsden too), and attend to take over your local RINO Cave-In Meetings.
Romney was the Doormat RINO Party’s ‘Last Hurrah.’
What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
Remember Rosa- FUBO!
Ping, in case you missed this thread.
Nullification was first termed by Thomas Jefferson, in his Kentucky Resolution of 1798. The resolution was created in response to the unconstitutional federal Alien and Sedition Acts. These acts were a clear violation of the First Amendment. Nullification allows the states to protect the rights of citizens from federal encroachment.
( Sing to the tune Finiculee , finicula)
Last night, I tried my hand at nullification
It did me good.
I knew it would.
Tonight , I shall repeat this operation,
To stretch my ire,
to my desire.
I chomped it, stomped it
Caught it in the door.
Smashed it, crashed it, wiped it
on the floor.
And all of this I say is very simply grand,
To nullify the law
just by the power of my hand!
“Washington” has become a word that describes a living entity. “Washington did this, Washington did that.” We used to be Washington. But no more.
You are right, nullification is not 'ignoring' the law. Nullification is judging the law to be invalid.
hey, did ya’ll see this? it’s encouraging — looks like a Norman Rockwell for 2nd amendment (wish I could get a frame shot from it, need to learn how):
via youtube is
No! I had not seen this! Thanks for pointing me to it!
If that is happening in New York, I’m very encouraged! If it were in Texas, I would not be surprised—but New York! That’s great.......
I know, I know — and they are hitting every point (”Are there prisons being opened up for those of us who *won’t* comply?”) Side note: how about that background music?!
Here’s the longer version (33 min) of the meeting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol1SzjHPFGw
Now at 58,116 views
Though their intentions are honest, there's a couple of problems with the article.
One, jury nullification is a somewhat different creature than the nullification held out by Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia and Kentucky Ordinances and by South Carolina in their famous tiff with Andy Jackson.
Jury nullification is a legitimate power of the people, as is electoral nullification, and as is Militia nullification, a dicier subject which is nevertheless treated as "cartridge-box nullification" and a kind of People's veto over oppressive government policy. See Elaine Scarry's law article on the distribution of power in the Constitution. (Scarry, "War and the Social Contract: Nuclear Policy, Distribution, and The Right to Bear Arms", 139 U. PENN. L. REV. 1257 (1991). Available at http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/Scarry1.html [cold link].)
State nullification has a real problem with the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. If you want to see a fine exposition of its doctrinal weaknesses, see Jefferson Davis's inaugural speech as President of the provisional Confederate Government in February, 1861, in which he couched his case for the necessity of secession as a function of the doctrinal failure of nullification.
Lastly, government disobedience of the law is a separate phenomenon completely, and needs to be separated from nullification issues and civil-liberty issues and considered as a problem of its own, of simple misfeasance, nonfeasance, or malfeasance of federal officials in the face of federal law.
Another great movie about Hard Tyranny aka Stalin’s USSR is “Burnt by the Sun”, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111579/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl, I highly recommend if someone has not viewed.
I used to work in quality control at a manufacturing plant. Parts produced in the machine shop were inspected to certify that they matched blueprint specs. Sometimes you would hear someone joke that the part is OK but I’m rejecting the blueprint. Sometimes it was NOT a joke, the blueprint was wrong but the machine shop had ignored it because they knew how the part was supposed to be made. Nullification is the legal equivalent of accepting the part (the action) and rejecting the blueprint(the law). Sometimes the blueprint is wrong but the part is OK.
I must, however, respectfully disagree with the statement State nullification has a real problem with the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.
There is no conflict if one realizes the clause means what it says and says what it means.
Article 6, Clause 2
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
Unless laws fall within the powers granted by the Constitution and within the jurisdiction of Constitutional limits, it is NOT made 'in Pursuance thereof'. A State has EVERY right to nullify it, and the People have every authority to ignore it!
That a law limited to such objects as may be authorised by the constitution, would, under the true construction of this clause, be the supreme law of the land; but a law not limited to those objects, or not made pursuant to the constitution, would not be the supreme law of the land, but an act of usurpation, and consequently void.
St. George Tucker View of the Constitution
South Carolina's action concerning tariffs were unconstitutional as the federal government IS given the authority to regulate them, and the State was bound to observe those regulations as long as they were a part of the Compact.
Later actions by the South however are a different kettle of fish, but in an effort to stay on topic, perhaps we should save that argument for another thread. :-)
In the case of second Amendment, there is no question. It is a specific restraint on the authority of government at both the State and federal level.
The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.
A View of the Constitution of the United States, William Rawle.
IMHO, people give the 'supremecy clause' WAY too much credit. The federal legislature was intended to legislate for federal concerns, NOT to micro-manage the States.
It is distressing to reflect, that it ever should have been made a question, whether the constitution of the United States on the whole face, of which, is seen so much labour to enumerate and define the several objects of federal power, could intend to introduce in the lump, in an indirect manner, and by a forced construction of a few phrases, the vast and multifarious jurisdiction involved in the common law; a law filling so many ample volumes; a law overspreading the entire field of legislation; a law that would sap the foundation of the constitution, as a system of limited, and specified powers.
St. George Tucker Blackstone's Commentaries
Have you ever actually used that argument with a liberal?
I have yet to hear one that didn’t say “we wouldn’t do that”, meaning that somehow, the leftists in power today wouldn’t abuse that power like leftists always have in the past.
It’s hard to argue with a belief, much less change what is, to them, an assumption.
Good analogy. As a former carpenter I am very familiar with nullifying blue prints. LOL
Yes, and I could direct you to a few threads from 2002-2005 that ran to thousands of posts, on just that topic. One thread of 4400 posts was pulled because one poster, nolu chan, challenged on the point by an opponent, quoted Lincoln being casual in his attitude and speech (Lincoln speaking for polemical purposes, but still quotably) toward African-Americans. Casting shadows on Abraham Lincoln is a hazardous exercise, it was shown then ..... the poster was shown the door, n/w/s he was an ace researcher who produced the docs and quotes to support his positions.
I agree with your sentiment, but unfortunately, the champions of illimitable federal government -- beginning with Alexander Hamilton, our American Iscariot -- have managed to have their way at our expense, using the "General Welfare" and "Necessary Purposes" and Commerce Clauses to do as they please.
I don't know whether a new amendment could patch the defect, given that these selfsame people, who are innately contemptuous of limits on their actions (like business executives), have turned the Ninth and Tenth Amendments into moribund, if not dead, letters.
The defect could be cured, at least temporarily, by a "Great Cure" opinion of the Supreme Court that addressed all the infringements of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments by the usurpation of omnicompetence by the Congress and Executive; but Supreme Court opinions are like the ancient praetorian law, good only until a new praetor proclaims a new policy. Therefore, an amendment giving affirmative remedies to the States will be required, and in America's state of half-freedom, half-totalitarian fascism, I don't think we could get it without a long preparation and a good "ground game" that has not been yet evinced by whatever resources remain to Republicanism.