Skip to comments.The Limits of Nullification
Posted on 09/03/2013 8:49:56 PM PDT by Second Amendment First
ON Sept. 11, anti-gun-control legislators in the Missouri General Assembly are likely to pass a bill, over the governors veto, that renders almost all federal gun laws void in the state, and even makes it a crime for federal agents to enforce them. Related
Missouri is only the latest state to push back against federal gun laws. In Montana, the Firearms Freedom Act, passed in 2009, purports to exempt any gun manufactured and kept within the state from federal regulations; despite a federal appellate court decision last month invalidating the statute, it has served as a model for new or pending laws in more than a half-dozen states.
But while states are not powerless in the face of federal law, there are limits to what they can do to prevent enforcement of constitutionally valid regulation.
The bills are based on the theory of nullification, which has its roots in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and holds that the federal government exists by the will of the states, and that states therefore have the right to decide which federal laws are constitutionally valid within their borders.
When it comes to gun control, the claims of nullification advocates are threefold: no state is required to enforce federal gun regulations, states may prevent federal officials from enforcing laws declared by the state to be unconstitutional, and some federal gun restrictions are in fact unconstitutional either because they violate the Second Amendment (says Missouri) or are outside the scope of the federal governments power to regulate commerce (says Montana).
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I fully support those who see risks in the expansion of federal power, particularly when it comes to intrusions on basic rights like gun ownership. However, to defend those rights, we cant begin by flouting the very document that inspires that fight in the first place: the Constitution.
Yet another DOJ lawsuit upcoming.
“Subsequent cases will determine which regulations are allowable. But until the courts say otherwise, federal gun laws are presumptively consistent with Second Amendment rights.”
He’s mostly right in the article but wrong here. The Constitution does not make the US Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of Constitutionality. In fact, many of the founders argued exactly the opposite.
Limits of nullification? States nullify Federal drug laws with impunity. The Executive branch does not enforce immigration laws. Law of the land?
On this point, I agree with the nineteenth-century legislator, John C. Calhoun: The doctrine of nullification should be warmly embraced by the several states...
No problem with state nullification of Fed law...esp when states adhere to the Constitution
Exactly what rights do states in a republic have then?
I would like to see one or more States mandate that all federal tax collectors (employers) must send their receipts to the State and then the State will decide what amount to forward on to the FedGov, depending on how well the FedGov behaves...
What does the author mean by “...constitutionally valid regulation.”?
Not only should we repeal that horrible mistake, the 17th Amendment, I like Mark Levin's proposed amendment to allow the states up to two years to repeal any federal statute or regulation on three-fifths vote.
That alone would go a long way to returning us to a free country.
Did the NY Times tell us about Presidential nullification? He refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. He’s enacted laws and refused to enforce portions of other laws. He’s the Humpty Dumpty of Presidents, a law is what he says it is, neither more nor less.
“The Constitution does not make the US Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of Constitutionality.”
Constitutional amendmendments trump the Surpreme Tyrants, and for that matter, I refuse to believe that an anti-constitutional ruling is not impeachable. Perhaps clarification of why members of that ‘court’ of kangeroos could be impeached should be one of the first amendments we pass.
Nullification is the way to go.
Amen to that!