One criticism leveled against nullification is that it is usually a “partisan thing.”
In other words, most of the proponents of nullifying Obamacare are Republicans. Also, a vast majority of proponents of nullifying the war on drugs are Democrats.
This is a true statement.
With most nullification efforts now underway, the effort is partisan. This is not a real argument against the movement; it is simply an observation. In reality, any effort, with certain exceptions, will of necessity be partisan. (As it will be nullifying an act of the federal government controlled at the time by one party or the other).
Of course, these same critics would hold up the Patriot Act (passed by a Republican, and sustained now for five years by a Democrat) as some shining example of good governance. To these people, the fact that an act passed Congress, the Senate, and was signed by the president, gives automatic legitimacy, as long as some of the people who passed the bill were on both sides of the “aisle.” They would have you believe that the acts of Congress all represent the consensus of the nation at large.
But what is consensus?
At the national level, consensus cannot represent people who live in the barely represented small states like Oregon. In fact, this consensus could not even really represent the people of dense areas such as New York. In reality, the only thing an act passed by representative who mostly live in DC can represent is the consensus in DC!
For the same reasons, actions achieved through nullification at the state and local levels represent more consensus among those affected than ANY act of Congress possibly could. The people who have nullified (name your favorite target of nullification) have expressed far more support for any government action than even a unanimous vote in Congress. These are the acts of the local people against what is in effect a foreign power (DC).
Yes, mostly Republicans want to nullify Obamacare. And maybe it is because it was a Democrat plan, and they want a Republican plan, Yes, it is mostly Democrats who want to nullify drug laws. And maybe it is because they just want to get high. ( I would point out that I don’t think they do for either example above.) The fact still remains that the act of nullification is ONLY for unconstitutional laws (laws not “in pursuance thereof”), and it only effects the citizens of the state that so nullifies. In reality, who has standing to challenge their decision?
The other states are not affected, and the feds are a creature of the Constitution, NOT a party to it. What standing does servant have to tell the master that he must live under rules that were never agreed to? Regardless of who stands behind a law, Republican, Democrat or both, if it is passed at the state level to nullify an unconstitutional act, it represents more support amongst those effected than any act passed by a national legislature.
So, when we look at the Tenth amendment movement as a whole, we see a movement that is able to cross party lines with ease, since it is simply an attempt to enforce the Constitution on an unwilling lawless federal government. We accept all causes, as long as the cause in in pursuance of the Constitution – every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses.
Want to prevent the Feds from waging unconstitutional wars? We have ideas. Want to address spending on unconstitutional programs? We’re in. Want to stop a law that forces consumers to buy cartelized health insurance, or become a criminal? We’ve got your back. Want to stop the criminal element surrounding the war on drugs? Deal us in. Want to stop unconstitutional NSA spying? We’re on it!
Our only goal is to try to stuff the feds back into the box designed by the Constitution. And we think this can be accomplished by the swarm of angry bees that are 50 states each nullifying multiple issues at their state level, with the feds unable to resist even a fraction of the nullifications. Eventually they will have to concede, and stop their attempts to usurp power from the states.
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