It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Nullification, Liberty and States Rights; The Case For Decentralization of Power.

page: 1
7

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 03:14 PM
link   
Have you ever wondered if 300,000,000+ people, thousands of miles apart being ruled from one city makes any sense?

Have you ever felt that any single presidential administration or federal bureaucratic authority figure was acting unconstitutionally?

Have you ever been disgusted by a supreme court decision? How about laws passed by congress?

Have they all been the model of constitutionality?

Ever feel like their should be an easy way to fight back and re-claim your rights?

No? Well then, I would suggest this article is not for you.

However, if you ever have felt that the federal government is a poor choice to decide the limit to the powers of the federal government, that federal laws have violated your rights, that wars have been fought unnecessarily, or simply that the government in power does not represent you and you wish there was something that could be done, I have some information I would love to share with you...

Nullification

What is Nullification? Quite simply, it is the thought that Individual States, either together or individually can and must refuse to enforce federal laws that they find or the people of the State(s) find, to be unconstitutional.

Basically, Nullification is when a State ignores federal laws or mandates they have decided to be unconstitutional. Put another way, Nullification is the way in which States can practice civil disobedience to the federal government.

The History of Nullification in the USA

If you have heard negative things about Nullification before, allow me the opportunity to present you with a detailed account of nullification you may not have encountered.

Nullification first entered the political arena when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 writing


...to submit to undelegated, and consequently unlimited powers in no man, or body of men on earth: that in cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the general government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non fœderis) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them...

The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

James Madison echoed these sentiments in his Virginia Resolutions of 1798 writing


...and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them...

The Virginia Resolutions of 1798

Certainly this was not the first instance in which it was asserted that States have the right and the duty to oppose and resist any federal exercise of power that goes beyond those that had been strictly delegated to them. In the Virginia ratifying convention of 1788, Federalist supporters of the constitution insisted that the federal government would possess only the powers "expressly delegated" to it, and that Virginia would be "exonerated" should the federal government ever reach for a power beyond those delegated. Other States had similar exchanges at their ratifying conventions.

James Madison expressed that to understand the Constitution one should look to the state ratifying conventions, for it was there that the people were instructed with what the new document meant.

So Nullification is certainly credible and inline with the constitution as well as aligning with American values and law. That being said, has Nullification ever been used in USA History?

Examples of Nullification in History

The threat of nullification was used by Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798.

Various Northern States used Nullification against the unconstitutional searches and seizures committed by the federal government during their embargo enacted between 1807 - 1809.

Daniel Webster and the legislature of Connecticut used the threat of Nullification to urge States to protect their citizens from unconstitutional conscription (the draft) in the months leading up to the war of 1812.

Nullification was used by various northern States during the slavery period to fight fugitive slave laws as well as by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin against the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, in which Wisconsin declared the law unconstitutional and void as well as citing the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 for their authority.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but some may say, yea, this is history now, how can we use it today?

Modern Examples of Nullification

States have practiced Nullification to defy the federal government over medical marijuana, the REAL ID act of 2005, health care legislation, cap and trade legislation, second amendment violations, and various other examples. The problem States are having today in enforcing their nullification attempts are federal bureaucratic organizations that claim supreme authority and a dependence of the federal government and the money that is supplied from the federal government to the States.

In modern times, it is assumed, incorrectly, that the federal government has supreme authority over the states through the supremacy clause and other such misinterpretations of the constitution. Even a passing glance at the history of the United States and the intent and expressions of the ratifying conventions prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that these are indeed misinterpretations.

It is also of note to say that the word Nullification is now seldom used as it has gained a reputation, sometimes deserved but mostly undeserved as being "bad" or "evil". It is more commonly now simply stated as "State Rights" in many cases and when a State attempts to use Nullification, it is presumed that the State is asserting the rights it holds. Some would argue the States have no such rights, but, I feel that has already been proven to the contrary by simply examining the history of States and their use of Nullification.



continued in next post...




posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 03:14 PM
link   
Conclusion

No government is infallible, State Governments, Federal Governments, Local Governments and all three branches of the government that constitute the separations of power have the potential to violate human dignity, trample upon human rights, violate constitutional rights and act in a way that violates natural law.

In our current state of affairs, we have a federal government that has made subservient to it all who reside within its borders and has taken the position that it is the sole determiner of the extent of its own powers. As Jefferson warned




...if the federal government is allowed to hold a monopoly on determining the extent of its own powers, we have no right to be surprised when it keeps discovering new ones...


Despite the separation of powers and free elections, the federal government continues to act unconstitutionally, usurping powers not expressly delegated to it. The judicial branch via the federal supreme court has continuously made questionable decisions changing the meaning of the constitution over time and continuously deciding against the people and the freedom they enjoy.

The legislative branch has enacted laws that are explicitly and obviously unconstitutional, seizing power from the people and the States, micromanaging the lives of people never met all the while threatening liberty, the rule of law and usurping the Bill of Rights.

The executive branch has become all powerful, creating bureaucracies that claim supreme authority, sending the american people to war for questionable reasons and in many cases over outright lies, have written laws through executive orders, bypassing congress and the separation of powers.

It is clear that the checks and balances that were created to hold the federal government in check have been not entirely effective. Nullification is the resource we hold that can remedy this situation when we find that all three branches of the government seize power and codify laws that exceed their constitutional limits.

Nullification is a non-partisan tool in which the people can fight the tyranny of a government that is clearly no longer within our control. It has been proven both valid and necessary by history and is as American in nature as the constitution itself.

Nullification is our chance to fight back, to correct the imbalances created by the nationalism of the 20th century and forge a brighter future for us all.
edit on 5-4-2012 by sageofmonticello because: fixed formatting



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 03:25 PM
link   
You're preaching to the choir with me, brother.
With modern technology and communications, we can maximize decentralization and maximize freedom of individuals and communities while maintaining global commerce and tech advancement.
Globalization, at least insofar as one world government and currency are concerned, is such a backward concept at this point.
And one that all but ensures tyranny, violence, and control by an elite. All centralized systems are inherently tyrannical ones.



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 03:31 PM
link   
Yeah they tried nullification with the medical ma%^$##@ issue but the Feds still did this:

www.foxnews.com...

While Nullification CAN work, most states rely on Federal money and THAT is the tool that is used to keep the states in line.



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 03:37 PM
link   
reply to post by pierregustavetoutant
 





With modern technology and communications, we can maximize decentralization and maximize freedom of individuals and communities while maintaining global commerce and tech advancement.


Thank you for that. I think you make a very good point. With the world as it exist today the arguments for large centralized powers really don't have a leg to stand on (not that they ever did).

I think people need to understand, it is not going backwards, it is going forward. Large nationalistic government monopolies are a step back. We took that step back and it is now time to once again go forward.



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 03:42 PM
link   
reply to post by redbarron626
 





Yeah they tried nullification with the medical ma%^$##@ issue but the Feds still did this: www.foxnews.com... While Nullification CAN work, most states rely on Federal money and THAT is the tool that is used to keep the states in line.


That is so true. The dependence on the federal government by the states for the money cannot be overlooked. I feel like with a greater knowledge of Nullification among the public along with a concerted effort to diminish the illusion of federal authority we have a chance.

Certainly Nullification can never be a quick fix and in the current state of affairs, a fight will be had between the States and the Feds but it is the tool we have and with greater acceptance of that tool States, People and Politicians will have a better chance of fighting unconstitutional laws.



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 03:45 PM
link   
reply to post by redbarron626
 


Nullification is not limited to states alone. Individuals can and should nullify, particularly when given an opportunity to serve as on a jury. Jury nullification is a very big part of why the 18th Amendment was repealed some 13 years after it was passed. Jury's en masse were refusing to convict.



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 03:57 PM
link   

Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by redbarron626
 


Nullification is not limited to states alone. Individuals can and should nullify, particularly when given an opportunity to serve as on a jury. Jury nullification is a very big part of why the 18th Amendment was repealed some 13 years after it was passed. Jury's en masse were refusing to convict.


Glad you mentioned that. Jury nullification is a great way to fight unconstitutional laws though it does require a very informed and determined public.

Individual Nullification, I feel is even better. I practice that myself as a form of civil disobedience, though for obvious reasons I prefer to keep how, why, and when I do that to myself.

State Nullification is just one tool in our arsenal. I feel like it needs to gain greater acceptance along with the other tools we posses. So often I read on these forums and elsewhere a very defeatist attitude when it comes to fighting TPTB, we should all be focusing on the little things that we can do when combined turn into big changes. Great point you made there.

edit on 5-4-2012 by sageofmonticello because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 03:58 PM
link   
Dependence is the Federal government's ball and chain. Both for states and individuals.
They wield it via money. Government involvement in services/industries inflates pricing, which in turn causes people to seek financial help, either through the government or through private lenders, who often receive privilege from the federal government. What is the solution to the problems of too much government? Why, MORE government of course.
As to the complaint of private corporations having too much power without the big bad federal gov't to protect us? Hogwash! Who grants privilege to those corporations? Who gives them waivers for regulations and taxes? The federal government, that's who.
And why? Because they are ultimately paid to do so. And why are they paid to do so? Because they have the power to create policy that maintains money for the moneyed powers.
Whats the solution? I'd be inclined to say that "MORE government" is not the right answer. It has been the answer for about 100 years now. My question to that is: If more government is the answer to the problem of elite influence and to protect the rights of normal Americans, then why has everything gone in the exact opposite direction since this has been the policy?
Why has the exponential growth of the international industrial/corporate sector been directly proportional to the exponential growth of centralized government?
Am I to believe this is a coincidence?

I'd say a better answer might be to vastly limit federal power. Take away the incentives for corporations to buy out government.
Are state governments perfect? Of course not. I, myself, live a in a pretty dysfunctional state (although it is getting better).
But if the state governments have more power, they are much more answerable to the electorate.
Our delegation in D.C. can always blame the legislators from other states/regions for things that go against our interests.
But if the power lies in the more local governments, they are directly responsible and the people can more forcefully ensure that their interests are being looked after. If a local politician sells his soul to a corp and screws over his constituency in the process, he better be careful, because they know where he lives and they live within driving distance.

Don't even get me started on the radical abuses of the executive branch. Bush and Obama will go down as America's Gog and Magog (figuratively, of course, because I am not all that religious)
edit on 5-4-2012 by pierregustavetoutant because: spelling



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 04:04 PM
link   
To me,

It's beginning to look more and more like we have

cornered ourselves into a Constitutional crisis.

Maybe the politicians are actually forcing that.

The Master Plan might be working.



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 04:09 PM
link   
reply to post by sageofmonticello
 





Glad you mentioned that. Jury nullification is a great way to fight unconstitutional laws though it does require a very informed and determined public.


Without that very informed and determined public nullification is moot.




Individual Nullification, I feel is even better. I practice that myself as a form of civil disobedience, though for obvious reasons I prefer to keep how, why, and when I do that to myself.


Civil disobedience is problematic and is not the same as vigorously asserting ones unalienable rights, which would not be any form of disobedience at all.

If an act of legislation is lawful then why should we nullify it? If an act of legislation is unlawful, or if a gross misapplication of legislation is unlawful, every single one of us have an obligation to nullify.




State Nullification is just one tool in our arsenal.


Every single state has in place a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) that claims that "driving is a privilege and not a right". I live in the state of California and the Supreme Law of that State is the Constitution for the State of California. Within that Constitution is the are the Declaration of Rights. Within the Declaration of Rights the latter part of Section 24 reads:


This declaration of rights may not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.


Given that express language the valid question arises as to how and where the State of California found the lawful authority to take what was once a right and turn it into a "privilege"?

Good luck with relying on the states.

Further, Henry David Thoreau wrote a book called Civil Disobedience. In this book he argues that we should take what the government what we can and ignore them for the rest. I would suggest even if you never take a single thing from the government it is highly unlikely you will ever successfully ignore them.



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 04:27 PM
link   
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Agreed 100%

Thank you for your contribution to my thread.


I don't assert the states to be infallible either, far from it, rather just that it is much easier to change how your state works than change how the federal government works. The more local a government the larger your voice and the greater an impact can be.

I certainly would not advocate relying on the States but rather pushing them and holding them accountable.
edit on 5-4-2012 by sageofmonticello because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 05:14 PM
link   
reply to post by pierregustavetoutant
 


All very good points


Thank you for putting your thoughts on this out there and contributing to the thread. I couldn't agree with you more on all points.



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 05:25 PM
link   

Originally posted by xuenchen
To me,

It's beginning to look more and more like we have

cornered ourselves into a Constitutional crisis.

Maybe the politicians are actually forcing that.

The Master Plan might be working.



I would have to say it does indeed look that way. That is the big question, is it by design or simply occurrence? I would lean towards this being by design. Is it one big conspiracy or a culmination of various conspiracies? Both?

As far as being cornered, that certainly appears to be the case. I see this as a turning point. FDR and his new deal I see as one as well, this turning point I see as either going full swing into FDR and similar views on government or going back to the roots of our country and approaching the future with fresh eyes and a renewed perspective of freedom.

I would say the deck is stacked against us but the power is completely on our end. It will come down to whether or not we can get the message out there effectively and exercise that power to move forward with freedom or push backwards into a more complete tyranny than we have today. Thank you for you thoughts.



new topics




 
7

log in

join