If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my free Email alerts. Thanks for visiting!
THE POWER OF STATE NULLIFICATION
by JB Williams, ©2011
(Feb. 1, 2011) — The people of the United States are growing increasingly frustrated with heavy handed intrusions into their private lives, their individual liberties and their personal freedom, not to mention the bankrupting of their states via federal mandates, forced upon them under a fraudulent interpretation of the so-called “supremacy clause.”
“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.” U.S. Const. art. VI, Paragraph
Unlimited supremacy of the federal government would in fact be a dictatorship, not any form of democracy, much less a representative republic. Yet, the federal government and most federal judges seem to think that they are unlimited in their power today, as if they are completely unfamiliar with the Tenth Amendment.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The most common judicial interpretation of the supremacy clause today goes something like this – “Under the Supremacy Clause, everyone must follow federal law in the face of conflicting state law.” – and judges use “case precedent” to enforce this view, often relying upon flawed decisions from unrelated cases to assert what is essentially, in their minds, an unlimited power of the Fed and the federal courts, as if state sovereignty, states’ rights, individual freedom and the Tenth Amendment don’t even exist.
It’s called judicial tyranny, and law by judicial fiat. It is a form of dictatorship known as an oligarchy, wherein the masses are ruled by only a few, void of representation of, or any responsibility to the governed. The nine members of the US Supreme Court are politically appointed for life-time terms. They are not elected by the people, nor are they accountable to the people.
Yet there is no way that our founding fathers intended for the new free nation they formed, to be ruled by a nine member oligarchy appointed to their position for life, on the basis of their individual political leanings.
Words MUST Have Meaning
The US Constitution is only as good as the words ratified in that document. If words have no specific meaning, and are left open to individual interpretation, then human beings will always interpret those words in a manner which allows them a maximum degree of power. This is no more true or evident than in the case of judges who see themselves as the supreme power and law of this land.
However, the founders were very careful in their choice of words… if we will only adhere to the true meaning of those words.
From the supremacy clause, we see – “under the Authority of the United States;” and the authority of the United States can be found in the Article II – Section VIII “enumerated powers” delegated to the federal government by the people and their states. Anything not delegated in the enumerated powers, is reserved to the states and/or the people.
This means that federal laws do indeed trump state laws, but only if those laws are well within the delegated enumerated powers of the federal government under Article I. If the law is not within the confines of the enumerated powers, then is it not “under the Authority of the United States;” and the Tenth Amendment applies. Federal laws which are outside of the enumerated powers do not trump state laws or the will of the people, and most importantly, they are voidable on their face.
In fact, federal laws which are not within the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government are by definition, “unconstitutional.” In addition, federal laws must be legislated in such a manner as to serve the “general welfare” of the people at large and their states.
By “general welfare,” the founders did not mean food stamps, free healthcare or anything the federal government might dream up in their endless effort to pander for votes. The founders used the general welfare clause to prevent the federal government from passing laws aimed at serving only one segment of the population, at the expense of all others. No playing favorites, is what the general welfare clause means.
Thomas Jefferson clarified “general welfare” in 1803 – “I say… to the opinion of those who consider the grant of the treaty-making power as boundless: If it is, then we have no Constitution. If it has bounds, they can be no others than the definitions of the powers which that instrument gives.” –Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803. ME 10:419
But by 1825, Jefferson had already seen the Constitution being torn to shreds by judges who had no limit on their free interpretation of words – “Aided by a little sophistry on the words “general welfare,” [the federal branch claim] a right to do not only the acts to effect that which are specifically enumerated and permitted, but whatsoever they shall think or pretend will be for the general welfare.” –Thomas Jefferson to William Branch Giles, 1825. ME 16:147
Federal Court Tyranny
Article III – Section II clearly states – “In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction.”
Original jurisdiction means that no lower court in the land has any jurisdiction over cases in which a state is party to suit against the federal government of the United States.
So, when California passed a ban on gay marriage via statewide referendum, what authority did the lower federal court judge have to overrule the will of the people of California, when it is only the US Supreme Court which has original jurisdiction in such a case?
When Arizona passed a law making it possible for state and local law enforcement agencies to enforce existing federal immigration laws, what authority did the lower federal court have to block the state law when only the US Supreme Court had original jurisdiction?
When the New York state government passed a state budget that required furloughing state employees in order to rein in deficit spending and avoid state bankruptcy, what authority did the federal judge have to stop that state budget and protect labor unions at the expense of state bankruptcy, when only the US Supreme Court has jurisdiction over matters between the state and the federal government?
In each of these cases and others like them, the federal government used lower federal judges to acquire rulings which it was unlikely to acquire at the Supreme Court. The lower federal courts have no jurisdiction in any case in which the state or the federal government is a party. However…
- The Fed can get lower court judges to side with the Fed by arguing the false interpretation of federal supremacy and federal judges very much enjoy that unconstitutional power on their own bench.
- The Fed can handcuff the states for years in appeals by suing the state in lower federal courts instead of the US Supreme Court, which according to the Constitution, has original jurisdiction in such cases.
- The Fed can usually rely on federal appeals courts to uphold the rulings of lower federal courts, also aligned with the false notion of federal supremacy.
- It keeps the US Supreme Court out of the equation until the federal mandate has taken full effect and is all but impossible to reverse.
Evil Left Unchallenged
Now more than 26 states have filed suit against the federal government over the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare, and as I write, Judge Vinson in Florida has just issued a ruling that the entire health care bill must be voided on the basis that is unconstitutional. He’s right!
But guess what? The suits filed in the lower federal courts are without proper jurisdiction, as Article III – Section II of the constitution clearly states that only the US Supreme Court has any jurisdiction on the matter.
Is it even possible that throughout 26 states, there is not one governor, legislator or lawyer who was aware of Article III original jurisdiction, making any suit in any lower court moot?
Since it is impossible to believe that there is not one governor, legislator or lawyer to be found in 26 states who know what the constitution says, we must assume that they simply no longer know that it means what it says.
Yet without any serious challenge from the states and the people, federal judges will continue to dictate to the states and the people as if they have the constitutional right to do so.
The Case for State Nullification
Since this disaster was already under way when Jefferson wrote about it in 1825, and this is 2011, I think it’s safe to assume that we will not get that genie back in the bottle without a fight.
Federal legislators, Presidents and federal courts love having unlimited supreme power over the states and the people. None of them will give up that power willingly, and yet none of them hold that power constitutionally.
They have that power only because the people and the states have allowed them to have that power. Lacking confidence in the Fed and in the lower courts suits allegedly aimed at reining in the Fed, many states are opting for state nullification acts, a constitutional process which allow the states under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, to nullify any federal statute, ruling or executive order which is outside the authority of the enumerated powers and thereby, unconstitutional, a power reserved to the states and the people.
Such efforts are underway on ObamaCare, Second Amendment Rights and other states’ and individual rights.
However, most of the individual issue nullification efforts lack four vital ingredients…
- None of them recognize the US Supreme Court as having original jurisdiction, not to be confused with the final word, which belongs exclusively to the people.
- Most of them don’t even recognize the US Constitution as the governing authority and the standard by which to measure the constitutionality of any given federal overstep. They use their state constitutions instead, as if they have already seceded from the union.
- Single issue nullification bills do not address the plethora of past and future infringements by the Fed.
- They do not establish a streamlined method by which the states can act swiftly to nullify both future and past indiscretions of the federal government.
For this reason, a broad-based constitutionally grounded Model Nullification Bill has been proposed in several states now, researched and drafted by the Constitutional Justice Division of the United States Patriots Union.
If the states and the people want their constitutional power back, they will have to take it back. Nobody in the federal government is going to give it back willingly.
The states simply must act to protect their own sovereignty and security, as well as that of their citizens who are increasingly fed up (no pun intended) with an over-reaching overbearing federal government that has no respect whatsoever for the real law of this land, the US Constitution.
The list of unconstitutional federal laws and mandates is almost endless at this late date and the only way the people can put an end to it peacefully, is through their state legislators via reasserting the Tenth Amendment right to nullify any and all federal abuses beyond the scope and powers delegated to the United States government under the US Constitution.
Until the states take appropriate measures to cut off the Fed at the state line, federal judges will continue to run roughshod over the states and the people with supreme powers not afforded them by the people or the states.
Words have meaning, and the only powers delegated to the Fed are those enumerated in the Constitution. If the words of that document mean nothing, then the document itself means nothing.
If they mean nothing to the states or the people, they are never going to mean anything to the runaway Fed. NULLIFY TODAY!
JB Williams is co-founder of the U.S. Patriots Union.