Over the last few years nullification has been gaining more attention. The Tenth Amendment Center posted the results of a recent Rasmussen Poll asking questions about nullification. This poll shows nullification is quickly gaining support. How much support is nullification gaining? Here is what the article has to say:
A majority of everyday politically engaged Americans support the general principle of nullification. According to the Rasmussen poll, 52 percent of mainstream voters think states should have the right to block any federal laws they disagree with on legal grounds.
Wow, 52% of mainstream voters believe nullification is a good idea. This is despite the fact that mainstream media and politicians constantly demonize the very concept of nullification. Well, actually maybe this support of nullification is because of mainstream media and politicians demonizing nullification. Maybe people are tired of being treated like children by politicians and the mainstream media.
There are some key recent examples of nullification being used by the states.
- In April Kansas passed the The Second Amendment Protection Act (PDF). This law basically says federal laws do not apply to guns that were made in Kansans and then sold and owned in Kansas. Since these weapons do not cross state borders there is no jurisdiction for the Federal government to get involved.
- Earlier this month the House in South Carolina passed the Freedom of Health Care Protection Act. This bill is now in the South Carolina Senate, where it appears to have a pretty good chance of passing. If this bill becomes law it would basically say Obamacare is illegal in the state of South Carolina. State officials would not be allowed to enact provisions from Obamacare. Further South Carolina residents would receive tax deductions equaling any penalties paid to the IRS.
- Many states have now passed laws to either legalize medical cannabis or decriminalize all cannabis These laws are done in direct defiance with the Federal government. Just as with the gun law in Kansans, these laws are the states way of telling the federal government “we will decide what happens within our borders”.
It is clear that states are increasingly getting tired of the Federal government going beyond its power. As time goes on I expect more states to pass nullification laws. If the Federal Government chooses to ignore the rights of the states I believe more states will simply refuse to acknowledge the laws passed in DC.
PS. For anyone interested in the roots of nullification it is worth reading the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 (written by Thomas Jefferson) and the Virginia Resolution of 1798 (written by James Madison). Together these documents are often called The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (or Resolves), of 1798. These two documents were the basis for the idea that the federal government is the creation of the states; therefore the states have final authority over whether the federal government is acting within the constraints set forth in the US Constitution.