nullification

Coburn to Focus Retirement Efforts on Article V Convention

Last month, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) announced that he will retire at the end of 2014, cutting short his second Senate term by two years.  His decision was in part the result of his health struggles related the recent recurrence of prostate cancer.  But Sen. Coburn also cited the dysfunction in Washington D.C., and particularly in the U.S. Senate, in stating: “As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere.”

John Ward’s HuffPost interview with Sen. Coburn last week sheds some light on exactly how Sen. Coburn intends to shift his focus:

“It’s time for me to go do something else,” Coburn said. “I know me. I’ve made lots of shifts in my life, and I know when it’s time. My faith comes into that. I pay a lot of attention to what I think I’m supposed to be doing. … And it’s just time for me to do something else. So I’m getting ready to walk through whatever door opens.”

“I don’t have any set plans whatsoever,” he said.

There are two exceptions to that statement. He has plans to play golf, a game he loves and has rarely been able to enjoy during his time in Washington. And he is going to lend his support to a growing effort in state legislatures across the country to call a convention to amend the Constitution with the aim of limiting the size and reach of the federal government.

Tenth Amendment Center Announces State Level Action Legislation Model To Combat ObamaCare

Nearly everyone in opposition to ObamaCare worked very hard to stop it before it made its way through both houses of Congress and to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  Once President Obama signed the legislation into law, all of these wound up activists found themselves without an issue to focus on after a year of “debate” over healthcare reform.  Some state officials took it upon themselves to file lawsuits over the newly signed law, while others sought to protect their constituents from the aspects they found to be Unconstitutional.  Today, the Tenth Amendment Center provided another state-level action.  From the press release:

“Now that Health Care reform has been signed into law, the question people ask most is “What do we do about it?” said Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. “The status quo response includes lobbying congress, marching on D.C. “voting the bums out,” suing in federal court, and more. But the last 100 years have proven that none of these really work, and government continues to grow year in and year out.”

“We recommend a different path, one advised by prominent founders such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison - nullification,” said Boldin. Nullification, according to the Center, is the rightful remedy to an unconstitutional act, as it considers the recently-signed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be. When a state nullifies a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or non-effective, within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.

Hahahahaha: Chuck Schumer doesn’t know who authored the Bill of Rights

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) may want to crack open a history book. During yesterday’s hearing on proposed constitutional amendment that would repeal political speech protections of the First Amendment, the New York Democrat said that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Bill of Rights:

“I think if Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Bill of Rights, were looking down on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute,” Mr. Schumer said.

Wait, what?

Yeah, Jefferson didn’t write the Bill of Rights — James Madison did. In fact, Jefferson as the minister to France when the when Madison crafted and submitted the proposed amendments. Jefferson didn’t leave France until September 26, 1789, a day after Congress approved the amendments, of which 10 would eventually be ratified by the states and become known as the Bill of Rights.

Another point that Schumer gets incredibly wrong his suggestion that Jefferson would support restrictions on political speech. This statement is completely ignorant of history.

Jefferson, then-vice president, vigorously opposed the Sedition Act, under which several political opponents of the Adams administration were prosecuted, and, along with Madison, authored the Kentucky and Virgina nullification resolutions in the late-1790s.

State legislatures aren’t waiting on Washington to reject Obama’s big government agenda

Amidst reports concerning the House’s changes to the USA FREEDOM Act and how the recently passed new version fails to address issues with the 702 section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – allowing the government to continue its “back door” searches of electronic and phone communications of Americans in contact with foreigners – the Tenth Amendment Center reported that at least two of the five nullification bills that passed last week keep the federal government from tracking cellphone data without a warrant.

Bill SF2466, which passed with tremendous bipartisan support through both Minnesota state House and Senate, bans law enforcement agencies in Minnesota from obtaining tracking information on cellphone users in the state without a warrant.

Senate Joint Resolution 27 in Missouri also protects the consumer’s data by adding electronic communications as one of the objects protected by the state constitution. The resolution should be up for a vote by Missouri residents this November after passing the House.

Georgia legislators seek to ban state agencies from implementing Obamacare

Nullify Obamacare

The Georgia General Assembly is gearing up for another legislative session and some members are already pre-filing bills that could be considered next year. Among those pieces of legislation is a measure — The Georgia Health Care Freedom and ACA Noncompliance Act — introduced by state Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) that would ban state agencies from providing any support to implement Obamacare:

A group of five Republican Georgia state legislators opened up a new line of attack against the Affordable Care Act Monday, following their counterparts in South Carolina in a movement that could soon involve other conservative states.

“Our (proposed legislation) simply says the state of Georgia and any political entity, any agency, any public university or college will simply not be able to implement Obamacare at all,” said lead sponsor Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) in a news conference on the State Capitol steps.

“We’re telling the Obama administration: ‘If you want the ACA in Georgia, you’re going to pay for it and you’re going to implement it. And don’t expect aid from Georgia in doing so,” said co-sponsor state Rep. Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock).

Arizona legislator to NSA: Get out of my state

The fight against the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs has moved to some state legislatures, in addition to the ongoing debate in Washington, thanks to a push by the Tenth Amendment Center, an organization that advocates for federalism.

An Arizona legislator, state Sen. Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City), has become the first legislator in the country to introduce the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, which purports to prohibit state and local agencies, including utility providers, from providing the NSA with any material support.

“While media attention is focused on a possible effort to shut off water to the NSA data center in Utah, I’m introducing the Arizona Fourth Amendment Protection Act to back our neighbors up,” Ward said in a statement from the Tenth Amendment Center. “Just in case the NSA gets any ideas about moving south, I want them to know the NSA isn’t welcome in Arizona unless it follows the Constitution.”

The legislation would make information provided by the NSA inadmissible in state courts and blocks state universities from serving as research facilities for the controversial intelligence agency. It would also sanction companies if they cooperate with the NSA.

“I believe the number one priority for national security is defending and protecting the Constitution. Without that, the rest becomes irrelevant. There is no question that the NSA program, as it is now being run, violates the Fourth Amendment. This is a way to stop it,” Ward added.

The Tenth Amendment Center is encouraging other states to follow suit.

States fight back against Obama Administration policies

Don't Tread On Me

There has been somewhat of a revival of nullification over the last few years as governors and state legislatures have pushed back against some of the policies pushed by the Obama Administration. While some may scoff at the idea of nullification, citing federal supremacy over states, Washington has passed a number of laws that have passed on heavy costs to states or trample into areas that should left to their control.

Politico recently highlighted the pushback from states on various policies being pushed by the Obama Administration — including gun control, ObamaCare, and REAL ID — and whether it’s an viable tool to buck federal mandates:

Infuriated by what they see as the long arm of Washington reaching into their business, states are increasingly telling the feds: Keep out!

Bills that would negate a variety of federal laws have popped up this year in the vast majority of states — with the amount of anti-federal legislation sharply on the rise during the Obama administration, according to experts.
[…]
But critics respond that the flood of legislation to override the feds is folly that won’t stand up in court and amounts to a transparent display of the political and personal distaste for President Barack Obama. And in some cases, the moves in the states have provoked an administration counteroffensive: Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Kansas after it passed the Second Amendment Protection Act threatening legal action if necessary to enforce federal laws.

Nullify Now: The Case for State Action

Michael Boldin is the executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center, established in 2006 in response to endless attacks on liberty from both major political parties.

Want to stop the sociopaths in Washington DC?

Ron Paul told you how.  Judge Napolitano is on board.  Tom Woods provides intellectual firepower to back it up. And today, I’ll share six steps to get you started.

Obviously, it will take some work.  But what should a liberty lover actually do? March on DC? Lobby Congress? Support a campaign in the 2016 presidential election?

Answer: No. No. And, no.

RON PAUL’S ADVICE

Ron Paul said nullification would “reverse the trend and stop the usurpation of all the powers and privileges from the states to the federal government.”

The game-plan is right in front of you. It’s nullification.

That bears repeating: if you want to stop federal thugs, Ron Paul advises you to nullify.

I can’t think of a stronger endorsement for libertarians than this powerful statement from the man who brought the principles of liberty to the mainstream.

Think about it.  Nullification isn’t just an interesting theory or some historical oddity for study.  It’s a method Ron Paul himself endorsed as a path to “stop the usurpation of power.”  That’s serious business, and a call for you to take action.

DEFINITIONS

What is nullification?  In order to share a plan of action, you must first understand what nullification is.  When Thomas Jefferson called it the “rightful remedy,” he didn’t specifically define it.

States moving to nullify NDAA?

Regardless of where you stand politically, you probably have some very strong feelings on the NDAA and it’s provision that will allow the government to indefinitely detain someone because they’re a “terrorist”.   The NDAA managed to make it through both chambers of Congress (remember that one is controlled by Democrats, the other by Republicans) and was signed into law on December 31, 2011, effectively killing due process.

However, some politicians aren’t exactly done fighting this one.  In Virginia, we have House Bill No. 1160.  That bill reads:

§ 1. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, no agency of the Commonwealth as defined in § 8.01-385 of the Code of Virginia, political subdivision of the Commonwealth as defined in § 8.01-385 of the Code of Virginia, employee of either acting in his official capacity, or any member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force, when such a member is serving in the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force on official state duty, may engage in any activity that aids an agency of or the armed forces of the United States in the execution of 50 U.S.C. 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (P.L. 112-18, § 1021) in the investigation, prosecution, or detainment of any citizen of the United States in violation of Article I, Section 8 or 11 of the Constitution of Virginia.

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Monday, February 7th

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.


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