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Is Nullification Viable? Can a state simply choose to ignore a federal law?

Idaho has become the latest state to invoke the idea of nullification in regards to their opposition of the nearly year old Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming are also considering "nullification" laws. This is clearly a different and controversial move. Other state governments challenging the ACA are seeking to overturn the act through more traditional methods such as in federal court and their representatives in Congress.

Nullification is the legal theory that under the 10th Amendment the states have the right to reject laws passed by the federal government that it deems unconstitutional. This theory places the states above the federal government and even the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.


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most interesting--


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

The simple answer is YES.

The simple answer is YES. And the reason the answer is yes is because the federal government does not have the authority to pass laws that violate the Constitution.

We as individuals can't just disregard laws because they are unconstitutional. But a state has legal standing with regard to our Constitution. The Constitution places limits on the federal government's authority. When the federal government violates these limitations, what is supposed to happen?

Do we look to the federal government to determine if it is in violation of usurping powers granted to the states? Where are the Checks and Balances on runaway government with a lust for power?

The answer is, the Checks and Balances are found in the fifty states. To my knowledge, 25 states have refused to implement the national ID card, and I believe that 26 states are suing the federal government over Obamacare. Now when 25 or 26 sovereign states are saying that a law is unconstitutional and Washington is saying the opposite, who should logically make the determination? Wouldn't allowing Washington to determine the limits (if any) of its power lead to a centralized state?

Common sense says that no legitimate government has unlimited power, nor can it determine for itself the limitations of its power. And that's why we have Checks and Balances, and that's why the states can nullify federal laws that violate the Supreme Law of the Land, the Constitution.

How the States can Nullify Federal Laws


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i did some research and i

i did some research and i don't think nullification can work because of the tnterstate commerce clause and especialy the NECESSARY AND PROPER CLAUSE which pretty much trumps everything except manufactoring, mining and something else ( forgot the last one).

I just found this on "the

I just found this on "the hill". It is an excerpt from ron paul on the house floor.

"By misinterpreting the general welfare clause, the interstate commerce clause, and the “necessary and proper” clause, Congress has justified every conceivable expansion of the federal government. Congress also has misinterpreted the 14th Amendment and legislated as though it had repealed the 10th Amendment. Sadly, Congress has also systematically abdicated its prerogatives and responsibilities to the executive branch over many decades."

I personaly think jury nullification is more powerful.
but it can only work if (lets say on obamacare) enough juries are hung or, even better, found a defendant not guilty. This worked well on federal laws like the slave act and prohibition. from what i recall jury nullification just happened the other day on someone who refused to give I.D. to the tsa. I can't wait (in a sense) to become a juror. "It just takes one for a hung".LOL.

If you read Judge Nap's book

If you read Judge Nap's book Constitution in Exile, he makes the case, quite clearly that from 1934-1937, these court decisions broaden the definitions and assumed more power than had ever been established. It's been down hill from there, of course. But simply because they established unlawful (not in harmony with Naturual Law) shouldn't be a consideration for letting them continue to define their power.

Tom's book... makes a decent case and is in usual Tom Woods fashion a pleasure to read.

" Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of they day; but a series of oppresssions...pursued unalterably, through every change of ministers, too plainly proove delibrate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery..."

After reading "Nullification"

After reading "Nullification" by Tom Woods, then YES, it is a viable approach. Nullification is simply a matter of recognizing that the state respects the Federal Govt and the Constitution, but also takes note that the states created the Federal Govt. So the States have the right to nullify those laws which they deem as unconstitutional.

Especially when all 3 branches of the Federal Govt are working together. If those states which are suing the law and fighting it in the courts make it to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court is STILL a Federal entity. Which can rule with or against the Constitution depending on how they view it.


Thanks for posting.

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Yes. I think this is the


I think this is the correct way to do it.

Because hey, if 30/50 states, or even 45/50 states want to have Obamacare, the 20 or 5 states shouldn't stop them from having it at the federal level, just like the 30 or 45 states shouldn't stop the others from rejecting it for everyone.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

I hope so

Otherwise what other choice do we have. Can we really expect the federal courts to rule against the federal government. In other words, who is going to rule against themselves.

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto. - T. Jefferson rЭVO˩ution

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.” - BASTIAT