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Tom Woods: Head CATO Faketarian Proclaims States Cannot "Nullify;" SCOTUS is..er..Supreme!

CATO Chairman: States Can’t Nullify; Supreme Court Is Our Remedy

Tom Woods
March 25, 2013

You guys know I don’t spend my time on institutional feuds among libertarians. I defend myself when attacked, but otherwise I’m too busy to bother.

But the Cato Institute has now joined the Heritage Foundation in telling Americans they’re not allowed to nullify unconstitutional laws — because, after all, that’s what we have the Supreme Court for. Plus, says Cato chairman Robert Levy, nullification hasn’t worked so well in the past, though he doesn’t give us an update on how 100 years of relying on the Supreme Court to safeguard our liberties has been going.

Levy does allow the states something, because the Supreme Court has graciously allowed them these things:

First, are states required to enforce federal laws and enact regulatory programs that Congress mandates? The answer on both counts is “No.”

In the 1997 case, Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not command state law enforcement authorities to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers.

In the 1992 case, New York v. United States, the Court ruled that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.

So on waste disposal and background checks, we may stick it to the man.

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No King but King Jesus - and him we have direct access to

This is looking up to be a repeat of the "you need a priest for direct access to God". Here, you "need a government official for direct access to the King of Kings Jesus Christ".

Here's what Samuel Adams said for the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which relates Religious Independence, which came years before, as similar to what was occurring with Political Independence.


And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Woods again repeat the canard

Woods again repeat the canard about John Marshall. In fact, when Marshall was the Chief Justice, the federal government was very small. Federal spending was about 2% of GDP and most gray areas of the Constitution had been fleshed out in favor of a small federal government with most powers residing in the states.

In 1800, federal spending was about 2% and in 1835 when Marshall left the court is was about 2%. In 1912 it was only 1.75%, so Marshall set the government on a path to smaller government.

Because of his stature, a couple quotes [not cases] from Marshall were cherry picked 100 years later to justify a larger government in ways that Marshall never would have approved of.

In particular, the commerce clause was very limited in Marshall's time, mostly involving regulation of traffic on rivers or in the Atlantic ocean, and that's about it, as the Founders intended. And incidentally, Marshall was a Founder, he fought in the Revolutionary War and sat on the the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1788.

Thomas Jefferson 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Rand Paul 2016, 2020.

LOL Marshall was a staunch


Marshall was a staunch Federalist and enemy of Jeffersonianism as SCOTUS Chief Justice. He, more than perhaps any other official before or since, was responsible for carving out SCOTUS role as we know it today and for cementing the supremecy of the federal govt over state govts. He emasculated the concept, argued and understood by many constituion ratifiers, that the states that created the constitution had final say in whether or not the federal govt was acting constitutionally.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

LOL, federal spending was

LOL, federal spending was only 2% of GDP when Marshall was in office.

Thomas Jefferson 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Rand Paul 2016, 2020.

But still it is everyone's

But still it is everyone's individual conscience in consulting with God that tells them when the government has gone too far, not a government official.

It is virtually the same error with the priests over again.

If there is consensual government, the governed must decide when they have consented, and when they are being defrauded.

That States can veto what the federal government does is moderate, because the people can veto what the State does.

When our forefathers rebelled, they did not ask a government official if they could, they asked God. They prayed to him daily and sought him out.

An end of governments comes when governments become wicked, and rebel against his majesty the Lord Jesus Christ, and I don't foresee this government lasting much longer.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

LIBERTY2ME's picture

So all at the same

So all at the same time:
1)Obama puts through exec order while no one is looking - NDAA (Gov't can arrest US citizens indefinetly and said US citizen has no lawyer or day in court. They are just thrown in prison). But it's normal - no biggie...he won't use it either so no worries.
2)Obama wants our guns and it MUST be now - for our protection though, its all good...
3)While trying to take our guns, DHS is purchasing millions of rounds of ammo (hollow point) and acting like that is the norm at first. Now ex marines and retired chief of police have stepped forward saying hollow point ammo is NEVER used for practice, they are used on people. Then DHS stops responding to any questions at all and goes for even another round of ammo. But hey, just another day, nothing to see here.
4)Then congress slips in a bill giving Monsanto free reign over all of us including any federal courts. He can poisen (I mean add nutrients) to our food all he wants.
5)Now this CATO person is saying that states can't nullify? What would give anyone a reason to come out and talk about states nullifying I wonder? I'ts almost as though they think states will want to nullify for some reason. And even though it is a states right, well lets just nip that in the bud right now....just in case. Can't imagine why any state would want to do that though.

So we can be arrested anytime for doing.....whatever, we don't have any self protection anymore, we are eating, breathing and drinking toxins and poisen all day, DHS is in our streets fully equipped. Paint a pretty picture for you?

Just wait for the "exit visa" requirement


all these institutions start good...

...until financial needs & relevance trump principles...we need our OWN think tank; for nothing more that to show CLEAR distinction from the fake Tea Party that licks the boots of the
establishment GOP and does Israel's bidding.

we do.

rp helped found it.


How do you know our think

How do you know our think tank won't be co-opted like the others?

Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.


Do you have little confidence in your own thoughts?

Do you consider groupthink to be a real thing?

I realize...

...think tanks get AIRTIME, media exposure...so it's our Tom Woods & Judge Napolitano & Lew.Rockwell versus their best Heritage and CATO guys ...

So it's all about how the public perceives "collective minds?"

Countering propaganda with better-informed propaganda? Seems reasonable on the surface.

Do you have an appreciation of how much damage is done to an economy whenever people increase their willingness to be political activists?


"Since when does the agent tell the principals what its powers are?"

The above argument is similar to what the Supreme Court argued re jury nullification. They said that judges are not required to tell juries their rights because the jury (and the public) are the employer (principals), and the judge is the employee (agent), and employees don't have to tell employers what they can do.

Obviously, this is a flawed argument, as judges are failing to do their jobs in that case. If you were to say that a lawyer (agent) is not obligated to give good advice to his client (principal), you'd have an obvious problem.

Of course agents should tell their principals EVERYTHING of interest to them under the scope of their duties. "Tell" being the operative word. What the agent is forbidden to do, is to FORCE the principal to DO anything or take the advice.

If bad advice is given, the advisors should be fired!

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

Lawyers aren't taught the Law

Thomas Jefferson, from the 1789 Kentucky Resolution, "The several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government…the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers."

James Madison, 1800 report, "The States then being the parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity, that there can be no tribunal above their authority, to decide in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated; and consequently that as the parties to it, they must themselves decide in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition."

Read this interesting article - http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/03/24/nullification-for...

and so....

Madison & Jefferson have something to say about the CATO's position that the Supreme Court is "supreme"; meaning...the states are parties in the federal charter...meaning the charter grants the states their standing and protection from federal over-reach, and the arbitrary whims of sitting justices does not trump those guaranteed rights.

The onus of our original founding revolution once again comes to the surface....

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Judge Nap resigned from the CATO board in September

after the shenanigans to take full control of Cato by the Koch brothers.

Cato is just another Corporate mouthpiece now (even if it's a bit more subtle than the rest).

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

i guy i knew was under the

i guy i knew was under the delusion that Cato was a libertarian think tank, and went to work for them.

why is Cato still called a libertarian think tank?


It lives off its past, its

It lives off its past, its namesake and the members who trot out every now and then for interviews to prop up the illusion. This group has good work even though it's old, but that work is its past, hence "It lives off its past." Cato Shmato. Whatever.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.