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Guest Opinion: Nullification a sound way to regain constitutional control

By Bliss W. Tew - | May 22, 2021

If federal government usurps powers never delegated to it by America’s ratified Constitution what can be done? Is there a civilized way for states to remedy usurpations?

Don’t federal encroachments on liberty require state interposition? Is there federal oppressive taxation, over regulation, reckless and wasteful spending, corporate bailouts and welfare unlimited, unconstitutional wars, challenges to religious freedoms, violations of our privacy, threats to property rights, excessive fines, and infringements on the free exercise of other rights? Are presidents legislating by executive orders? Isn’t a runaway government a government that has runaway from the Constitution’s limits?

Does our Constitution point the way as to what to do? Yes, Article VI, Clause 2 of our Constitution declares that only “the laws which shall be made in pursuance” to the Constitution are the law of the land, so what are federal measures that are not made in pursuance of our Constitution? They are null and void, as if never enacted and are to be treated as usurpation. How do we do that? We treat them as nullities.

The Tenth Amendment provides the same truth, that “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.” Clearly powers must be specifically delegated to the central government through the constitutional compact, or those powers do not belong to the federal government.

A runaway government is not a partisan issue as both major parties have contributed to the problem by ignoring the Constitution, even deliberately going around the Constitution. We’ve seen that the elements of big government including Congress will not restrain itself, right? Then, it is up to the 50 states to restrain that federal government by holding it to the Constitution. All officers of the federal government and the states are bound by oath to support our Constitution. While restraining effort may be contentious, nullification is a sound way to regain constitutional control of the federal beast that has escaped its constitutional chains.

Nullification isn’t just an effort of taking the federal government to federal court over a disagreement. Genuine nullification is resistance by the state, the county, and the city governments, by Sheriff departments, etc., the institutions of self-government at the local state level.

Have Americans forgotten that each state is a sovereign nation state? Utah is like France, a nation. The federal government is a federation of the 50 sovereign nations through a constitutional compact, but it is not a suicide compact between the states. When the compact is broken by the federal government, the states must declare usurpations of power null and void and treat such usurpations as void.

State legislatures don’t need the Supreme Court to be the only judge of whether a federal measure is constitutional or not.

“The resolution (of 1798) of the General Assembly (of Virginia) relates to those great and extraordinary cases, in which all the forms of the Constitution may prove ineffectual against infractions dangerous to the essential right of the parties to it. The resolution supposes that dangerous powers not delegated (by the Constitution), may not only be usurped and executed by the other departments, but that the Judicial Department also may exercise or sanction dangerous powers beyond the grant of the Constitution; and consequently that the ultimate right of the parties to the Constitution, to judge whether the compact has been dangerously violated, must extend to violations by one delegated authority, as well as by another, by the judiciary, as well as by the executive, or the legislature.” — James Madison, VIRGINIA REPORT, 1800.


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