Nullification: The Lost Balance of Power

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ShackledNation, Jul 18, 2011.

?

Should nullification be a state power?

  1. Yes.

    10 vote(s)
    62.5%
  2. No.

    6 vote(s)
    37.5%
  3. Unsure/Maybe in some cases

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. ShackledNation
    Offline

    ShackledNation Libertarian

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,696
    Thanks Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    50
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +239
    Many Americans do not like the idea of nullification. I find this unfortunate. The writers of the Constitution understood the threat of having a government. This is why they separated powers among three branches. The hope was that if one branch tried to gain too much power, the other would bring it in line.

    But the founders were not stupid. They feared what would happen if all three branches sided together to expand their authority (fears that have been realized). And so a federal system was desired, in which multiple governments (states) could check the central three branches even further. The primary tool of the states to check federal authority was nullification.

    If a state felt a law broke the Constitution it had entered into, it could claim that law null and void. This power was vital in defense of 3 branches uniting together to expand their power. I would argue it is the most important power of the states. Yet it has been lost.

    And we wonder why the government has only continually grown in the economic sphere with bailouts and welfarism, grown in the foreign sphere with nearly 1,000 military bases around the world and constant warfare and nation building, and the personal sphere by banning drugs, passing laws such as the Patriot Act, allowing the TSA to grope passengers, and countless other examples.

    If only we had the power to nullify it all.
     
  2. Antiderivative
    Offline

    Antiderivative BANNED

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,616
    Thanks Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +103
    I like Jackson in many ways, but seriously? Endorsing the Tariff of Abomination was a an abomination.

    Then Lincoln went on a rampage.
     
  3. The Rabbi
    Online

    The Rabbi Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    45,063
    Thanks Received:
    4,039
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Location:
    Nashville
    Ratings:
    +4,737
    So first you say the Founders gave the power of nullification. Then you admit we don't have the power of nullification.
    Sounds like pissing n the wind to me.
     
  4. Antiderivative
    Offline

    Antiderivative BANNED

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,616
    Thanks Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +103
    Our country was founded upon voluntary agreement. There is no pissing in the wind.
     
  5. editec
    Offline

    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    41,427
    Thanks Received:
    5,590
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Maine
    Ratings:
    +5,592
    If states have the power to nullify federal law, then what does it mean to be a nation?

    Basically nothing at all.

    The very first thing the CSA did was become much like the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT that they so dispised.
     
  6. NYcarbineer
    Online

    NYcarbineer Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    46,809
    Thanks Received:
    4,127
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Ratings:
    +4,572
    Our nation was founded upon voluntary agreement of states to assume the obligations and responsibilities of a contract that most importantly ceded state autonomy and power to a central government while delineating the limits of that power. Nullification was not one of the limits.
     
  7. bripat9643
    Online

    bripat9643 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    30,163
    Thanks Received:
    2,361
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Ratings:
    +2,692
    It may have been founded on that, but Lincoln put an end to it when he invaded and conquered the Southern states who disagreed.
     
  8. bripat9643
    Online

    bripat9643 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    30,163
    Thanks Received:
    2,361
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Ratings:
    +2,692
    Wrong. That's a liberal myth. Nullification was widely accepted and practiced before the Civil War. Lincoln's invasion and conquest of the Confederate states is the only thing that put and end to it. Nothing in the Constitution took away the right of states to secede.
     
  9. NYcarbineer
    Online

    NYcarbineer Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    46,809
    Thanks Received:
    4,127
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Ratings:
    +4,572
    Lincoln merely enforced the Constitution. There was no right to secede.
     
  10. 8537
    Offline

    8537 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    7,754
    Thanks Received:
    729
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    New England's West Coast
    Ratings:
    +729
    You should tell that to John C Calhoun.

    Which federal law was successfully nullified by a state? Since it was "widely practiced", I'm sure you have some examples.
     
  11. ShackledNation
    Offline

    ShackledNation Libertarian

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,696
    Thanks Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    50
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +239
    Yes, that is exactly what I said. So maybe you should have inferred that my opinion is currently the federal government is too powerful and has overstepped its constitutional limits.

    You think the gross removal of state power is pissing in the wind?
     
  12. ShackledNation
    Offline

    ShackledNation Libertarian

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,696
    Thanks Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    50
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +239
    Yes it was. Look up the Virginia Resolutions and the views of both Jefferson and Madison, and the Principles of '98.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  13. ShackledNation
    Offline

    ShackledNation Libertarian

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,696
    Thanks Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    50
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +239
    Plenty. And contrary to common opinion, it was quite a northern tradition.

    There is the well known example of South Carolina's nullification of the tariffs of 1828 and 1832.

    Massachussettes nullified the embargo acts of 1807. Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York (to name a few) supported MA.

    During the War of 1812, the federal government ordered the use of state militias. Massachusettes again declare the law null, and the supreme court of the state agreed. Connecticut followed suit.

    In 1813, there was another trade embargo. Once again, MA cried foul, and the supreme court of the state agreed with the legislature.

    Northern states again slavery also tried to use nullification to protect the rights of escaped slaves. The fugitive slave act of 1850 was abhorred by the north.

    The efforts were not legally upheld, and that is the point. If the Supreme Court can overrule anything a state says, and the Supreme Court sides with the other two branches in taking over powers of the states and infringing upon their sovereignty, then the federal system is useless. States rights are vital to keeping a government in check. If all three branches agree that rights should be taken away, there is nothing to stop them except for the states. That is the entire purpose of a federal system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  14. 8537
    Offline

    8537 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    7,754
    Thanks Received:
    729
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    New England's West Coast
    Ratings:
    +729
    Those nullifications were settled before a court determined if they were Constitutional ,hence my reference to Calhoun.
    well, MA voted to nullify the embargo. But did the embargo stop? Eh, no.

    But I'm glad you spent some time reading Lew Rockwell again.
     
  15. ShackledNation
    Offline

    ShackledNation Libertarian

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,696
    Thanks Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    50
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +239
    Lincoln enforced the constitution? I think you need to do some more unbiased research on Lincoln's almost tyrannical disregard of the Constitution. He banned newspaper publications in the north condemning the war as unnecessary.

    Also, the constitution limits Federal power, not state power. States have every right to secede.
     
  16. ShackledNation
    Offline

    ShackledNation Libertarian

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,696
    Thanks Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    50
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +239
    Fallacy of guilt by association. Also, I already made a point regarding the courts and their power over the states, which was ignored. I also said as you pointed out that nullification was not upheld as a right, hence the problem. So nothing you said, with all due respect, is a substantial argument.
     
  17. ShackledNation
    Offline

    ShackledNation Libertarian

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,696
    Thanks Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    50
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +239
    It would mean we would be living as a nation within the constitution.
     
  18. bripat9643
    Online

    bripat9643 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    30,163
    Thanks Received:
    2,361
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Ratings:
    +2,692
    Who cares what it means "to be a nation." We would be a free people.

    Why shouldn't the states have the same authority as the Supreme Court?
     
  19. bripat9643
    Online

    bripat9643 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    30,163
    Thanks Received:
    2,361
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Ratings:
    +2,692
    bingo!
     
  20. 8537
    Offline

    8537 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    7,754
    Thanks Received:
    729
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    New England's West Coast
    Ratings:
    +729
    The Federal Courts only have said power over the states if you allow federal courts to be the final determinant of whether a law is made in pursuance of the Constitution. If you leave that to the states, as some early representatives would have liked, you leave the state court with the ability to decide if a federal law is/is not in pursuance of the Constitution - and strike down those they consider not in pursuance.

    Such a system is completely unworkable and would destroy the ability of the Federal government to manage domestic affairs. Yet Calhoun was adamant in supporting that system (Don't get me wrong - I agree with lot of what Calhoun supported, I just think he was on the wrong side of the nullification crisis).
     

Share This Page