Supremacy Clause and Nullification

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ihopehefails, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. ihopehefails
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    This is the supremacy clause as stated within the federal constitution. It is the tool used by those who believe that the federal government has unlimited power across all states, cities, and jurisdiction. What those people don't realize is that a federal law's supremacy status conditional as long as it is "in pursuance thereof" (constitutional) or enforcing an existing treaty signed by the federal government.

    When it does not fit into the supremacy clause's set of conditions then that federal law is no longer the supreme law of the land. At this point, any state, city, or country law becomes the "supreme law" over that governing authority's jurisdiction which effectively nullifies federal law within that jurisdiction (this assumes that there is no state law that overides city or county law).

    While the supremacy clause may appear to give the federal government the right to override any state, city, or country law it actually gives way more power to nullify federal law than the tenth amendment itself. The tenth amendment only applies to state governments and their jurisdictions but the supremacy clause gives all internal governments that are capable of making and enforcing laws the power to nullify federal law when that law does not follow the conditions set out in the supremacy clause.
  2. ☭proletarian☭
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    Federal law rules absolute- in the very limited areas in which the Fed is given authority, listed elsewhere in the same document.
  3. Dante
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    Dante cereal offender Supporting Member

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    gawd, you're insufferable as well as stupid.
  4. Big Fitz
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    So if it's not constitutional, the states not only have a right, but a duty to reject those laws? I'm good with that.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  5. Kevin_Kennedy
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    The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

    Virginia Resolution of 1798

    Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the father of the Constitution, believed nullification to be one of the most important powers of the state governments against federal tyranny.
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  6. ☭proletarian☭
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    Correct.

    There was a war fought over the concept once... It was decided after the Fed won that war to ignore Constitutional limits on power, citing the supremacy clause general welfare clauses (without ever actually reading them, apparently) to give the fed carte blanche to do as it pleased. That has gotten us to where we are today.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2009
  7. RetiredGySgt
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    If a law was unconstitutional it should not apply anyway. And that is consistent with the Supremacy clause. Your argument makes no sense, reread it and be more clear.

    IF a law or Treaty is passed and is Constitutional it is the LAW of the LAND. And no State or local Government can supersede it. That is all the Supremacy clause says.
  8. Big Fitz
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    Then we may be ready to do the same thing again. The worse this gets, the more states will want to pull out. Wow. One part civil war, one part revolution.
  9. Liability
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    My highlighting added.

    The implication is that laws NOT made "in pursuance" of the Constitution are not the supreme law of the land.

    That is, laws made by the Federal Government which violate the Constitution are not supreme over contrary laws passed by any of the sovereign states of the Union.

    Some folks think that only the SCOTUS can tell us which laws are violative of the U.S. Constitution. I believe that is a seriously silly bit of thinking by those folks.
  10. Truthmatters
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    Who desides if the laws violate the constitution?

    Who makes that determination?
  11. Liability
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    Lots of people and institutions can decide.

    I suppose it makes sense (in the proper case or controversy) for the SCOTUS to resolve such an issue.

    But, lower Federal Courts can do so, too (deferring to the eventual SCOTUS say on the matter if it is made).

    State Courts can and do so all the damn time.

    Presidents with any grasp of the nature of their obligations SHOULD do so in determining whether or not to sign or veto a bill.

    In proper areas, state legislatures SHOULD look to see if the Federal Government is sticking within their limits -- and if not whether they wish to nullify Federal laws which have transgressed such limits.

    And me. And you. And everyone else. It's OUR country. We have a very vested stake in the matter. And where congress passes "laws" which constitute violations of the Constitution, we should very much be clear in rebuffing their efforts.

    I do not deny that there is a reasonable view of the Constitution giving the SCOTUS authority (via interpretation and employing inherent power). But I certainly do deny that such power is theirs alone.
  12. Truthmatters
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    And if the Scotus thinks the decisions are correct they dont take them up.

    It is the scotus who is the final arbitor.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  13. Liability
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    The Scouts?

    Anyway, your misapprehension is the common view. It is mistaken.

    SCOTUS is only final to the extent it resolves federal legal contentions.

    But, truth be told, Congress, if it had brains and balls, can reverse a SCOTUS decision.

    And so can the States. Federalism, properly understood and properly employed, could be a powerful and valid tool to reign-in an out of control Federal Government.
  14. Truthmatters
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    They are still the final arbitor of what laws comport with the constitution.

    Not you.
  15. Thinman
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    Thinman Active Member

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    Any US citisen can challenge any law. Many will challenge, if it becomes law, the mandate in the health care bill.
  16. rightwinger
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    Wow!

    What a stretch.... of course, any state can go to the Supreme Court on any law they believe they do not agree is within the bounds of the Constitution.

    Fortunately, the court has never agreed with your bizarre interpretation of nullification.
  17. Truthmatters
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    And will lose when the Scotus decides its perfectly legal.
  18. Navy1960
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    Gibbons v. Ogden

    Speaking for the majority, Justice Barbour ;

    ''But we do not place our opinion on this ground. We choose rather to plant ourselves on what we consider impregnable positions. They are these: That a State has the same undeniable and unlimited jurisdiction over all persons and things, within its territorial limits, as any foreign nation, where that jurisdiction is not surrendered or restrained by the Constitution of the United States. That, by virtue of this, it is not only the right, but the bounden and solemn duty of a State, to advance the safety, happiness and prosperity of its people, and to provide for its general welfare, by any and every act of legislation, which it may deem to be conducive to these ends; where the power over the particular subject, or the manner of its exercise is not surrendered or restrained, in the manner just stated. That all those powers which relate to merely municipal legislation, or what may, perhaps, more properly be called internal police, are not thus surrendered or restrained; and that, consequently, in relation to these, the authority of a State is complete, unqualified, and exclusive.''

    McCulloch v. Maryland

    Justice Marshall

    ''the States have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control, the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by Congress to carry into execution the powers vested in the general government. This is, we think, the unavoidable consequence of that supremacy which the Constitution has declared.''

    The Supremacy Clause also requires state legislatures to take into account policies adopted by the federal government. Two issues arise when STATE ACTION is in apparent conflict with federal law. The first is whether the congressional action falls within the powers granted to Congress. If Congress exceeded its authority, the congressional act is invalid and, despite the Supremacy Clause, has no priority over state action. The second issue is whether Congress intended its policy to supersede state policy. Congress often acts without intent to PREEMPT state policy making or with an intent to preempt state policy on a limited set of issues. Congress may intend state and federal policies to coexist.

    Supremacy Clause - Further Readings

    I don't think it's in dispute that when a law is found to be within the constitutional sphere of congressional power that the Supremacy Clause does hold sway over states that are participating in whatever legislation that congress has passed. However the key here is if the legislation is "constitutional" if it is not then the Suprmacy Clause is meaningless.
  19. Thinman
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    Not true, here's an example:

    Printz v. United States
  20. slackjawed
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    Last summer the AZ general assembly passed a measure to place on the next ballot a referendum that would make it illegal for the federal government to require any citizen of AZ to take part in any federal health plan.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the voters speak, and further what will happen afterwards.

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