The States’ Rights Tradition Nobody Knows

In 1798, the legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky approved resolutions that affirmed the states’ right to resist federal encroachments on their powers. If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, warned the resolutions’ authors (James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power. The Virginia Resolutions spoke of the states’ right to “interpose” between the federal government and the people of the state; the Kentucky Resolutions (in a 1799 follow-up to the original resolutions) used the term “nullification” – the states, they said, could nullify unconstitutional federal laws.

These ideas became known as the “Principles of ’98.” Their subsequent impact on American history, according to the standard narrative, was pretty much confined to South Carolina’s nullification of the tariffs of 1828 and 1832. That is demonstrably false, as I shall show below. But it isn’t just that these ideas are neglected in the usual telling; as I discovered not long ago, these principles are positively despised by neoconservatives like Max Boot and the leftists at the New York Times (or do I repeat myself?). Neither one, in their reviews of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, so much as mentioned Jefferson’s name in connection with the Principles of ’98. It is hard to view such an omission as anything but deliberate. To mention Jefferson’s name is to lend legitimacy to ideas that nationalists of left and right alike detest, so they simply leave him out of the picture.

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U.S. to yield marijuana jurisdiction to states?

by Bob Egelko, SF Chronicle

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is sending strong signals that President Obama – who as a candidate said states should be allowed to make their own rules on medical marijuana – will end raids on pot dispensaries in California.

Asked at a Washington news conference Wednesday about Drug Enforcement Administration raids in California since Obama took office last month, Holder said the administration has changed its policy.

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Serving Notice in New Mexico

New Mexico state representative Dennis Roch has introduced House Joint Resolution 27 to call on the Federal Government to “cease and desist” actions that go beyond the scope of powers authorized to it by the Constitution – and reserved to the States and the People by the 10th Amendment.

“A Joint Resolution claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over certain powers; Serving Notice to the Federal Government to Cease and Desist certain mandates; Providing that certain Federal Legislation be prohibited or repealed.”

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Reasserting Sovereignty in South Dakota

Legislators in South Dakota have introduced House Concurrent Resolution 1013  (h/t R Rivers):

“A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION,  Reasserting sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over certain powers and serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates.”

Although just introduced, this resolution seems to have quite a bit of legislative support – with nearly 43 Representatives and 17 Senators Signing on.

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Why Georgia Should Declare Sovereignty

by Justin D. Lowry, Georgia Conservative Weekly

There comes a time in a nation’s course when the citizenry must question its government’s intentions. When we elect our officials, we hire them for their term; therefore, as they represent us, they should listen to us. There is a problem with a citizenry that allows its government to do their thinking for them. There is also a problem with a government that believes it knows what is best for the citizenry.

This government has the belief that the populace is too stupid, lazy, or indifferent to take care of themselves. The populace has a belief that since they elected them, they know better than they do, thus should take care of them. A free people cannot be free with both of these beliefs.

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