For Immediate Release: Dec. 6, 2011
Contact: Mike Maharrey Communications Director
State sovereignty, nullification spotlighted during presidential forum
Republican presidential hopefuls shared the spotlight with the Tenth Amendment, state sovereignty issues and the principles of nullification during Saturday’s Republican Presidential Forum hosted by Mike Huckabee.
“The emphasis you saw placed on limiting the powers of the federal government during the forum reflects an awakening we’re seeing across America,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “People are concerned about the growing power and intrusiveness of the federal government – from the whole health care issue to concerns that the government is disregarding our civil liberties in the name of security. People are recognizing we need to return to the proper balance of power between the state and federal government intended by the founders.”
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt asked Rick Santorum why he thought the founders created a separation of power between the state and federal governments.
“There was a clear intent that the federal government would be very limited and that the states would have, in fact, sort of a belt and suspenders ability to keep power at the state level, which of course, would also mean that it would be closer to the people, and the people would have more control to be able to keep that power,” Santorum said.
When Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi asked if he thought the courts were the ultimate and only arbiter of the Constitution, the former Pennsylvania senator answered emphatically.
Rep. Ron Paul called for a fresh look at nullification, a principle first articulated by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, whereby states effectively declare null and void unconstitutional acts.
“We realize it’s such a mess because we’ve turned the Constitution on its head. Today, the federal government is very big and the states are very little, and it is a consequence of our carelessness with the Constitution,” Paul said. “This would reverse the trend and this would stop the usurpation of all the powers and privileges from the states to the federal government. “
The Tenth Amendment Center exists to promote and advance a return to a proper balance of power between federal and State governments envisioned by our founders, prescribed by the Constitution and explicitly declared in the Tenth Amendment. A national think tank based in Los Angeles, the Tenth Amendment Center works to preserve and protect the principle of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism.