Plenty of books have been written about how Americans can “take their freedoms back” from the federal government. But few offer actual steps as practical as those offered by veteran and former prosecutor KrisAnne Hall in her book Sovereign Duty.
It is an easily digestible read highlighting what needs to be done moving forward in our fight for liberty. Unlike the authors of so many competing viewpoints, Hall correctly identifies not just the cause of the problems but the solutions as well – solutions that don’t involve appealing to other branches of the federal government or voting the right politicians into Congress. Hall focuses on the people themselves taking action at a state and local level.
“The solution is the same as it has always been,” she writes. “Government was never expected to maintain itself. Keeping the government in its limited capacity has always been the duty of the people.”
Hall’s book is ideal for those who have either a misunderstanding or no knowledge at all about the proper role of the federal government. One of the many myths she takes apart is the “incorrect notion that the federal government is the supreme boss over the state.”
Following a brief history of the American colonies as they declared independence as separate states – in effect nations, she then examines how those states came together and formed first a confederation, then a “more perfect Union, under the federal government. As she emphasizes, the states came first, and the states created the federal government.
Hall makes an important point: there was no mention of a central government in the Declaration of Independence. Examining the Constitutional Convention of 1787 using primary sources, she explains that the “federal government had no role in the creation of ratification of the Constitution.”
“The sovereign states ratified the Constitution on behalf of the people,” she writes.
Therefore, it makes no sense for the feds to determine their own powers. The federal government was not a party to the contract an entity created via the contract. The people of the states are the parties to the contract and therefore get to interpret the extent of the powers delegated to their creation..
“If the states are not sovereign, then the Constitution cannot legally exist and the central government cannot exist,” she writes. “For the central government to deny the states their sovereignty is for the central government to nullify its own existence.”
Concerning the Tenth Amendment, Hall makes an important distinction, noting that the word “delegated” is used to describe the powers of the federal government. This infers that the states never permanently handed over their authority to the central government. It was not a permanent grant, but a delegation of power to the general government by the Constitution.
No discussion of the Tenth Amendment would be complete without a discussion of nullification. Hall doesn’t disappoint. She cites Madison and Jefferson’s writings concerning nullifications indispensable role in restraining unconstitutional federal authority.
“The states literally and legally have the authority to deny the central government of its power or even ‘fire’ them,” she writes. “The states must refuse to recognize this unlawful use of power and declare it null and void. The states must refuse to comply and refuse to allow the federal government to enforce the stolen power.”
Hall zeros in at length on one of several ways to nullify unlawful federal decrees – through the local sheriff. She explains how their role within law enforcement as an elected official means they are directly accountable to the people within their jurisdiction. She cites various examples of how effective their unwillingness to enforce or even resist federal tyranny can be.
Other issues she touches on are the right to keep and bear arms and how British attempts to disarm the colonists sparked the War of Independence. She also examines the idea of an Article V convention, expressing deep concerns that Congress will do everything it can to manipulate and twist the results to come away with even more power than before. Federalist 49 details the heart of the problem; those who call the convention are the ones who are the reason it has been called.
Hall reinforces her case with troves of founding-era evidence. She frequently cites founders such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Patrick Henry, and George Mason to add validity to her claims. When examining the original sources, it’s difficult to dispute Hall’s conclusions.
As the book’s title states, it is the sovereignty duty of the American people to resist their government when it violates their own Constitution. Sovereign Duty is not only a fantastic resource for educating the uninformed about the true history of the United States’ creation, and the system the founders intended to leave us, it will also provide direction for those who recognize the problem, but are still looking for workable solutions.
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