While James Madison wrote the most specific and complete set of instructions on how to stop the federal government without going to the federal government, he was far from the only founder to talk about states as a check on federal power. A little-known Founder from Massachusetts made the case, just like James Madison did,…Details
A common complaint among detractors of nullification is that, as they see it, “James Madison was the author of the Constitution and since he didn’t include nullification in the document, it can’t be done.”Details
The common understanding of the famous Marbury v. Madison case is that it established the authority of the Supreme Court to determine what the Constitution says. From there, it’s held that the Court gets to determine the limitations placed on the federal government as well as the states. In short, the rest of the federal government, and the states, are bound by what the Supreme Court decides.Details
One of the key arguments made by constitutional nationalists is that the Constitution provides that “We the People of the United States . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution.” The idea is that a single people throughout the country as a whole established the Constitution and therefore sovereignty resides at the national level in that people.Details
When opponents of nullification fail to associate it with slavery and segregation, they turn to taking quotes of its proponents out of context, such as claiming Madison later opposed it in his famous Notes on Nullification.
“Let him be considered as a criminal by the general government, yet only his own fellow-citizens can convict him”Details
Barely 8 months before he died, Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Virginia politician William Giles about the threat posed by the usurpation of states rights by a growing federal power. He identifies federal powers claimed under the commerce and general welfare clauses as especially dangerous.Details
In response to federal overreach, most people tend to focus on three types of actions to stop them: elections, conventions, and lawsuits. While they all have their place in an overall strategy to defend the Constitution, none of them should be the first step forward. That is, if you follow the advice of the “Father…Details