“The several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government.”
For the past few days, I’ve received loads of emails urging me to get active regarding the healthcare vote – most of which had a subject line similar to: “Last Chance to Stop National Healthcare!”
Well, if you believe the only way to protect your rights is by begging federal politicians to do what you want, then these emails are certainly right. The vote went as expected, and so will the next.
So if you think marching on D.C. or calling your Representatives, or threating to “throw the bums out” in 2010 or 2012 or 20-whatever, is going to further the cause of the Constitution and your liberty – you might as well get your shackles on now. Your last chance has come and gone.
But, those of you who visit this site regularly already know that the Senate’s health care vote is far from the end of things â€“ and you also know that even when it goes into effect (which I assume some version will), itâ€™s still not the end of the road for your freedom.
The real way to resist DC is not by begging politicians and judges in Washington to allow us to exercise our rightsâ€¦itâ€™s to exercise our rights whether they want to give us â€œpermissionâ€ to or not.
Nullification â€“ state-level resistance to unconstitutional federal laws â€“ is the way forward.
When a state â€˜nullifiesâ€™ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or â€˜non-effective,â€™ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as that state is concerned.
Itâ€™s peaceful, effective, and has a long history in the American tradition. It’s been invoked in support of free speech, in opposition to war and fugitive slave laws, and more. Read more on this history here.
Regarding nullification and health care, there’s already a growing movement right now. Led by Arizona, voters in a number of states may get a chance to approve State Constitutional Amendments in 2010 that would effectively ban national health care in their states. Our sources here at the Tenth Amendment Center indicate to us that we should expect to see 20-25 states consider such legislation in 2010.
20 States resisting DC can do what calling, marching, yelling, faxing, and emailing has almost never done. Stop the feds dead in their tracks.
For example, 13 states are already defying federal marijuana prohibition, and the federal government is having such a hard time dealing with it that the Obama administration recently announced that they would no longer prioritize enforcement in states that have medical marijuana laws.
Better yet, in the last 2+ years more than 20 states have been able to effectively prevent the Real ID Act of 2005 from being implemented. How did they do that? They passed laws and resolutions refusing to comply with it. And today, it’s effectively null and void without ever being repealed by Congress or challenged in court.
While the Obama administration would like to revive it under a different name, the reality is still there â€“ with massive state-level resistance, the federal government can be pushed back inside its constitutional box. Issue by issue, law by law, the best way to change the federal government is by resisting it on a state level.
That’s nullification at work.
Over the years, wise men and women warned us that the Constitution would never enforce itself. The time is long overdue for people to start recognizing this fact, and bring that enforcement closer to home.
The bottom line? If you want to make real change; if you want to really do something for liberty and for the Constitutionâ€¦focus on local activism and your state governments.
Thomas Jefferson would be proud!
Michael Boldin is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center
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