A few days ago, The Heritage Foundation published its “New Year’s Resolutions for Conservatives.” Near the top of the list: “Resist the Nullification Temptation.”

David Azerrad writes:

… please don’t start talking about nullification as the magical silver bullet that other conservatives somehow overlooked in their efforts to repeal Obamacare (or any other unconstitutional law, for that matter).

Heritage trots out an anti-nullification piece about every six months, so this doesn’t come as any kind of shock or surprise. I’ve dealt with their arguments before. You can read my response to a Heritage piece on North Dakota’s nullification efforts last spring here. You can also read Dr. Tom Woods’ refutation of the Heritage position here.

I understand where the folks at Heritage come from. Nullification doesn’t fit in with their “Hamilton-Lincoln” view of the United States. But I remain perplexed every time self-proclaimed conservatives come out against nullification, particularly when it comes to the Federal health care act.

They scream at the top of their lungs that “Obamacare” fails the Constitutionality test, yet they refuse to accept the one surefire way to block its implementation.

So, exactly what recourse do American citizens have to resist Federal usurpation of power?

Well, good news! I’m left to wonder no more. Heritage reveals the powerful remedy at hand!

“Are you unhappy with the constitutional abomination called Obamacare? Do you think that Congress has no power to compel you to purchase health insurance?” David Azerrad asks. “Good. Now encourage the repeal of the law, or wait and see what mood Justice Anthony Kennedy will be in next June when the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of Obamacare.”


That’s it?

We hope Kennedy gets a good cup of coffee the morning the justices consider the case? We rest the fate of our liberty on the off chance that the Supreme Court will hand down a verdict overturning an act of Congress, something it almost never does?

Failing that, perhaps we can channel the French knights of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” fame and “taunt them a second time.” Or maybe consult a medium, burn some incense and utter some ancient incantations.

Yeah, that’ll do it.

Azerrad reveals the feckless and lame position Heritage creates for itself with its rejection of nullification. In essence, he admits that the Federal government can do whatever it wants, and Americans have no recourse other than beg and plead with their Federal overlords.

“Don’t do that, pretty please. With sugar on top.”

How’s that been working? Not so good? Nope not at all.

And if the Supreme Court rules the act Constitutional and Congress refuses to repeal it (no indication exists that it ever will), what then? Presumably, we just take it. Because, after all, the Federal government reigns supreme over the universe, according to their line of thinking.

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Do we really accept that the Founders, who had just fought a bloody war to free themselves from British rule, really intended the Federal government to wield absolute power and to serve as the judge of its own powers?


Earlier this week, I wrote a response to an Idaho newspaper op-ed making an argument similar to Heritage’s. Don’t nullify. Wait and see what the Court decides — and then live with it. That’s always the course we’re told to take.

I let Thomas Jefferson make my case to the people of Idaho — and every other State in the country for that matter, too. His words bear repeating here.

…the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government… whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force… the Government created by this compact (the Constitution) was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the constitution, the measure of its powers; but that as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common Judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.

Thomas Jefferson called nullification the “rightful remedy.” It’s time Americans quit wasting time begging the Feds and just stand up and say, “No!”

Mike Maharrey

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