For immediate release: May 7, 2013

Recent polling data indicates nullification has entered the mainstream.

A Rasmussen poll released Monday indicates more than one-third of Americans favor their state blocking federal gun control laws if it considers them unconstitutional. Less than half (45 percent) oppose blocking these unconstitutional violations of the Second Amendment.

Even more revealing; more people than not approve of nullification in general terms.

“On the general question of ‘nullification,’ 44 percent believe states should have the right to block any federal laws they disagree with on legal grounds. Thirty-six percent disagree and 20 are undecided,” pollsters said.

Digging into the numbers, we find even broader support for nullification where it really counts – on Main Street.

A majority of everyday politically engaged Americans support the general principle of nullification. According to the Rasmussen poll, 52 percent of mainstream voters think states should have the right to block any federal laws they disagree with on legal grounds. Where does the opposition come from? Seventy-four percent of those polled identifying with the “political class” oppose nullification.

“People are finally starting to understand and accept the concept of decentralization. Our message is mainstream now, and we have hard data to prove it,” Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center state chapter coordinator Lesley Swann said.

Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey called the poll results “pretty amazing.”

“Think about it. Even with constant demonization of nullification in the media, a majority of everyday Americans believe the states should step in and block unconstitutional acts. And the pollsters used the word ‘block,’” he said. “It’s the politicians and pundits – the so-called political class – who opposes it. Hardly shocking, since the whole idea of decentralization threatens their grip on power.”

The poll does reveal some partisan division. A majority of Republicans support state efforts to block infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, and believe state and local government should take the lead in regulating firearms. Democrats generally oppose the idea and want the feds to control guns. But Maharrey points out Democrats support decentralization and nullification efforts when it comes to other issues.

“We’ve enjoyed strong support from the left when it comes to blocking indefinite detention under the NDAA. And a Pew Research poll shows 59 percent of Democrats think the feds should back off enforcing federal drug laws in states with legalized marijuana. That’s nullification at work,” he said. “Americans across the political spectrum intuitively embrace decentralization. They distrust monopolies. Nullification breaks up government power monopolies, and Americans are realizing that’s a pretty darn good idea.”

For more analysis of the poll results, click HERE.


Contact: Mike Maharrey
Communications director
O: 213.935.0553

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.

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