Skip to content

On the Right of the People to Nullify Federal Diktats

It looks like we will have a turn to the left with more socialism if Joe Biden gets in power, which means President Kamala Harris, and probably AOC as the Speech and Thought Commissar who will distribute a long list of those the administration has determined to be “racists,” etc, i.e. anyone who disagrees with the Regime.

So this will be a time in which those who believe in the freedom and principles of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights will have to seriously consider, if not full secession and genuine independence then nullification of the further federal edicts that Biden or Harris will attempt to shove down our throats. (And this isn’t just because of the illegitimacy of their presidency given that they imposed a coup via a massive organized racketeering operation of fraud and vote tampering and fabricating.)

To get a good idea on the right and importance of nullification, I recommend Tom Woods’s book from 2010, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century. Here it is at the Mises Institute store, and Amazon.

I have quoted before from this blog post by Tom Woods and will again, in his explanation of the relationship between the states and the federal government:

If you and I give a third person (call him Person C) a limited power of attorney to help govern our affairs, and that person oversteps the boundaries outlined in the contract we signed, who gets to decide if Person C is in violation of the contract? Is it Person C himself? Or is it you and I, the people who wrote and signed the limited power of attorney in the first place? Likewise, the states, as the principals to the constitutional compact, have a far better logical claim to be the judges of constitutionality than their agent, the federal government.

In Woods’s Liberty Classroom page on nullification, he writes:

1) The states preceded the Union.  The Declaration of Independence speaks of “free and independent states” that “have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.” The British acknowledged the independence not of a single blob, but of individual states, which they proceeded to list one by one. Article II of the Articles of Confederation says the states “retain their sovereignty, freedom, and independence”; they must have enjoyed that sovereignty in the past in order for them to “retain” it in 1781 when the Articles were officially adopted.  The ratification of the Constitution was accomplished not by a single, national vote, but by the individual ratifications of the various states, each assembled in convention.

2) In the American system no government is sovereign.  The peoples of the states are the sovereigns.  It is they who apportion powers between themselves, their state governments, and the federal government.  In doing so they are not impairing their sovereignty in any way. To the contrary, they are exercising it.

3) Since the peoples of the states are the sovereigns, then when the federal government exercises a power of dubious constitutionality on a matter of great importance, it is they themselves who are the proper disputants, as they review whether their agent was intended to hold such a power.  No other arrangement makes sense.  No one asks his agent whether the agent has or should have such-and-such power.  In other words, the very nature of sovereignty, and of the American system itself, is such that the sovereigns must retain the power to restrain the agent they themselves created.  James Madison explains this clearly in the famous Virginia Report of 1800.

There is further information on that Nullification resource page. And Woods answers some of the objections to Nullification, such as the claims that it violates the Constitution’s supremacy clause, that it doesn’t appear in the Constitution, that the Supreme Court ruled against the idea, that it was used by the southern states to defend slavery, and other objections.

So of course people have the right to live their lives however they want, as long as they are peaceful. Given that the Declaration of Independence recognizes the unalienable right of each individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then of course the people of the states have a right to nullify federal diktats.

For example, healthcare. As I wrote in my June of 2011 article on disobeying dictators,

Now, by “disobeying dictators,” I am not advocating violence, but only that people live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not intrude on anyone else’s equal right to do the same with their lives. So there comes a time when civil disobedience is in order. By civil disobedience, I mean acting in defiance of government-imposed rules and dictates that have nothing to do with protecting life, liberty and property. This includes individual- or state-nullification of federal orders. I believe in the Non-Aggression Principle and oppose the use of aggression as an initiated means toward an end.

Like in the old Soviet Union, Obama’s government-controlled medical scheme will not only be harmful medically, but the increasing police state we are experiencing will be used to enforce the controls, and also will be used against individuals who show dissent from the government’s authoritarian dictates.

We The People don’t need all that, and we don’t want it. We want freedom and peace. (At least I do.)

Now, what would happen if doctor’s offices, hospitals, medical equipment manufacturers, drug and supplement makers, and insurers just decided to do their business with their consumers – honestly and peacefully, and without aggression or fraud – and totally ignore federal regulations, mandates, fees, licensure laws and other intrusions? Frankly, those intrusions’ only real purpose is to protect established physicians and businesses’ profits from prospective competitors and start-ups. (The medical establishment was already corrupt well before ObamaCare.)

The contracts involved in the relationships between doctors or other medical providers and patients, or between insurers and patients, are private contracts, and third parties such as government bureaucrats sticking their big noses into those private contracts are committing acts of criminality, of trespassing, in my opinion.

Acts of nullification are necessary for Americans to be better served in their medical needs. With freedom, the consumers would determine what is needed, not the government, and the producers would serve the consumers – quality of medical care would then rise and the prices would fall.

So I definitely recommend Tom Woods’s book on nullification, which people should send to their state legislators and even their U.S. congressmen and senators.

On the Amazon page it quotes “from the inside flap”:

Unconstitutional laws are pouring out of Washington…but we can stop them.

Just ask Thomas Jefferson. There is a “rightful remedy” to federal power grabs–it’s called Nullification.

In Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, historian and New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr. explains not only why nullification is the constitutional tool the Founders envisioned, but how it works–and has already been employed in cases ranging from upholding the First Amendment to knocking down slave laws before the Civil War. In Nullification, Woods shows:

* How the states were meant to be checks against federal tyranny–and how a growing roster of governors and state attorneys general are recognizing they need to become that again
* Why the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution reinforces the rights of states to nullify unconstitutional laws
* Why it was left to the states to uphold the simple principle that an unconstitutional law is no law at all
* Why, without nullification, ordinary Americans will continue to suffer the oppression of unjust, unconstitutional laws
* PLUS thorough documentation of how the Founding Fathers believed nullification could be applied

Nullification is not just a book–it could become a movement to restore the proper constitutional limits of the federal government. Powerful, provocative, and timely, Nullification is sure to stir debate and become a constitutional handbook for all liberty-loving Americans.

We already have a lot of federal bureaucracies and agencies which shouldn’t exist and should be abolished along with all of their regulations and fees and fines. None of them is authorized by the U.S. Constitution, and if they exist, then the people have a right to nullify them. Of course, it is helpful if such nullification is made official in state laws by the state legislatures.

Published inDecentralizationFree marketHistoryLibertarianismObamaCareSecessionU.S. ConstitutionVoluntaryism