Wheels are turning.
Whenever Real Americans are forced to rely on Republicants *spit* to do anything, Real Americans have cause to worry. Perhaps Dakota ‘Pubbies are cut from a different and sturdier cloth. We’ll see, I suppose.
As the federal government in 1798 teetered dangerously close to what James Madison considered a vast misuse of its powers under the Constitution, he authored the Virginia Resolution.
The resolution affirmed that “in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”
More than 220 years later, North Dakota legislators — alarmed by the deluge of executive decrees from the Biden White House — are considering legislation to push back against the flood.
House Bill 1282, introduced recently by Republican state Rep. Sebastian Ertelt, creates what legislators are calling a committee on nullification.
I can find no fault with the specifics of the bill as it currently stands:
“Upon receipt of federal legislation, regulation, or an executive order, for consideration and process, the committee shall recommend whether to nullify in its entirety a specific federal law, regulation, or executive order. In making its recommendation, the committee shall consider whether the legislation, regulation, or executive order is outside the scope of the powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States,” the bill reads.
“The committee may review all existing federal statutes, regulations, and executive orders enacted before the effective date of this section for the purpose of determining constitutionality and shall recommend whether to nullify in its entirety a specific federal statute, regulation, or executive order,” the bill said.
If passed, the State Legislature ostensibly would decide if the edict becomes the law in North Dakota.
“If the legislative assembly approves the concurrent resolution by a simple majority to nullify a federal statute, regulation, or executive order based on constitutionality, the state and the citizens of the state may not recognize or be obligated to abide by the federal law or executive order,” the bill reads.
A companion piece of legislation, House Bill 1164, takes aims at presidential executive orders.
Daniel Horowitz takes a closer look.
This is the key to thwarting a wholesale slide into national despotism and ensuring that there are some places for Americans to go and enjoy the blessings of liberty. The question is whether leaders in those legislative chambers as well as Gov. Doug Burgum will pick up the mantle, not to mention Republicans in other states.
The list of issues covered under the bill are:
- Pandemics or other health emergencies.
- The regulation of natural resources, including coal and oil.
- The regulation of the agriculture industry.
- The use of land.
- The regulation of the financial sector as it relates to environmental, social, or governance standards.
- The regulation of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Thus, an easy first candidate for such legislation is Biden’s recent mask mandate, which unconstitutionally prohibits humans breathing without cloths on their mouths and noses inside any public transportation, including in-state ride-shares and taxis. The CDC created an entire criminal offense for something that never passed Congress.
These bills should serve as a model for all 31 GOP-controlled legislatures, especially in the 23 states where there are also Republican governors. I hear so many conservatives acting despondent and either resigned to tyranny or calling for secession or even a civil war. But the solution implied in these bills would keep the union loosely intact while peacefully maintaining a constitutional sanctuary for those who still value constitutional freedoms. This is the best way to peacefully and gradually separate blue and red America into their respective cultural, economic, and governing choices so we can live together more agreeably as a federal union.
Seems so to me, yeah. In fact, I think it’s the only possible way of doing it peacefully. Forlorn though the hope may be, we owe it to ourselves and our posterity to try.
Let’s be very clear: The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution subordinates states to follow only laws that are pursuant to the Constitution on issues that were given over to the federal government to determine. However, if the federal government blatantly violates the Constitution, especially in a way that harms individual liberty, even Alexander Hamilton, the great supporter of a powerful national government, said that states should ignore it. “It will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the large society which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land,” wrote Hamilton in Federalist #33. “These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such.”
Well, if it was good enough for Hamilton, it should be good enough for states with strong Republican majorities in the legislature.
It damned sure should. Ahh, but is this nullification ball rolling only in North Dakota, you ask? By no means, says I.
“Unite the country” may be the three scariest words coming out of Washington, D.C. right now. Conform or be crushed is what they mean. Thankfully, Second Amendment sanctuary state efforts are drawing bold lines against federal encroachment.
Missouri is close to nullifying federal gun control within its borders. On Tuesday, the Missouri House overwhelmingly passed the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which prohibits public officers, state employees, and political subdivisions from enforcing federal acts, laws, executive orders, court orders, and other edicts that transgress the right to bear arms.
Just like so many states took their own side on policy questions involving marijuana prohibition, civil asset forfeiture, and illegal immigration, many will also follow Missouri’s lead on gun control.
In addition to Missouri, other versions of the Second Amendment Preservation Act are currently under consideration in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Wyoming, to say nothing of dozens of local resolutions and ordinances. County sheriffs are doing their part as well.
Good on ’em, one and all. Hopefully this is only the beginning of a steadily burgeoning trend, the little snowball that grows into an unstoppable avalanche. As I said: we shall see. As for Phony Joe’s phony “unity”:
The “more perfect union” envisioned by the U.S. Constitution took as essential the delimiting of powers not just between the branches of the federal government, but the states and the federal government as well. How off-balance that sharing of powers has become.
Don’t expect Congress, the president, or even the Supreme Court to undo more than a century of federal overreach. It’s going to take serious disruption to return to the spirit and letter of the 10th Amendment, which rounds out the Bill of Rights to say: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Enforcing that cornerstone of the Constitution must be done locally. Recent history proves this most clearly in the case of nullifying federal marijuana prohibition. Persistent non-compliance ultimately renders the feds impotent.
Stiff resistance from FederalGovCo to this encouraging trend can be expected, of any and every sort our would-be masters can conjure. Nice thing is, though, the DC despots only have so many cops, troops, and various other tyranny-enforcers at their beck and call. As muscular as the Deep State is, they may well find the American Resistance too numerous, too resolute, to be easily crushed.
At the end of the day, the outcome is likely to come down to the will of the American patriot—to his determination to throw off the strangling yoke of tyranny and live free. Which is only meet, and just. How wonderfully fitting is it that the path to restoration of liberty and Constitutionally-correct governance might run along the very ideals of decentralization and local control our Founders commended to us?