Regardless of what edicts President Obama dictates, the states still have the power not enforce them. This pits the states against the Federal government, but some states (Wyoming, for example) have already stated they will not go along with the tyranny and unconstitutional behavior of our dictator/president. What will other freedom minded states (like Texas) do? Is this going to be a way out of the crushing laws, regulations and oppression coming from Washington? Only time will tell.
We approaching a constitutional crisis, and did Thomas Jefferson and James Madison give us the means to deal with it?
First, the crisis. It is clear that there are those in public office who favor modest to total disarmament of US citizens under the guise of protecting us and making us safer. Cooperation by military and law enforcement personnel in implementing a gun ban is unlikely, so perhaps firearms confiscation would be carried out by armed and unaccountable federal agencies which have already been buying and stockpiling ammunition, sometimes in huge quantities (liberals tell us when we have “too much” ammo, have any of them thought of telling that to the Social Security Administration?). Wyoming is entertaining nullification of any new gun bans, and at the same time leading by example as a state government resisting federal encroachment.
There is precedent for this with the Virginia Resolutions drafted by James Madison and the Kentucky Resolutions drafted by Thomas Jefferson. No less than the author of much of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights along with the author of the Declaration of Independence argue that states do have the right to nullify federal laws as a check on federal power. After all, the 10th Amendment is irrelevant without a means to enforce it.
The background of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions is the direct assault on liberty and the First Amendment by the Federalist Party. The Federalists empowered themselves to deport legal aliens in the Alien Act and criminalized free speech in the Sedition Act (and provided a convenient expiration date so it couldn’t be used against Federalists after the next election cycle).
In principle, Jefferson argues from the First Kentucky Resolution…
“That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force”
And by way of warning, Jefferson argues in his usual elevated style that the danger of a too powerful federal government is that…
…the general government may place any act they think proper on the list of crimes and punish it themselves whether enumerated or not enumerated by the constitution as cognizable by them: that they may transfer its cognizance to the President, or any other person, who may himself be the accuser, counsel, judge and jury, whose suspicions may be the evidence, his order the sentence, his officer the executioner, and his breast the sole record of the transaction: that a very numerous and valuable description of the inhabitants of these States being, by this precedent, reduced, as outlaws, to the absolute dominion of one man, and the barrier of the Constitution thus swept away from us all…(The very definition of NDAA)
In the Virginia Resolution, Madison warned an unchecked federal government would eventually…
…consolidate the states by degrees, into one sovereignty, the obvious tendency and inevitable consequence of which would be, to transform the present republican system of the United States, into an absolute, or at best a mixed monarchy.
In the Second Kentucky Resolution, Jefferson proposed the remedy to overreaches of federal power saying…
That the several states who formed that instrument*, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy:
So in dealing with the Alien and Sedition Acts of the late 18th Century, Jefferson and Madison argued that…
1. The federal government ought to be limited.
2. The federal government tends to exceed its constitutional limits.
3. The best check on excessive federal power is nullification of federal laws by state legislatures.
In our day, we are witnessing the culmination of nearly 150 years of expanding federal power which threatens what’s left of our diminishing liberties. Federal agencies have within themselves the self assumed authority to make policies, to determine that citizens are in violation of those policies, and to execute penalties upon citizens for non-compliance. In short, they assume the roles of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of governments without separation of power, and without accountability.
Let’s encourage our state legislators to likewise nullify federal law that no longer protects our liberties but openly violates them – especially as we’re dealing with the right to self defense. Federal power ought to be regarded with healthy suspicion, and the states are our last line of defense. Or, as Jefferson put it…
…free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions…
“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void”, Chief Justice Marshall, Marbury vs. Madison, 5, U.S. (1 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803).
Premier Hussein can attempt to circumvent the Constitution, but nobody is bound by any unconstitutional law, and there is always the problem of how anyone goes about enforcing such a law.
Even the proposal to require background checks on private gun sales in unenforceable because of that silly little word “private”.
No matter what, any unconstitutional EO Premier Hussein inflicts will not survive his presidency.