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Nullification Crisis...2009

"What this movement is most similar to is the Nullification Crisis of 1832, when the State of South Carolina asserted that it had the right to nullify the authority of federal laws within its borders. In this case the states are not asserting anything as broad as the Doctrine of Nullification, but are merely reasserting the limits which the 10th Amendment places on federal authority, specifically as it applies to spending, the idea being that they don't have to pay for federal mandates if their legislators choose not to.

Not all of the bills fall within these limitations. Missouri's bill actually goes somewhat further and does assert the right fo the state to negate federal law, specifically in reference to the proposed federal Freedom of Choice Act, which some fear would bar states from passing laws regulating abortion. New Hampshire's bill actually goes so far as to lay out a very strongly worded variant of the Doctrine of Nullifcation, which specifies acts by the federal government (many of them currently being proposed in Congress) which would effectively negate the Constitution and the authority of the federal government within their state. Hawaii's proposed sovereignty bill comes very close to being an actual act of secession, based on native tribal rights.

As things stand right now it looks like Oklahoma, Washington, Hawaii, Missouri, Arizona, New Hampshire, Georgia, California, Michigan and Montana will all definitely consider sovereignty bills this year. They may be joined by Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Alaska, Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania where legislators have pledged to introduce similar bills. Twenty states standing up to the federal government and demanding a return to constitutional principles is a great start, but it remains to be seen whether legislatures and governors are brave enough or angry enough to follow through. As the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress push for more expansion of federal power and spending that may help provide the motivation needed for the sovereignty movement to take off."

David Upton

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Nullification Crisis...2009
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