Investigating Journalist Jon Rappoport
December 18, 2010
The US Constitution was written to establish a list of federal powers, and to reserve, for the states and the people, everything else.
In 1798, Thomas Jefferson pondered this matter, because the Congress had just passed the four Alien and Sedition Acts, which he opposed.
Jefferson maintained these Acts were illegal, because the federal government had no power to create them.
Secretly, he authored a text that became known as the Kentucky Resolution. Its opening statement pronounced two general principles: the individual states maintained all powers not specifically granted, in the Constitution, to the federal government, and the federal government was not the final judge of how far its own powers extended.
“...whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the [central] government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party [each state] has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.”
According to Jefferson and his allies, the states could nullify laws passed by the federal government, after judging them to be an exercise of illegitimate central power.
Now, in 2010, groups of Americans are resuscitating these principles. One objective is the nullification of ObamaCare. Twenty states are pursuing this course and claiming that compulsory national health insurance is a matter beyond the scope of the federal government.
Medical marijuana and gun ownership rights are two more issues in the spotlight.
But these modern nullification groups are not limiting themselves to campaigns against specific federal laws and regulations. They are enunciating the general principle of nullification.
Each state, through passage of a law, for example, can refuse to honor or obey a federal law that represents unconstitutionally taken central power.
Behind all these actions is a point about the composition of the Union. Was it meant to be a tight and uniform structure, or was it intended to be a loose federation, in which some federal laws were obeyed by some states and nullified by others?
In the current political climate, after decades of increasing federal control, it appears to many Americans that a loose federation would represent sheer chaos and unworkable government.
But is that an authentic perception, or just a nervous complaint based on habit and passive acceptance of top-heavy power?
For example, suppose California relaxed its attitude toward treatment of cancer by means other than chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, while New York maintained the stranglehold on the three big therapies? Would this be untenable? Would the union collapse overnight, or would the free market deal with the differences?
Suppose Georgia rigorously enforced all laws concerning marijuana possession, while Colorado ignored them?
Suppose Massachusetts demanded that every resident pay toward mandated health insurance, while Texas decided that health insurance was an individual choice?
Does diversity in the states amount to rebellion against all that is American, or is it just an expression of free will?
Many pundits claim that, although state nullification of federal laws is well intended, and may actually be a good idea, it would never work, because the federal government would send in agents to enforce its laws.
Really? Suppose the Texas legislature and the governor decide that ObamaCare is unconstitutional and they strike it down? And suppose federal troops are sent in? Do you think the rest of America would sit by passively, or would there be a huge outcry against Washington power, as the governor and Texas legislators are carted off to jail? I'm not talking about armed insurrection. I'm talking about 24/7 news outlets and the internet and tweets and the power of the voices of the people.
And suppose Texas didn't stand alone. Suppose 15 other states nullified ObamaCare. Would we have 15 federal-troop sorties into those states to make arrests?
Ah, but you say, none of this would ever happen. It's a fantasy. To which I reply: everything is a fantasy until it happens.
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“Hello, this is CNN State Watch, reporting on the week's results in state legislatures. After Monday's passage of the federal medical-speech law, making it a crime to oppose the administration of vaccines, twenty-two states promptly nullified the law. Here is the list of those states, headed up by Ohio, where the governor issued an executive order only hours after the president signed the legislation in the Rose Garden. The president stated that he expected a greater percentage of states to strike down the new law, and was gratified by the result. He's spending the weekend at Camp David, where he and the first family will be watching the 3-D version of Lady Gaga Goes to Mars...”
� 2010 Jon Rappoport - All Rights Reserved
Jon Rappoport has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize early in his career, Jon has published articles on medical fraud, politics, alternative health, and sports in LA Weekly, CBS Healthwatch, Spin, Stern, and other magazines and newspapers in the US and Europe.
He is the is author of several books, including The Secret Behind Secret Societies and The Magic Agent (a novel).
Jon is the author of a new course for home schoolers, LOGIC AND ANALYSIS.
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