Naomi Wolf & Bruce Fein are two of the big names participating in tomorrow’s NDAA press conference hosted by a new coalition of left, right and center.
Hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
by Rob Natelson
May 22, 2010
It is a document designed to protect our freedom by imposing law on those who wield political power. Without such law, Americans would be under the constant threat of tyranny.
The word “constitution” did not always refer to a particular document. The word is based on the Latin verb constituere, which means to arrange or decide. In its original English sense, a “constitution” was how a political system was set up. People spoke (and sometimes still speak) of the unwritten and evolving “constitutions” of Britain and of the ancient Roman republic.
As I explain in The Original Constitution, the American Founders acknowledged a huge debt to the British and Roman traditions, but they consciously rejected the British and Roman approach to constitutions. Specifically, they rejected the “evolutionary” and “unwritten” constitutional idea in favor of a written document that would lay out the rules in an clear and organized fashion.
There were only a few precedents for this approach: Sweden’s “Instrument of Government” was probably the first. Under Oliver Cromwell (1649-58), the English adopted a short-lived “Instrument of Government,” and then a short-lived “Humble Petition and Advice.” The name of the latter English constitution suggests how little those documents tempered Cromwell’s autocracy.
by: Michael Boldin
hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
March 25, 2010
Governor Gary Herbert has made Utah the third state to pass the “Health Care Freedom Act” into law. House Bill 67 (HB67) was introduced by Rep. Carl Wimmer and passed the House and Senate by votes of 53-20 and 22-7, respectively.
The bill “prohibits a state agency or department from implementing federal health care reform passed by the United States Congress after March 1, 2010, unless a state agency reports to the Legislature regarding costs and impact on state reform efforts.” It authorizes the state legislature to specifically approve or deny implementation of federal health care legislation.
In short, it requires the state “to opt out of federal reform when the state determines that opting out is in the best interest of the citizens of the state.”
Governor Otter of Idaho signed similar legislation last week, and issued the following statement:
“Congress and the White House are working out their scheme for pushing through a healthcare ‘reform’ bill that has more pages than the U.S. Constitution has words. I guarantee you that not a single member of the House or Senate has a complete understanding of that legislation any more than they understood all the implications of the USA PATRIOT Act back in 2001,” Governor Otter said. “What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won’t be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control.”
Yesterday, Governor McDonnell signed the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, which passed the legislature there last month.
More than 2 dozen other states are considering similar legislation or state constitutional amendments to do the same. Many legislators and governors are calling for a federal lawsuit to affirm the principles of the state laws. But some constitutional scholars, including famed legal theorist Randy Barnett, have indicated that decades of precedent from the supreme court makes such legal challenges difficult, at best.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
by Brian Roberts
hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
March 21, 2010
The federal government takeover of the health care industry and your loss of medical freedom only lacks a Presidential signature to become a federal law. We the people know that this cannot stand if America is to remain a free country. Keep your head up, it is time to invoke the 10th and kill this bill and the others soon to follow once and for all.
“Medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism” and “The goal of socialism is communism.”
Thomas Jefferson said:
“Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force”
Ignore Washington D.C.
They are ignoring you, return the favor. In his speech on Saturday, Obama referred to you as “astroturf”. In political terminology that insinuates that you were paid for your phone calls and someone picked up your travel expenses and bought your dinner for your troubles. That’s one way they ignore you. Another way they ignore you is to use an unscrupulous process to pass an unconstitutional health care bill that changes the foundation of your country overnight.
“If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, warned the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions’ authors (James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power.”
–Thomas E. Woods
The 10th Amendment Movement is an effort to push back against unconstitutional federal laws and regulations on a state level. The principle is known as “nullification,” and was advised by many prominent founders.
Current Nullification Efforts:
- 10th Amendment Resolutions
- 10th Amendment Bills
- Firearms Freedom Act
- Medical Marijuana Laws
- REAL ID
- Health Care
- Bring the Guard Home
- Constitutional Tender
- Cap and Trade
- Federal Tax Funds Act
- Sheriffs First Legislation
- Federal Gun Laws
- Regulation of Intrastate Commerce
Potential Future Efforts:
- Patriot Act
- No Child Left Behind
- State-Initiated Constitutional Amendments
History of Nullification: While the media generally portrays nullification as being solely aligned with the efforts of the nullifiers of the South and the Civil War, this is certainly false, and reeks of misinformation. Nullification has a long history in the American tradition and has been invoked in support of free speech, in opposition to war and fugitive slave laws, and more. Read more on this history here.
10th Amendment Resolutions
These non-binding resolutions, often called “state sovereignty resolutions” do no carry the force of law. Instead, they are intended to be a statement of the legislature of the state. They play an important role, however. If you owned an apartment building and had a tenant not paying rent, you wouldn’t show up with an empty truck to kick them out without first serving notice. That’s how we view these Resolutions – as serving “notice and demand” to the Federal Government to “cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers.” Follow-up, of course, is a must.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT 10TH AMENDMENT RESOLUTIONS
by Michael Boldin
The following is based off a speech I gave at the first annual Tenth Amendment Summit in Atlanta, GA on February 26, 2010.
How can a “crazy” Californian and a “conservative” Georgian be friends? It’s simple – through the principles of ’98. In 1798, the John Adams administration signed into law that Alien and Sedition Acts, which made it a crime to publish “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” against the government or its officials. In practice, it was used to quell the freedom of speech in dissent against the sitting administration.
In the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, Thomas Jefferson responded:
“the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government”
But wait – that’s not all. He went on to say that all undelegated powers exercised by the federal government are “unathoritative, void and of no force.” And, that a “nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”
There’s been plenty of people talking about nullification lately, but many people don’t know what it really means. I can think of no better way to define it than how my friend Derek Sheriff from the Arizona Tenth Amendment Center has done:
Nullification is not secession or insurrection, but neither is it unconditional or unlimited submission. Nullification is not something that requires any decision, statement or action from any branch of the federal government. Nullification is not the result of obtaining a favorable court ruling. Nullification is not the petitioning of the federal government to start doing or to stop doing anything. Nullification doesn’t depend on any federal law being repealed. Nullification does not require permission from any person or institution outside of one’s own state.
Nullification is something that’s already happening around the country – and Derek explains the process:
Nullification begins with a decision made in your state legislature to resist a federal law deemed to be unconstitutional. It usually involves a bill, which is passed by both houses and is signed by your governor. In some cases, it might be approved by the voters of your state directly, in a referendum. It may change your state’s statutory law or it might even amend your state constitution. It is a refusal on the part of your state government to cooperate with, or enforce any federal law it deems to be unconstitutional.
Hat tip: Utah Tenth Amendment Center
Written by: Gary Wood
27. Feb, 2010
Sen. Margaret Dayton (R-Orem) introduced SB-11, Utah State-Made Firearms Protection Act on January 25th, 2010. By February 16th the legislative debates were over and the bill was passed by both houses and sent to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature. After 10 days of public debate, with both sides of the issue encouraging action Gov. Herbert signed this fundamental legislation into law.
In a written statement Gov. Herbert explained his reasoning. “There are times when the state needs to push back against continued encroachment from the federal government. Sending the message that we will stand up for a proper balance between the state and federal government is a good thing.” Opponents will spend the next several days declaring their stance and criticizing his decision. At the same time the federal government will realize Utah has joined with Montana and Tennessee as states serious about the need for our federalist republic to be restored.
Our federal government is to be supreme in all matters pursuant to the U.S. Constitution. The improper precedents and usurpations under the federal judicial rulings surrounding Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (known as the Commerce Clause) are not supreme simply due to the fact they are outside the original meaning. By signing SB-11 Gov. Herbert places Utah in a position of proper authority while pressing the issue of supremacy back into the courts. As more states join this courageous move governing can begin the necessary restoration that will ultimately lead to the protection of people’s rights and responsibility.
Alabama Governor Bob Riley has signed Senate Joint Resolution 27 (SJR27), sponsored by State Senator Scott Beason.
The resolution claims sovereignty for the state “under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.”
In the past year, seven other states have passed similar resolutions, and Alabama joins Alaska and Tennessee as the third to have such a resolution signed by the Governor. In 2009, Sarah Palin and Phil Bredesen signed sovereignty resolutions for their states.
by Derek Sheriff
Last December, when Tennessee Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mount Juliet, said she would introduce legislation which would declare null and void any federal law the state deems unconstitutional, some people were horrified. Rep. Lynn was specifically targeting the health-care reform legislation that was pending at that time. But the reaction that many people had to her language was not an expression of their support for Obamacare.
Too many Americans hear the terms “states’ rights” or the word “nullification” and immediately think of racial prejudice, Jim Crow laws and school segregation. Honestly, if all I had to rely on was what I remember being taught in public school, I would probably tell you the history of it all went like this:
The theory of nullification was first invented in the 1800s’ by advocates of slavery. They used nullification of tariffs as a test run in the 1820s. Of course, what they really had in mind was maintaining the institution of slavery against any possible attempt by the federal government to abolish it. Then America fought the Civil War in order to end slavery, but the ideas of states’ rights and nullification were later revived in the 1950s’ by belligerent white southerners in an attempt to block the racial integration of schools. The Civil Rights Movement started and the feds had to step in and force the southern states to treat everyone equally. THE END.
That’s a rough, abbreviated version of the narrative that was handed to me, but it gives you an idea of what many Americans think they know about states’ rights and nullification. Fortunately, thanks to people like Tom Woods, Thomas DiLorenzo, and many others, I know today that this was a gross misrepresentation of the classical liberal states’ rights tradition. Then again, (and it’s not my intention to be prideful here), I’m not like most Americans. And If you’re reading this, you probably aren’t either.