May 19, 2010
There is a certain segment of the patriot community that consistently harps the chorus that we cannot change our system of government because the system is not the original intention of the founders of this free Republic. They chant that the system was hi-jacked and changed. My personal argument against their despairing outlook is that if the system were hi-jacked once it can be hi-jacked again … by us.
Of course, this is met with more despairing arguments such as the systems use of fraud during the election cycle and the vast amounts of money used to target the millions of malleable Americans which, even though disgusted and angry with the current state of affairs, are still unaware of the cold hard facts, the cause of these problems and the undeniable solutions.
As these disenchanted patriots move further away from the problems we face by disassociating themselves with the current form of government by use of various “paytriot” processes, there are many of us that have put on our gloves and jumped into the ring.
Through organizations like The Bill of Rights Defense Committee, The Tenth Amendment Center and the Tea Party we have been making excellent strides. These victories are not only becoming numerous but as visible as highlighted text. The writing is on the wall for the “establishment”.
Note the recent victories at the ballot box during this primary cycle:
Good Bye Arlen Specter! The fourth Democrat to lose a high profile race. And this loss comes in spite of his attempt to ride the Obama wave of popularity by changing parties in order to retain power.
Hello Rand Paul! And he is just one of many constitutionalist “Statesmen” that have joined the fray. A sound victory with more than 60% of the vote spells trouble for the status quo. The fact that Obama and his left leaning policies are not so well loved in Kentucky would make it appear to be an insurmountable task to stop Dr. Pauls march to the Senate.
As intended, there will be sweeping changes in the bodies that occupy both Houses… regardless of the money or fraud the “old guard” devotes to their efforts to retain the status quo. The “Obama” factor has become a liability as his popularity may not even be close to the numbers promoted by his adoring, boot licking media mouth pieces.
All the good news from the primary elections is just a small part of the battle. States are beginning to find their spine and are ready to stand on their own, making the hard choices and accepting the responsibility to deal with the burden and problems characteristic of those choices. Many local communities, Counties and States have passed legislation barring the enforcement of the Patriot Act, any amendments thereof and certain Executive Orders.
The ongoing efforts of the several states flexing their muscle include not only the “10th Amendment” legislation being passed in State Houses but also legislation designed to nullify the usurpation of State power by the federal government. Current nullification efforts include: Firearms Freedom Act, Medical Marijuana Laws, REAL ID, Health Care Freedom Act, Bring the Guard Home, Constitutional Tender, Cap and Trade, Federal Tax Funds Act, Sheriffs First Legislation, Federal Gun Laws, and Regulation of Intrastate Commerce.
The battle for Freedom and visible change in the political landscape continue in spite of the efforts of certain groups to bolster their numbers with insistent argument that participation in the “system” is futile. History is being made and these people will never be able to say they were a part of it. While others take to the work they stand on the sidelines believing the fairy tale that “if” they could swell their numbers they “might” be able to “apply pressure” that would bring about the desired change. (Note to those that have made this argument: After reading your argument here, doesn’t it sound a bit foolish?)
Personally, I believe these groups to be dead on regarding specific issues but totally disagree that participation in efforts to retake the government are futile. It is my belief that if the States really want to demonstrate the true extent of their power they should deny the Federal Government one of these powers. That power would be the right to issue a Passport. By reclaiming this specific right the States would be making the strongest demonstration of their Sovereignty that could possibly be made. And for those of you that do not believe the several states have the right to issue Passports I would say to you that you are ignorant of the form of government we live under. When I see a serious effort to promote the reclaiming of this rightful power by the several states begin in earnest… I will be one of the first on board.
But Please … don’t ever tell me that participation in these efforts to retake our government are an effort in futility. Join us. Fight the Good Fight.
by Michael Boldin
When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law or regulation, it is passing legally-binding legislation that makes the federal act in question void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.
Current nullification efforts around the U.S. have states passing laws that effectively defy federal laws and regulations on firearms, marijuana, identification cards and more. In 2010, we expect to see similar legislation in response to Health Care, No Child Left Behind, Federalization of the Guard and more.
The most asked question is – once such a law is passed, what next?
In the Virginia Resolution of 1798, James Madison wrote of the principle of interposition:
That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and 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.
Here Madison asserts what is implied in nullification laws – that state governments not only have the right to resist unconstitutional federal acts, but that, in order to protect liberty, they are “duty bound to interpose” or stand between the federal government and the people of the state.
[An excellent and instructive article. Ice]
by Lawrence A. Hunter Ph.D.
What Is The Federal System Of Government?
Many people mistakenly equate “Federalism” with decentralization. A federal system is certainly a decentralized system but it is also much more. The defining characteristics of federalism are:
(i) Two constitutionally established, concurrent orders or levels of government, one consisting of fundamental units of governance (called “states”), the other consisting of a national government encompassing all the people who live in the states;
(ii) The sovereign people cede limited and specific powers to the national government, reserving respectively to their states the remainder of the powers they choose to delegate to government;
(iii) Each governing order or level of government is autonomous, free of the other to act within its own realm, the only exception being that acts of the national government are supreme to those of the states when those acts come into conflict in areas where both governments’ delegated authority overlap/intersect; and
(iv) The governments at each level are accountable to their respective electorates and in certain instances to each other as provided for in the constitution.
Before the term “states’ rights” became contaminated by its identification with the efforts of some states to perpetuate slavery and later racial segregation, “states’ rights” concisely described the states’ legal and political autonomy although the term always constituted a shorthand reference to states’ constitutional and political autonomy vis-à-vis the national government as opposed to natural rights, which only individuals possess.
What Was The Purpose Of The Federal System Of Government?
To protect the rights of individuals. The Founding Fathers distrusted power in the hands of any level of government, state or national. As Thomas Jefferson’s biographer Dumas Malone pointed out, Jefferson never supported states’ rights for their own sake, “but to safeguard the freedom of individuals,” which he, along with the rest of the Founding Generation believed would suffer in a consolidated nation no matter how decentralized the administration of the consolidated government happened to be. Hence, in drafting the Kentucky Resolves for instance (see here and here), Jefferson identified the states as the primary depositories of power and the proper entities of resistance against an encroaching national government.
Although the Founding Fathers well understood that the federal form of government was no absolute bar against either state or national tyranny, they believed it to be a practical check on the national government (especially when combined with constitutional separation of powers) and at the same time a guarantee that safe havens would always exist to which people could flee from an oppressive state government. William Watkins, Jr. puts it this way: “Though some states might abuse power, Jefferson reasoned that not all would fall under the spell of tyranny. But with a consolidated and abusive national government, all would suffer the same tyranny; there would be no islands of peace.” (See The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions)
How Was The Integrity Of The Federal System Of Government To Be Preserved?
Of all people, even the great Federalist consolidator and centralizer Alexander Hamilton understood the delicate balance in the basic architecture of the U.S. Constitution. According to Hamilton in Federalist # 28, it is an “axiom in our political system that the state governments will in all possible contingencies afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.”
Hamilton went on to postulate that should the national government pose a danger, the states could “at once adopt a regular plan of opposition, in which they can combine all the resources of the community. They can readily communicate with each other in the different states; and unite their common forces for the protection of their common liberty.” In other words, the primary means of defense against a grasping and encroaching national government was to be truculent state governments that took action singly and in concert to actively defy national government actions they considered to be in violation of the Constitution.
In a federal system, no government or branch of government was to be the judge of its own cause. (As John Taylor wrote much later, “a jurisdiction limited by its own will is an unlimited jurisdiction.”) The boundaries and limits of governmental authority were to be hammered out through a perpetual struggle among the separate branches of government and between the states and the national government. Watkins again succinctly states Jefferson’s and Madison’s understanding of how the boundaries of authority in a federal system were to be delineated:
“Jefferson proclaimed in the [Kentucky] resolution that ‘each party [to the federal compact] has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measures of redress.’ For Jefferson, the people acting through their states—the authentic organs of government—were the final arbiters of constitutional interpretation. Jefferson feared that giving the federal government the exclusive power to interpret the Constitution through the Supreme Court would lead to arbitrary government.”
Please read the rest of this excellent article HERE.
Nullification in the Bluegrass State?
By Michael Boldin
View all 3 articles by Michael Boldin
Kentucky Joins Movement to Resist Abuses of Commerce Clause, 2nd Amendment
In states around the country, there’s a growing movement to address and resist two of the most abused parts of the Constitution — the Commerce Clause and the 2nd Amendment. Already being considered in a number of state legislatures, and passed as law in Montana and Tennessee this year, the Firearms Freedom Act (FFA) is a state law that seeks to do just that.
The latest to join the FFA movement? Kentucky. Pre-filed for the 2010 legislative session, HB87 seeks to “Create new sections of KRS Chapter 237, relating to firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition that are made in Kentucky, marked made in Kentucky, and used in Kentucky, to specify that these items are exempt from federal law”
While the FFA’s title focuses on federal gun regulations, it has far more to do with the 10th Amendment’s limit on the power of the federal government. The bills in state houses contain language such as the following:
“federal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in [this state] and remains in [state]. The limitation on federal law and regulation stated in this bill applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured using basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported into this state.”
Some supporters of the legislation say that a successful application of such a state-law would set a strong precedent and open the door for states to take their own positions on a wide range of activities that they see as not being authorized to the Federal Government by the Constitution.
The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.
All across the country, activists and state-legislators are pressing for similar legislation, to nullify specific federal laws within their states.
A proposed Constitutional Amendment to effectively ban national health care will go to a vote in Arizona in 2010. Fourteen states now have some form of medical marijuana laws – in direct contravention to federal laws which state that the plant is illegal in all circumstances. And, massive state nullification of the 2005 Real ID Act has rendered the law nearly void.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Supporters say the growth of such a movement is long overdue.
“For far too long elected officials and unelected bureaucrats at the federal level have passively forgotten or actively neglected the Tenth Amendment that guarantees rights not enumerated in the Constitution be left to the individual states,” said Minnesota State Rep. Tom Emmer, who introduced an FFA in his state. “The willful disregard of the Tenth Amendment in relation to a citizen’s right to bear arms isn’t the only constitutional infringement that we should be worried about, but it is one that has been singled out by the new administration.”
“Enough is enough,” urged Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers. “Our founders fought too hard to ensure states’ sovereignty and I am sick and tired of activist federal officials and judges sticking their noses where they don’t belong.”
In October, the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a lawsuit in federal court in Missoula, MT to validate the principles and terms of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA).
“We feel very strongly that the federal government has gone way too far in attempting to regulate a lot of activity that occurs only in-state,” explained MSSA President Gary Marbut. “The Montana Legislature and governor agreed with us by enacting the MFFA. It’s time for Montana and her sister states to take a stand against the bullying federal government, which the Legislature and Governor have done and we are doing with this lawsuit. We welcome the support of many other states that are stepping up to the plate with their own firearms freedom acts.”
Even the most ardent supporters suggest that the real test will come if the federal courts rule against the FFA. Will they give up at that point, or will they follow in the footsteps of medical marijuana activists around the country?
The latter faced down nearly the entire federal apparatus — federal agencies who didn’t recognize state law, countless federal raids and arrests, and a Supreme Court that ruled against their cause in 2005. Even with such stacked odds, they persisted in their state-level efforts, and today, enough states have medical marijuana laws that the federal government is unable (or unwilling) to oppose them.
Only time will tell if gun rights activists have the same courage.
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Bob Basso author of “Common Sense” plays the role of Thomas Paine to ignite the fire of change in America. Patriotism and Pride for America lead Thomas Paine to help take back America!