Monthly Archives: September 2013

True Diversity is the Genesis of American Exceptionalism

Frequently I proclaim to others, the more I learn and know the more I realize how little I know.  This truism shines brightly in my journey through life.  As an advocate for rightful liberty and the unalienable rights of all I encounter bigotry, ignorance, and selfishness on a daily basis.  Often these behaviors are clothed in self-righteous slogans and political group-think wielding the power of the State to the detriment of individuals and subsequently society as a whole.

Diversity is inherent in every human being.  More often than not diversity is confined to physical characteristics.   All are natural and uncontrollable.  True diversity is much broader and encompasses many other aspects of life; diversity of talent; diversity of thought, diversity of interests, diversity of customs and traditions, and diversity of outcomes.

What we have in common with each other is DNA.  We are of the same species.  However, being of the same species does not imply uniformity in how we live our lives.  What truly distinguishes one person from another is diversity in thoughts, interests, talents, and customs and traditions.  Consequently, these factors result in a diversity of outcomes.

Diversity of thought is uniquely individual.  Throughout history diversity in thought on important issues and subjects has been advantageous to mankind.  New or novel thoughts challenge the status quo.  New thought promulgates debate and discussion and through persuasion produces a change in peoples’ beliefs.  More often than not new thoughts are uncomfortable as they challenge the prevailing orthodoxy as well as our customs and traditions.  Throughout history people have abandoned what they once believed to embrace something new.  The Age of Enlightenment is just one example.

Likewise, not all new thoughts are beneficial, especially those imposed by force upon others.   The idea of uniformity in thought is perverse and regressive.  When Lenin and Stalin imposed secular thought and so-called government righteousness upon the masses the people were forced by government violence to accept uniformity of thought or be persecuted.  Christian heretics were pronounced by the Church as worthy of scorn and derision often resulting in physical punishment or death.

Today, diversity in thought is shunned and ostracized.  Political thought outside of Hillary Clinton on one side and Mitch McConnell on the other side is met with intolerance and bigotry.  Adults act like elementary school children by calling others names like extremist, racist, or terrorist.  The same people unleash personal attacks, blatantly lie, and purposely manipulate and evade the truth or real discussion.   Due to the lack of diversity in political thought people believe government is omnipotent and transcendent.  Blissful ignorance and group-think characterizes modern political thought as people blindly follow political parties and elevate self-professed political saviors to pedestals where they are led over a cliff, plummeting to their death as they sing the praises of their leaders.  Votes are blindly cast based on whether the letter “D” or “R” follows a name.

To ensure uniformity and conformity by the masses the people must be persuaded to worship government and bow down to their leaders.  This can be accomplished by force or persuasion.  The latter is the preferred method  and the delivery mechanism for this persuasion is the education system.  The latest debacle is the Common Core Standards implemented through a federal program called Race to the Top.

The entire purpose of the education system is to promote authoritarianism and nationalism, and mold children into useful cogs that would conform to societal standards and fit into the workplace.  John Dewey, often called the father of the modern education system, goal was “to turn public schools into indoctrination centers to develop a socialized population that could adapt to an egalitarian state operated by an intellectual elite”.  After a few generations of public education most people conform with and submit to complete government authority in all aspects of their lives.  People willingly bind themselves with government shackles because that is precisely what they were taught in school – to submit to and obey the government.

Those that have the audacity to question the education system or government authority are submitted to the behavior I described earlier.  In some cases people are arrested for simply asking school board members questions about Common Core Standards.  The treatment is even worse when questioning so-called government authority.

Diversity of interests is uniquely individual.  Self-interest should not be conflated with selfishness.  Self-interest in a free society embodies certain principles such as rightful liberty and personal responsibility.  In pursuit of our own self-interest we cannot violate the rightful liberty of others.  Rightful liberty is the unobstructed action according to our own will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.  Naturally, the pursuit of your interests not only implies but requires personal responsibility for the consequences of those pursuits.

Furthermore, diverse interests and the pursuit thereof, means everyone recognizes they cannot satisfy their own needs and interests without others in society.  That is not to say others are coerced to assist you in your pursuits or if the outcomes are less than desirable.  It means you utilize your talents and abilities in a manner you freely choose in pursuit of your happiness.   It is self-evident each person cannot produce on their own all the things they need and want.  Accordingly, people freely engage in trade with others to their mutual benefit.

Diversity in custom and traditions can be beneficial and detrimental.  There was a time when slavery was commonplace throughout the world.   Several dozen countries were engaged in the slave trade and/or slavery.   Today, all reasonable people agree the custom or tradition of slavery is vile and abhorrent.  However, hundreds of years ago slavery was accepted practice and very few challenged it.  All countries, with the exception of one, abolished slavery peacefully.

Likewise, the ideals set forth by the founders and the framers were unique at that time.  They cast aside the custom and tradition that certain men had either the divine or hereditary right to rule.  They recognized that all men are created equal and no one man possesses a divine or hereditary right to rule over others.  They recognized man is endowed with certain unalienable rights and every man inherently possesses these rights by his mere existence, and those rights are not granted by men to other men.  They recognized the only legitimate form of government is one that has the consent of the people and the people are the sovereigns.  They recognized human nature and the tendency for man to succumb to avarice and ambition.  They recognized the tendency for man to consolidate power to the detriment of individuals, freedom, and liberty.  As a result a new government was instituted upon these self-evident truths.

Their accomplishments did not happen magically.  Diversity of thought produced these new ideals for governance and mankind.  It was the result of diversity of thought and casting aside certain traditions that were hundreds of years old.  At the time, many people were indifferent or against such change.  Intolerance to new thoughts and stubbornly holding to certain traditions obstructs reasonable discourse, promotes bigotry, and fastens people to their own fractious and persistent ignorance.

Diversity of outcomes is the product of the diversity of talents, diversity of thought, diversity of interests, and the diversity of customs and traditions.   Undeniably, every person is of the same species just as ever person is not the same.   Millions of various inputs create even more distinct outcomes.   Those outcomes encompass success and failure, positives and negatives, leaders and followers, selflessness and selfishness, knowledge and ignorance, freedom and slavery, and virtue and vice.

Undoubtedly the number of outcomes is nearly unlimited.  Individuals, and our society, cannot be judged by outcomes alone as that promotes an end justifies the means mentality.   Character and virtue matter immensely.   What man produces as a result of pursuing his interests and using his physical and intellectual abilities matters.   A new chemical that provides a benefit to society may also be used to kill people.  The development of nuclear energy to provide electricity to society may also be used to develop weapons capable of killing millions.  A person that becomes wealthy by inventing a product others want is very different from the man that acquires wealth by stealing from others, or by a company that accrues wealth and benefits from government laws, regulations, and interference to the detriment of others.  The elected official that has been in office for thirty years because they’ve used their influence and position of trust to secure tax benefits or competitive advantages for others in exchange for campaign contributions and the fleecing of the people in general are exalted though their behavior is immoral, ignoble, unethical, and reprehensible.

Telecommunications companies are partnered with the government to spy on citizens.  Banking and financial institutions are the fabric of the Federal Reserve and work hand-in-glove with the government against the people.  Federal Reserve monetary policy promotes and supports reckless fiscal policy, deficit spending and, consequently, seventeen trillion dollars of debt.  Ponzi schemes are illegal yet the government institutes them in the form of Social Security and Medicare.  The health care industry and pharmaceutical companies are co-conspirators in the Affordable Care Act and other laws and regulations to the detriment of the people.

Today, diversity is mostly celebrated based on certain physical characteristics not by thought, talent, or interests.  Diversity of outcomes is eroded by politicians using the force of law to create an egalitarian society and the justice system is used for distributive justice rather than interpersonal adjudication.  Diversity is not limited to what the ruling class, academia, or the media say.

Diversity embraces individuality.  It is not a collectivist notion.

Embrace true diversity and you embrace the individual.  Embrace the individual and you embrace exceptionalism.  The essence of American exceptionalism is the individual not the government.  Individuals are exceptional in spite of government.  American exceptionalism as a collectivist notion is pure poppycock.

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The Intolerant Tolerants

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for me with all the live and taped television segments and radio programs, and press coverage in papers such as The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and the Baltimore Sun to mention a few. People’s opinions and thoughts vary greatly on the topic of the five western counties of Maryland leaving to form their own state.  But, there is one particular aspect of all this attention I’d like to focus on.


The applicable dictionary definitions are:

  1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practice, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.
  2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.
  3. interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.

Therefore intolerance would be an unfair and biased attitude toward those whose opinions, practice, race, religion, nationality are different from one’s own viewpoint.  Also, tolerance does not explicitly or implicitly mean agreement or acceptance of another’s view. 

Ironically, those that proclaim tolerance and demand tolerance for their viewpoints flip, as easily as a light switch is turned on and off, to intolerance because a thought, idea, or view is different from their own.  Those than claim to be open minded, and in fact demand tolerance for their views are often the first to deny or infringe upon the views of others by resorting to petulant behavior, making derogatory comments about a persons’ race, gender, nationality, family, and religious beliefs.  Below are comments made by people opposing the idea of a new state (though truthfully too many concluded incorrectly that this was about seceding from the Union).

— Start of comments —

He knows very well it wont happen but its a way of creating more divisiveness and ramping up hated in America thanks to the repubs who see Obama as a nightmare come true.

The passion of the American Conservative for “Liberty” is only matched by his ignorance and apathy towards “Responsibility”. There is on way to describe that awful combination: adolescent.


Disease: Angry White Guy Syndrome
Symptoms: Wild ranting, fits of anger mainly at people that look different than you, desire to separate ones self from the populace.
Treatment: Come out of the bunker, turn off fox noise, make a friend with someone that doesn’t look like you

They will go broke in 60 days, red states are on the federal tit more than blue states

A bunch of crybabies complaining they can’s have everything their own way. And I sure as hell ain’t giving them a representative and two senators in Congress. Nor that diaper stain of northern Colorado, or anywhere else this childishness has drooled.

I think someone should send Scott Strzelczyk a soother, a blue blankie and a picture book showing him how to get along with others who don’t agree with him.

He is just being a whiner. Afterall, he isn’t pushing to have the entire State secede, just the white parts.

The free association of old red necks, who happen to be white, better know as The Tea Party or The Progressive Klan.

The State of Western Maryland’s constitution has not been written, nor has its tax plan been fully developed.  But when this bagger gets around to it, it won’t include a 13th amendment.

The right of self-determination should be opposed. Coercion by stronger forces is inevitable.

Sounds like an act of treason to me. I hope he gets 35 years imprisonment.

Right….they never think this through. For that reason, I think they should be allowed to do it, and live with all the consequences of their tea-bag policies. Only a reality check of this magnitude will cure the “free state, no taxes, no regulation” fantasy, but if they do, the rest of us should invoke “no do-overs” , you choose to be a West Md. citizen, stay there, live that nightmare you wanted to force on the rest of us.

Scott, please go back to tending that Unicorn farm and stop wasting our time.

Isn’t it funny how these same conservatives who trumpet the Constitution’s second amendment as justification for unlimited ownership of deadly weapons and secession have no problem with the federal government’s violation of the first and fourth amendments? Truly ironic!

It is also interesting that the Left never threatens secession. WE accommodate opinions that differ from our own, and always have.

There is a better way. Why doesn’t the bagger move to a trailer park in another redneck state where he can swill beer and listen to Ted Nugent with his ignorant kind all he wants?

Failing that, he pledges to sever his wèe-wèe.  THAT’LL show ’em!  Sooner or later, we’ll discover the swàmp where they brèed these crètins… amid the horseflies and frogs.

I have never seen a set of people who hates the United States and democracy as these bunch of Tea Baggers.  They do not have a clue what the Constitution says, and all they can do is talk about Second Amendment.


I would love for all of these idiots to secede and start their own country. They can have their wish to have no taxes, so they won’t have public schools, police, or fireman. They can ban together to build roads and bridges. It will be great when they reach retirement age that they won’t have to worry about getting a social security check. Yep, socialism is a horrible thing. Have fun in your new land baggers. 

It is a good idea to secede the entire Texassissippianahomasas region for several reasons;

1. The average IQ of the remainder of the nation would go up at least 30 points.
2. The average median income would go up over $10,000.
3. The average educational level would go from 6th grade dropout to college level.
4. We would save hundreds of billions in waste on their education, welfare and infrastructure.
5. Their new kuntry could be called Baggertopia, or Neojebusland or Concrapia maybe.

Lincoln blundered terribly when he did not let those savages crawl back into their caves. Now the red states are the biggest “welfare queens” on the planet.

Another right wing clown who does not support our constitution.

Strzelczyk and his silly racist comrades deserve the kick in the pants that will come with secession however unlikely it may be.

This guy is one of the reasons there are so many Polish jokes.

Scott Strzelczyk  That’s Polish right? I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

He calls himself a constitutionalist, but doesn’t know the Constitution. Figures

—– End of Comments —

This was a small sample from a single article.  There are thousands more like this. Derogatory comments covering race, religion, nationality, etc. permeate the page.  People that know absolutely nothing about me, our founding principles, or the Constitution are suddenly experts on what I think and who I am.

Many are unable to comprehend the difference between forming a new Union state and seceding from the Union.  Many are unaware of the provisions stipulated in the U.S. Constitution for new states being formed out of existing states.  Many are unaware a new state being erected out of an existing state happened seven times not once as many stated.   Many believe we are a democracy where the mob rules.  Some believe that force should be used to ensure this doesn’t occur.  In other words we will arrest, injury, or kill you if you attempt to establish a new state government according to the constitution itself.  

Many are unaware it was the Northern states that threatened secession four times from 1803 to 1815.  They are unaware that in 1845 Massachusetts threatened secession if Texas were admitted in the Union.  They are unaware of the fact that Northern states opposed new states being admitted as a result of the Louisiana Purchase.  Many lumped me in with conservatives, the GOP, and the tea party without ever reading an article I wrote on my blog or listening to The Forgotten Men program.  All are unaware that Mark, Joshua, and I met with the local Occupy leadership and attending their meetings.  All are unaware that The Forgotten Men radio show calls out Republicans, conservatives, and neo-conservatives on a regular basis for their violations of the Constitution.  All are unaware that we regularly say things like “both parties are different wings of the same bird of prey” or “it doesn’t matter if its the red wolfpack or the blue wolfpack”.  And, Joshua coined the term the “DC’vers” which refers to all the elected officials in DC and how the deceive us regularly.  We say frequently “DC will never fix DC” and “DC is broke and broken”.  All are unaware that we oppose the Patriot Act, NDAA, the FISA Courts, and the undeclared wars and regularly discuss how the so-called “limited government” Republicans like Allen West and Michele Bachmann are part of the problem not part of the solution.  They are the other wing to those like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.  They are different wings of the same bird of prey.  

My reaction to the intolerance is one of laughter and fear; laughter at the absurdity of the comments and fear of their ignorance and willingness to use force and coercion – might makes right – to deny people their right of self-determination and self-governance.  Every person can decide on their own whether they support the idea or not.  They are entitled to their own opinions, however, they are not entitled to their own facts.  The fact is by denying the people the right of self-governance they believe people are not capable of governing themselves.  Naturally, if people are not capable of governing themselves then why do they believe people are capable of governing others.

Those that profess tolerance towards others with opposing views have exposed themselves as hypocritical because they abandoned their self-proclaimed tolerance as demonstrated by their comments.  To these people tolerance is a one-way street where they are not tolerant but you must be.  Whenever your views don’t comport with their views the immediate reaction is toss verbal hand grenades at those with different views.

Consequently, this comes through in party colors and hyper-partisanship from both sides of the political spectrum.  This behavior is intellectually debilitating because the so-called tolerance is laid bare, naked, and revealed for all to see. True intolerance is people steadfastly clinging to their own views while degrading the views of others, and often, demanding acceptance as well.

This intolerance is summed up in a word; Bigotry.

Dissent and disagreement are common and natural.  In fact, dissent is encouraged.  State and federal constitutions protect dissenting views in Bills or Declarations of Rights.  My advice to those that don’t agree with the Western Maryland Initiative is express your dissent in a manner that is constructive and reasoned.  Practice the tolerance you demand of others and end the bigotry.


Filed under Philosophical

Rebuttal to Cato Institute’s Bob Levy on NY Times Nullification Article

(Note, my rebuttal was published on the Tenth Amendment Center website.)

Robert Levy’s recent article, “The Limits of Nullification” is nothing less than an amalgamation of revisionist history covered in judicial fairy dust.  His assertions are premised upon a flawed understanding of certain fundamental principles and constitutional history.  Levy conveniently ignores them and, consequently, draws inaccurate conclusions.

Let’s dissect this piece by piece.

Levy implies the Constitution was ratified by the people acting in their aggregate political capacity – a single unitary body politic.  In fact, many people believe this falsehood because they rely on the words “We the People of the United States” in the Preamble.  The initial drafts of the Constitution named each and every state.  They said, We the People of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, etc.  But, Article VII of the Constitution states, “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same”.

Each state is independent, free, and sovereign.  The ratification happened within each State by the people acting in their highest political capacity.  Each state voted up or down on the ratification.  There was no popular vote across all thirteen states.  There was no majority of people (50%, 75%, or 95%) of the people that could ratify the Constitution.  The people of each free, independent, and sovereign State ratified the Constitution independent form every other state.

Moreover, New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution.  The nine states ratifying the Constitution could not bind any of the remaining states.  In fact, the Virginia and New York ratification conventions were aware that New Hampshire had ratified thus putting the Constitution into effect for the states so ratifying.  Both states continued their conventions and proceeded with their votes for or against the Constitution.

The first government under the Constitution was comprised of only eleven states.  North Carolina and Rhode Island had not ratified the Constitution when the first President was elected.  Neither state had electors to vote for the President nor did they appoint Senators to the Senate or elect Representatives to the House.  Both states were not part of the Union formed by the Constitution because they had not ratified it.

Demonstrably, the people of each free, independent, and sovereign state ratified the Constitution, not the people acting as one body politic.  On June 6, 1788, James Madison addressed the Virginia Ratification Convention.  Madison said, “Who are parties to it? The people — but not the people as composing one great body; but the people as composing thirteen sovereignties. Were it, as the gentleman asserts, a consolidated government, the assent of a majority of the people would be sufficient for its establishment; and, as a majority have adopted it already, the remaining states would be bound by the act of the majority, even if they unanimously reprobated it”.  [Emphasis added.]

Madison wrote in Federalist #39, “Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act.  In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a federal, and not a national constitution.”

Madison wrote, in the Report of 1800 to the Virginia General Assembly, “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 that compact; as no farther valid than 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.” … “The resolution declares, first, that “it views the powers of the Federal Government as resulting from the compact to which the states are parties,” in other words, that the federal powers are derived from the Constitution, and that the Constitution is a compact to which the states are parties.”  Madison went on to say, “It is indeed true that the term “States” is sometimes used in a vague sense, and sometimes in different senses, according to the subject to which it is applied. Thus it sometimes means the separate sections of territory occupied by the political societies within each; sometimes the particular governments established by those societies; sometimes those societies as organized into those particular governments; and lastly, it means the people composing those political societies in their highest sovereign capacity.”  [Emphasis added.]

The basis for nullification is founded in the people of each State through each state convention ratifying the Constitution.  The compact is a fact, not a theory.  Therefore, the creation of the people of the States was the federal government.  The Constitution established the structure of the government; a legislative branch to make law, an executive branch to execute law, and a judiciary to adjudicate the law.  Each branch is limited to specific enumerated delegated powers. Further restrictions were placed upon the federal government when the Bill of Rights was ratified.

Levy’s lynchpin in his argument is the Supreme Court.  Levy said, “In assessing constitutionality, our system of governance recognizes one Supreme Court, not 50 individual states.”  This is partially true.  There is only one Supreme Court.  That’s the true part.  The part Levy ignores is the Supreme Court is only supreme over the inferior courts that Congress may establish.  The Supreme Court is not supreme over the other branches nor is it supreme over the states or the states’ courts.

In properly assessing constitutionality one cannot brush aside the fact that each branch is co-equal with every other branch.  One branch cannot dictate how the other two branches can act.  The order in which each branch deals with a law doesn’t change the constitutionality of a law.  More importantly, the judiciary is not supreme over the other branches or over the constitution itself.  The judiciary is beneath the Constitution.

Levy’s asserts “states cannot impede federal enforcement of a federal law merely because the state deems it unconstitutional. That is up to the federal courts.”   This is pure fantasy as it completely ignores the supremacy clause found in Article VI of the Constitution.  The supremacy clause is a rule of construction on interpreting the powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution.  The supremacy clause does not declare the federal government supreme in all matters.  The supremacy clauses establishes Supremacy of Law; meaning that in areas where the federal government was delegated power to act and a law is passed in pursuance of those powers the federal law is supreme.  In all other cases State law is supreme.

This also raises the question whether Levy grasps the ideal of American federalism.  Under the Constitution, all powers must fall into one of three categories; those exclusive to the federal government, concurrent powers where both the federal and state government can act, and by default everything else falls into those powers reserved to the states or the people.

Since the constitution only delegates powers… all other powers not delegated are reserved and this was re-enforced by the ratification of the tenth amendment. The constitution does not delegate any power to the federal government to modify the constitution through the judiciary. In other words, the judiciary is not and was not empowered to amend, modify, change, alter, or reform the constitution. Whenever the constitution is silent on an issue/power it is reserved to the people or the states. The argument by the Federalist against a Bill of Rights was premised primarily on the fact that whatever was NOT delegated was reserved and off-limits to the federal government; thus there was no need to protect any rights or privileges because they weren’t delegated in the first place.

While Levy doesn’t make this assertion I want to address a common misconception that is germane to this topic.  People say the constitution doesn’t authorize a state to nullify a federal law.  I completely agree.  The constitution doesn’t authorize a state to do anything.  The constitution was not intended to define state powers.  State powers were “numerous and indefinite” as Madison said in Federalist 45.  The constitution doesn’t state that local police powers, sumptuary laws, power over marriage and family affairs,  intestate distribution of property, religion, education, social services, etc. are all state powers.  But, because they are not delegated under the Constitution they fall, by default, into the third category of powers which are reserved to the states or the people.

If as Levy assets the Supreme Court is supreme over the other branches, supreme over the states, and supreme over the constitution itself then Levy must concede that the constitution is a dead letter as what it truly established is a federal government with unlimited powers.  If the judiciary can define what the constitution means and the meaning is left to the discretion of nine lawyers then the Supreme Court has been running a 220+ year continuous constitutional convention.

This also raises some other important questions.  First, the constitution reflects the political will of the people of each of the free, independent, and sovereign states.  Why should one person on the Supreme Court (in a 5-4 ruling) decide a political question for 310 million people?  Secondly, where and how did these nine people on the Supreme Court gain such insight and understanding to truly know the political will of the people?  How can the Supreme Court overrule the political will of the people; the people of each state being the sovereigns?  If the Supreme Court can overrule the political will of the people then our entire form of governance is farcical.  We are truly ruled by an oligarchical regime limited by absolutely nothing.

Furthermore, is it not the least bit ironical that if you were to steal $1,000 worth of goods from Walmart and are on trial, you have to be convicted unanimously by a twelve person jury (in most cases).  But, one person (in a 5-4 ruling) can decide everything and anything that impacts your life, liberty, and property.  Levy cannot seriously believe the founding generation declared their independence from Great Britain, fought a war to gain their independence, just to establish a government of unlimited powers.   This is the essence of Levy’s assertion and it is nonsense on stilts.

As Jefferson said in the Kentucky Resolution of 1798, “[a]nd that 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 part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the 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 has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.”  [Emphasis added.]

Consequently, nullification has been used by northern and southern states throughout the history of the Union.  While Virginia and Kentucky first used nullification in 1798, northern states nullified federal laws enacted under the Jefferson administration.  For instance, Rhode Island legislature resolution of 1809 nullifying the Force Act; “ [t]hat the people of this State, as one of the parties to the federal compact, have a right to express their sense of any violation of its provisions.”  Northern states nullified the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

I suppose if Levy were alive in the 1850s and living in a northern state he would have fully complied with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 because the Supreme Court rendered an opinion that the Act was constitutional.  Let’s take this one step further.  Suppose the Congress passes the following bills, the President signs them into law, and the Supreme Court upholds them.

1)      A law that forces sterilization upon men and women.

2)      A one-child policy law that either forces a woman to get an abortion if pregnant with a second child or if a second child is born alive the child is removed from the home.

3)      A law that forces citizens to buy government securities.

4)      A law that forbids any criticism of the federal government in any form including verbally, in writing, e-mails, etc.

5)      A law that taxes 100% of your income and the government decides what job(s) you may perform.

6)      A law that states the government can detain an individual indefinitely, without cause, and without any due process.  My mistake, that’s already in place through an executive order.

The question is would Levy comply with these laws?  And, if Levy concedes these are “valid” laws then how does this square with a federal government with enumerated powers?

Levy’s argument is really one for a government with unlimited powers.  Naturally, this implies the constitution is a dead letter and we truly are at the mercy of the benevolence of our elected officials and nine unelected, unaccountable judges.


Filed under Constitution