PRINCIPLES OF NULLIFICATION
Nullification is where a state declares a particular law outside of the authority granted in the Constitution.
The federal government does not get to decide the extent of its own powers, although it claims to. The constitution is a set of strictly constructed rules. The flow of power is people-state-fed. The states alone can demand a particular reading of the rules, can change the rules and can even dissolve the federal government. The states are not required to help enforce federal law with its resources, manpower or cooperation.
The historical record shows that the states created a national government with limited powers. In the state ratifying conventions, the people of the states were assured that the federal government possessed only the powers delegated to it, that the states retained all other powers and the feds could not exercise additional powers.
Nullification is a moderate position; it is not secession or submission. In response to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799 in which the principles of nullification are found:
"The several states composing the United States are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to the general government."
"Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void and of no force."
"A nullification of all unauthorized acts is the rightful remedy"
"In case of a deliberate, palpable and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states are duty bound to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining the liberties appertaining to them."
The Tenth Amendment was added as an explicit understanding of the limited nature of the federal government; nullification is its application.
4 TYPES OF NULLIFICATION:
Individual nullification is a refusal to obey a law.
Practical nullification is to make something void and of no consequence. ('nullification in effect')
Legal nullification is a law that prevents enforcement of a federal act.
Jury nullification is a judgement of the constitutionality of a law.
The federal government relies on state cooperation to enforce its acts. Through state and local noncompliance,
the enforcement of federal law becomes impossible.
We can use this strategy on many issues, including privacy rights, asset forfeiture, second amendment preservation, sound money and more.
To learn more about our strategy, see STRATEGY.