James Madison's Advice
The constitution does not enforce itself and the federal government will not limit itself. As the ultimate decision makers, the people need to focus the power of the state and local governments to stop federal overreach. This has been an extremely effective strategy as the legalization of medical marijuana demonstrates. The blueprint to resisting federal overreach can be found in James Madison's Federalist 46:
"Should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular states, or even a warrantable measure be so, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and refusal to cooperate with the officers of the Union; the frowns of the executive magistracy of the state; the embarrassments created by legislative devices, would form serious impediments; and where several state happened to be in unison, would present serious obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter."
4 Steps To Stop Federal Law
An unwarrantable measure means an unconstitutional or unpopular federal act. The states must oppose and resist these acts as soon as they occur.
1.The disquietude of the people means discontent, protests and petitions which leads to local and state action.
2. A refusal to cooperate with the officers of the union means noncompliance. Local and state governments can refuse to comply with federal law, and the people should resist it.
3. The frowns of the executive magistracy means governors or legislators formally protesting federal law. This leads to legislative action and generates further support.
4. Legislative devices include non binding resolutions which lead to formal prohibitions of state or local cooperation and even interposition.
We must resist and refuse to comply with violations to our rights. This is how we rediscover the lost path to liberty.
Many states are already applying this strategy successfully on many issues.
We suggest a multi layered approach.
1. Passing non binding resolutions to generate support for further action.
As a foundational first step and for education. These are narrow in scope and should include a call to action.
2. Individual nullification, action and resistance. Widespread individual resistance accompanied with official state or local government action.
3. Official noncompliance and refusal to cooperate.
State legislation nullifies a particular law and prohibits the state from providing resources or manpower.
A hands off approach; let the Feds enforce their laws.
4. Jury nullification. Fully informed juries can set free those arrested in resistance to federal laws.
Juries are encouraged to convict, but must realize their duty to judge the constitutionality of the law.
Building coalitions with groups to find common ground on issues is a part of this strategy. We endorse the principles of the Electronic Frontier Alliance.
To learn about model legislation,