Nullify By Several Routes

It is a multiple choice option for the state to override the federal government when it exceeds its rightful authority. It is proposed in Tennessee, but we need it in North Carolina:

In Tennessee, Rep. Bud Hulsey (R) introduced a bill (HB 726) that would involve the people, all branches of the state government, and the county governments in constitutional interpretation affecting vital policies when they believe the federal government is clearly wrong. Either the governor may issue an executive order declaring the federal policy void; any member of the legislature can trigger a floor debate and vote to nullify the policy; a state court may declare said policy unconstitutional if it arises during the course of a legitimate case or controversy; any combination of 10 local governing authorities – either through their respective executives or legislative branches – may submit a petition for nullification that triggers a vote in the legislature; and any group of 2,000 registered Tennessee voters may submit a similar petition triggering an automatic legislative vote on nullification.

Once such a bill passes (or a policy is implemented by the governor via executive order), it would be unlawful for any state or local official to assist or fund the policy in any way. When factoring in the constitutionality of a federal policy from any of the three branches, the state legislature must consider the plain text of the Constitution, the ratification debates, state constitutions, the original members of Congress and the Supreme Court, and statements on natural law by philosophers whose wisdom was drawn upon by the framers of the Constitution.

This law would have no statute of limitations, meaning that it could trigger a debate and vote on any law of Congress, executive policy, or precedent from a court ruling.


2 thoughts on “Nullify By Several Routes

    1. Well, perhaps in a sense, but really the Civil War was about the right to secede. The South said yes (and was correct); the industrial interests in the North, represented by Lincoln, said no.

      Nullification is legitimate as a constitutional principle. The alternative is federal supremacy, which is clearly incorrect from a constitutional standpoint except on those limited matters where the federal government is explicitly identified as supreme in the Constitution.

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