What solves the issue of nullification? This idea of a state nullifying an unconstitutional federal law does not come without its flaws and fallout. There is controversy about this power and legitimate cause for concern.
Consider this. Would we need to debate the merit of nullification if the U.S. government was staying safely inside the confines of the Constitution? If the federal government only made laws within its realm of power according to Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, would there be a need for the states to “nullify” federal law?
Of course not. And if a state did try to nullify a Constitutional law, such an action could easily be challenged and prevented.
So, this is the real problems right? Unconstitutional federal behavior is the primary cause for almost all of our problems in the U.S. This was not always the case. At one point unconstitutional state behavior was the primary cause for concern (unconstitutional by state standards that is). But as time progressed and the federal government grew in power while states decreased in power, the abuse shifted from states to the federal. The federal did what it could to prevent state governments from abusing their citizens. Now, it’s about time for states to do what they can to prevent the federal government from abusing its citizens.
It’s really that simple. All our issues would be solved if the federal government simply stopped acting like a completely arbitrary government with the power to do whatever it wants and started acting like an employee afraid of being fired.
Our states should not have to carry the burden of choosing between anarchy and tyranny. Our states should not fear the retribution of the federal government should they call the federal government out for violating its job description.
Our states should not fear our retribution for refusing to acquiesce with laws that violate the Constitution. Our states’ government should not have to fear the chaos that could ensue if they refuse to follow federal law.
Why? Because it’s our federal government’s job to follow the Constitution. The other governments and citizenry suffer when the federal government steps outside of this job.
If government simply stayed within its job description, so many problems would be solved. If state governments would have followed their own Constitutions (which are usually more stringent than the federal constitution), the federal government would never have stepped in to stop human rights violations made by the states. These rights violations could have easily been handled at the state level with the state governments, constitutions and courts, but the state governments refused to deal with their own unconstitutionality.
We are now suffering the consequences and our states are being put into positions they should never be put into.
Perhaps if the citizenry at large decided to universally and unanimously fight to hold the federal government accountable to the federal Constitution and their state governments accountable to the state constitutions, the burden would be equally shared and government would be reticent to ever violate their job descriptions in the first place.
I look forward to a day when this is not mere fantasy.
The Liberty Belle