Thoughts from Maharrey Head Bonus Episode: Nullification – The Solution for What Ails Us

“10 Minutes Closer to Freedom”

I this bonus episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I explain nullification and how we can use it today to roll back federal overreach.

I often sum up the work of the Tenth Amendment Center in a single sentence; follow the Constitution, every issue, every time, no exceptions and no excuses. But that often brings up a very valid question. What do we do when the federal government fails to follow the Constitution and exercises powers it was never delegated?

Last week, I appeared on the Good Government Forum airing on 1180AM Radio, Reno, Nevada, and answered that question.

“We have the federal government controlling virtually everything we do in our lives, everything from the amount of water in our toilets to what kind of light bulbs we screw into our fixtures. So the system that was promised, the system that was designed by the founding generation has been completely abandoned and the question always comes up: well, we’ve got this Constitution; how in the world to we make the federal government follow it? It’s like anything, you need an enforcement mechanism, and the was one that was built into the system, unfortunately the American people have failed to use that system. And that’s the power of state government.”

During the interview, I not only explain the principles of nullification, but how to apply the idea at a practical level.

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2 Responses to “Thoughts from Maharrey Head Bonus Episode: Nullification – The Solution for What Ails Us”

  1. Chris VandergriffOctober 16, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    I really enjoyed the episode.
    I admit that I’m not as sure of the facts as I should be, but I have a question about how nullification failed when Arkansas was forced to accept and implement desegregation. Though I may not agree with the stance of Arkansas on the subject, how was the federal government able to override state sovereignty?

    A second concern is how does individual state nullification effect items protected under the Bill of Rights? Could a state, through nullification, override a Supreme Court decision upholding my Second Amendment rights?

  2. Michael MaharreyOctober 17, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    The federal government was willing to deploy the Army to enforce its will in Arkansas on top of the fact that racism wasn’t something that was going to gain the popular support necessary for successful nullification. Nullification isn’t a slam dunk and it won’t always work. If the feds are willing to use force, they can do what they please. Fortunately, they generally won’t take that kind of action, especially if majority opinion is behind the nullification effort.

    Constitutionally, the Bill of Rights is a limit on federal authority. It was never intended to apply to the states. State constitutions restrict state action. So, as far as the Second Amendment goes, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on your right to keep and bear arms. There is no way a state can “nullify” that. It can’t make the federal government violate your rights. I think your concern is the Supreme Court might render a decision bolstering the Second Amendment and a state would override it with state gun control. Constitutionally, the federal government really shouldn’t have any say in state gun laws. That is a matter for the people of that state under their state constitution. These two articles might help.

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