Here’s a little history lesson for you readers that aren’t familiar with Nullification of unconstitutional federal laws as Tn. State Senator Brian Kelsey wasn’t. (Actually I believe he is aware of it and ignored it on purposed from the way he handled the last SB 250 committee meeting)

South Carolina “Nullifies” the Force Bill (1833)

Most South Carolinian statesmen (John C. Calhoun, George McDuffie, Robert Hayne, James Henry Hammond, and others) denounced the federal Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 for gratifying Northern manufacturers at the expense of Southern agricultural interests. 1828′s “South Carolina Exposition and Protest” blossomed into the Convention of November 1832 at which “we, the people of South Carolina” claimed that the Tariffs and the obligations they imposed on state officials were hereafter “utterly null and void” within that state (the first Ordinance of Nullification). President Jackson responded on December 10 with his stern “Proclamation to the People of South Carolina.” A gradually less protective tariff regime was instituted on March 2, 1833, but the Compromise Tariff was passed concurrently with the Force Bill,(Tariffs are Constitutional because they are one of the enumerated Powers in the Constitution, so they can’t be nullified) which authorized the President to use military force to combat the obstruction of revenue collection (a cousin of the earlier Militia Acts).

The South Carolina Convention repealed its earlier Ordinance of Nullification on March 11, but it couldn’t resist engaging in a “purely symbolic gesture”—purporting to nullify the Force Bill. (No court or judge ever struck down South Carlina’s nullification of the Force Act) Even if the resulting document is a historical footnote, it remains among the permanent records of Congress:

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The Untold History of Nullification: Wisconsin Nullifies Fugitive Slave Act

In March of 1854, Benammi Stone Garland, two federal marshals and several others broke into the home of Joshua Glover. They clubbed him over the head, dragged him bleeding from his shanty and locked him up in the Milwaukee jail. Glover was an escaped slave, and Garland his “owner.” Legally, Garland had every right to take his “property” into custody and drag Glover back to Missouri. The Constitution provided for the return of escaped slaves. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 created the mechanism. The act denied due process to anyone accused of escaping slavery. Federal courts authorized the capture of fugitive slaves simply on the word of their “owners.” The accused weren’t even allowed to testify in their own defense. The Fugitive Slave Act was wildly unpopular and actively resisted in every northern state.

The Republican-controlled state legislature passed a resolution supporting the Wisconsin Supreme Court in nullifying the Fugitive Slave Act. It also defied federal law by passing a Personal Liberty Act. Among other things, the law gave county courts the power to issue writs of habeas corpus to fugitive slaves, made it the duty of district attorneys to seek their discharge and established fines of $1,000 for kidnapping free blacks.

Let us not forget that nullification was used by the northern states to reject the fugitive slave laws.

Here Wisconsin rejects the law, nullifying the criminal federal government mandate that slaves must be returned to their owners across state lines.

If Wisconsin had obeyed the criminal federal government, untold numbers of slaves would have been killed or beaten.


of the prisoner is sought to be justified, by whatsoever authority the same may have been issued.

If, upon enquiry into the nature and cause of the caption and detention of the prisoner, it shall be found that he is held by virtue of process issued by a court or judge of the United States, having exclusive jurisdiction of the subject matter of the process, the prisoner must be remanded, and this as well by the comity of courts as by the provisions of the statute.

The warrant set forth in the return to this writ of certiorari, is not sufficient to justify the detention of the prisoner.

The order of discharge set forth in the return to this writ of certiorari was properly made.

The act of Congress of 1850, commonly called the Fugitive Slave Act, is unconstitutional and void.

1. Because it does not provide for a trial by jury of the fact that the alleged fugitive owes service to the claimant by the laws of another State, and of his escape therefrom.

2. It authorizes a hearing and determination of the claim of the master, and the fact of escape, by commissioners of the United States, who cannot be endowed with judicial powers under the Constitution of the United States.

3. The judicial power of the United States can be vested only in courts, or in judges, whose term of office is during good behaviour, and whose compensation is fixed and certain.

4. The functions with which United States commissioners are endowed by the act of 1850 are judicial, and therefore repugnant to the Constitution.

5. By the said act, any person alleged to be a fugitive may be arrested and deprived of his liberty “without due process of law.” Crawford, J., dissenting.

The act of Congress of 1850, commonly called the Fugitive Slave Act, in relation to fugitives from service or labor, is unconstitutional and void; because Congress has no constitutional power to legislate upon that subject. Per Smith, J.