Tennessee State Nullification and the Supremacy Clause

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Here is the text of the statement delivered by Professor Donald Livingston — who has been an important intellectual influence on me — on behalf of state nullification before the House Judiciary Subcommittee in South Carolina two weeks ago:

State nullification is not a violation of the supremacy clause of the Constitution. That clause says that laws made by the United States “in pursuance” of the Constitution are the supreme law of the land which means that acts not in “pursuance” of the Constitution are not laws at all. But who is to decide whether an act is or is not in “pursuance” of the Constitution? Some would say the Supreme Court. The Court may, indeed, express an opinion, but it cannot have the final say. That can only be vested in the supreme authority that ratified the Constitution and gave it the force of law, namely the people of the several states.

What did the states ratify? They ratified a compact between the States to create a central government to which were delegated only enumerated powers, leaving all other powers to the states. Article VII leaves no doubt that the Constitution is a compact between the states, for it says the compact will hold “between the states so ratifying the same.” The powers delegated by the compact to the central government, as Madison said, are “few” and “defined.” The powers reserved to the states are indefinite in number and undefined.

Who is to say what the undefined and unenumerated powers of the states are? The central government cannot have the final say because it is a creature of the constitutional compact between the states. The creature cannot tell the creator what the limits of its powers are. Only the states themselves have the final say over what their undefined and unenumerated powers are. And Madison said that if the central government should intrude into the state’s reserved powers, the states would have a “duty” to “interpose” and protect their citizens from harm.

Consequently, state nullification is not an act whereby a state refuses to comply with a federal law that it doesn’t like. Nullification is the claim that the supposed law is not a law at all because it is unconstitutional. To deny state nullification is to say the central government can define the limits of its own powers which makes our liberties a gift to us from the central government. That is what one is logically committed to who says the Supreme Court has the final say over what the reserved powers of the states are.

But who honestly believes that? The Constitution does not even remotely give the Supreme Court that power. And if an amendment to the Constitution were sent to the states for ratification stating that the Supreme Court has the final say over what the Constitution means, there is no chance it would be ratified by three quarters of the states. The people would not hand over the power to decide their fundamental liberties to nine unelected, politically well connected lawyers.

The Founders knew the central government would inevitably intrude into the reserved rights of the people, and they sought to prevent this with a system of checks and balances. The president can nullify a bill of Congress, but Congress by two thirds vote can nullify that act. The Supreme Court can nullify an act of Congress, or of the president, as unconstitutional. Congress can nullify the powers of the Court by restricting its appellate jurisdiction and by impeachment, and so on with many other nullifications.

Continue reading this great aritlce

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If Gov’t Can Make Bullets Disappear From Stores, Why Can’t It Make Food And Medicine?

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I know some of you folks don’t shoot, but to the many of you who do, I would like to pose a question.

Have you tried to purchase any ammunition lately?

All calibers are disappearing from store shelves, but .22 long rifles, in bulk, can’t be found at all anywhere, even the most dependable internet super dealers are out of stock and are making no promises about when they’ll be available again, and it’s my opinion that soon the same thing will be true about the other calibers.

I readily admit that one of the reasons is that Barack Obama’s outright war on guns, the “feel good” juvenile antics of Governor Cuomo of New York and the childish Democrats in the Missouri and Wisconsin state legislatures have scared legal gun owners into stockpiling ammunition, justly fearing that it will get hard, if not impossible to get.

But, can somebody please tell me why Homeland Security and many other, supposedly benign government agencies have bought over two billion rounds and are ordering millions more of all calibers, even the smaller ones?

Why does a shoot-to-kill outfit like Homeland Security need tiny caliber bullets like .22’s that are made for hunting small game? Is Homeland Security going to start exterminating squirrels or rabbits, and why does an agency like Social Security need any kind of ammunition?

Is this a back door attempt at gun control, a way around a Congress that is scared to death of gun legislation? Another presidential backstreet move to have his way by hook or crook and blame it on free market demand? Just dry up the ammo and the guns will be useless?

My information is that the manufacturers are straining every nerve trying to keep up with the demand, but with Homeland Security commandeering so much of their production, the task is impossible.

Is this the beginning of the weaning of America?

It’s a scary scenario, but let me relate an even scarier one.

If the government can make bullets disappear from store shelves, why couldn’t it make food disappear, or fuel or medicine, or anything else for that matter?

The point being that big government can do just about anything they want to and there’s little the minority of us who fear it can do about it as long as the majority who don’t fear it keeps tripping down the primrose path with their heads in the clouds and their hands out.

There is a little known piece of legislation that passed Congress a while back called The Food Safety Modernization Act and the provisions are shadowy at best, having to do with agriculture and the production of food in America.

I checked into it when I found out about it only to find the bill had just cleared the Senate and was on President Obama’s desk. What struck me as strange was the fact that our two Tennessee Senators were split on the vote; Bob Corker voted against it and Lamar Alexander voted for it.

I was assured by Senator Alexander’s office that “Senator Alexander would never do anything to hurt the farmers.” Well, does that mean that Senator Corker would do something to hurt the farmers by voting against it? Which means that one of the Senators voted against the farmers of Tennessee. Which one?

The provisions of the bill are said to protect the food supply, but what does that mean when it’s taken out of government speak and translated into plain English?

Personally, I believe the government has taken upon itself the power to interrupt agriculture at any time it chooses under the guise of keeping tainted or otherwise unsafe food out of the market – up to, and including, the planting and harvesting of private home gardens.

The flow of medicine could easily be interrupted by claiming it contained impurities and harmful substances.

We’ve already seen how fuel can be rationed – just slow down the availability and delivery.

Big government can bring this nation to its knees in a matter of days. And, with a passive Senate and an ever more acquiescent Supreme Court, the power to do so is falling into the hands of one man.

Shaky ground for a free nation.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

CNS News

Judge rules EPA can’t mandate use of nonexistent biofuels

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A federal court delivered a serious blow to the Environmental Protection Agency’s renewable fuel agenda, ruling that the agency exceeded its authority by mandating refiners use cellulosic biofuels, which isn’t commercially available.

The court sided with the country’s chief oil and gas lobby, the American Petroleum Institute, in striking down the 2012 EPA mandate that would have forced refineries to purchase more than $8 million in credits for 8.65 million of gallons of the cellulosic biofuel. However, none of the biofuel is commercially available.

“[W]e agree with API that EPA’s 2012 projection of cellulosic biofuel production was in excess of the agency’s statutory authority,” reads the court decision.

API said refiners were forced to purchase biofuel credits for nonexistent gallons of cellulosic biofuel to meet the EPA’s mandate, reports the Hill.

“We are glad the court has put a stop to EPA’s pattern of setting impossible mandates for a biofuel that does not even exist,” API Group Downstream Director Bob Greco said in a statement. “This absurd mandate acts as a stealth tax on gasoline with no environmental benefit that could have ultimately burdened consumers.”

The court added that the cellulosic biofuels program punished refiners for the failure of producers to make enough biofuel to meet the EPA’s mandate.

“Here, by contrast, EPA applies the pressure to one industry (the refiners), yet it is another (the producers of cellulosic biofuel) that enjoys the requisite expertise, plant, capital and ultimate opportunity for profit,” reads the decision. “Apart from their role as captive consumers, the refiners are in no position to ensure, or even contribute to, growth in the cellulosic biofuel industry.”

“‘Do a good job, cellulosic fuel producers. If you fail, we’ll fine your customers,’” the decision says.

FBI Director: I Have to Check to See If Obama Has the Right to Kill Americans On US Soil

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This just keeps getting crazier and crazier….the Constitution says US Citizens have a RIGHT to a speedy trial, by a jury and be able to face your accusers.

Gun Control in Australia and How It’s Working Today

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“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”. ..Benjamin Franklin

After the 1st year of being disarmed, here’s how it worked out for the Australians:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent. Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent. Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed. There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort, and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns.

The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it. You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

When the video talks about storing your weapons, think of this suggestion in America already:

New Proposal Will Force Gun Owners to Store Assault Weapons At Government Authorized Storage Depots

Andrea Mitchell Argues Gov’t Can Infringe Upon Americans’ ‘Inalienable Rights’

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MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday argued that even Americans’ “inalienable rights” may be infringed upon by the federal government, including our freedom of speech and Second Amendment rights.

The claim may seem outrageous, but here’s how Mitchell defended her stance after her guest claimed the Obama administration can’t infringe upon Americans’ inalienable rights:

“Well, they can be infringed, because the First Amendment is infringed, I have to obey all sorts of regulations from the FCC, there are things we can’t say in a crowded theater, so every right also carries with it responsibilities and obligations.”

In response, Eric Pratt, of Gun Owners for America, provided a well thought out analogy that seemingly dismantled Mitchell’s argument.

“What’s interesting about that, though, is we don’t gag people before they go into the theater, we punish the lawbreakers,” he said. “And in the same way, we would argue punish those who abuse the right, but don’t gag law-abiding citizens before they exercise their right. We shouldn’t be registering them like sex offenders, like they are in New York. We shouldn’t be in any way impeding them if they have not committed a crime.”

The Blaze

Gun edicts put personal liberty under fire

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Where is the liberal outrage? Where is the liberal suspicion about powerful, unchecked governments? Where is the liberal unflinching devotion to individual liberty?

We have a president who has radically reshaped the landscape of American government so that it is more of a behemoth than at any time in history and more involved in every aspect of our lives. It is also more unanswerable than ever before.

Now this president is issuing 23 new edicts aimed at curbing individuals’ gun rights. At the same time, his federal agencies are stockpiling more and more weapons and ammunition.

And for what, exactly? To go hunting? To shoot the Chinese when they come to collect their debts? To shoot Mexicans tumbling over the Southern border? To shoot the Canadians?

What does the Department of “Homeland Security” suddenly need 1.4 billion more rounds of ammunition at the very point the same government is making it harder for citizens to arm themselves?

There are only 300 million of us. How many bullets do you need? That’s more than four bullets for every American man, woman and child. Is your aim really that bad? I mean, have you seen us lately? We are too fat to run very far.

You can say these concerns are some sort of Alex Jones, wack-nut, black helicopter paranoia or you can simply ask, “Why does the government need a billion more rounds of ammo just as it is trying to disarm citizens?”

And the lists. The lists of people who are deemed too mentally unstable to own a gun.

A principled liberal would be horrified at the notion that the government is going to keep giant lists of people who are criminals or who are deemed crazy or dangerous. And even more breathtaking is that these lists will be used to determine the degree of freedom those individuals will be granted by the government.

Do you remember the liberal outrage over the huge government list to keep people deemed dangerous from flying on airplanes? Ted Kennedy is turning over in his grave.

Now, of course, no one rightly objects to finding reasonable ways to keep criminals and wackos from getting their hands on guns. But it is shocking how easily and freely liberals have gone along with the notion of more giant government lists of crazy and bad people.

Then there is the debt-ceiling debate where we have a president who refuses to conduct an open debate over raising it. President Obama orders Congress to simply authorize the government to borrow for him a ton more money. And if they don’t comply with his wishes, then he will seek to take that power away from them.

The power of the purse in the hands of Congress has always been the check that keeps the president in balance. Only a lover of tyranny — not a liberal — would want to see that check removed.

Yet, most shocking of all, we have a Senate right now that is led by a cabal that wants to do just that. Literally, they are begging Mr. Obama to take that authority away from them. And, yet, not a peep from liberals.

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