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Friday, January 17, 2014

10th Amendment: The Commonsense Remedy to Federal Tyranny

Though I've carefully listened to and read his explanations, I remain utterly flummoxed by Mark Levin's implacable opposition to a States' right to invoke its 10th Amendment constitutional authority to defend its citizens from federal usurpations.

Having carefully researched our Founders' intentions with respect to the 9th and 10th Amendments, the notion that States are not permitted to defend their authority and their citizens from federal encroachments and outright lawlessness flies in the face of original intent and commonsense.

Dubbed by Thomas Jefferson the "rightful remedy" to federal usurpation, the meaning of the 10th Amendment is crystal-clear as to what a State's power is in this federal compact. "The powers not delegated [by the States/People] to the United States [the federal government] by the Constitution [Art 1 Sec 8], nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Thus, any powers not specifically delegated to the central government by the Constitution are vested in the States and/or the People AND, similarly, any power not specifically prohibited to the States by the Constitution is vested in the States. Doesn't get clearer than that.

As for the grossly and often deliberately misinterpreted Supremacy Clause, carefully note that the Constitution, of the which the 9th and 10th Amendments are a part, is the Supreme Law of the land--NOT the Supreme Court or any other branch of the federal government, and, of course, most certainly not the States. (If, as many on the left irresponsibly proclaim, the feds are the supreme law of the land, then why have a Constitution at all? Why bother buttressing the notion that we are a republic? In all matters of law, let's simply submit to the central authority and be done with this republican charade.)

Note the carefully crafted wording of the Supremacy Clause (Art VI, Para 2): "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States WHICH SHALL BE MADE IN PURSUANCE THEREOF, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." Thus, the Supremacy Clause renders federal authority supreme ONLY insofar as the power exercised is within its clearly defined enumerated powers (Art 1 Sec 8). Please carefully re-read that provision. Commit it to memory. And never again permit a modern liberal, jurist or any other authoritarian to deliberately misinterpret or misquote this constitutional provision in order to advance his or her political agenda. Don't let them get away with it--ever!

Also, despite Mr. Levin's mystifying assertion to the contrary, objective research clearly demonstrates that James Madison, "father of the Constitution", did not debunk nullification. Not ever! In truth, Madison took exception not to nullification, but to South Carolina's assertion in 1832 that a State's nullifying a particular federal act/law would stand unless 3/4 of the States voted against that nullifying act. And, of course, that assertion is most certainly in error. That said, in his Notes on Nullification Madison did somewhat temper his enthusiasm for nullification, asserting that while nullification is "a natural right" and is "extra-constitutional" that, as a last resort, it should be invoked but only when there is "insupportable oppression." Clearly concerned about the viability of the union at the time he didn't define what constituted "insupportable oppression", leaving that definition to the individual States themselves. But, again, even in his twilight years when he was genuinely concerned about the union breaking up he did not delegitimatize the nullification remedy at all. In short, on this score Mr. Levin is dead wrong!

And this is also well-worth remembering: like nullification and a whole host of other residual powers not specifically enumerated as State powers or specifically prohibited to the States, secession too is NOT prohibited to the States by the Supreme Law of the Land, that being the CONSTITUTION.

I realize that the confusion--deliberate, inadvertent or otherwise--on this subject stems from a terribly misguided and revisionist education or political predilection which advances a nationalist and/or statist philosophy and viewpoint, but the Constitution means what it says, and not what some would like it to mean.

In a nutshell, what all this means is that State nullification of executive orders, federal laws, Supreme Court rulings and bureaucratic regulations which do not comport with the supreme Law of the Land, that being the Constitution, is, hands down, THE wisest, most credible and most effective remedy. 

Finally, though we've been conditioned to believe that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter on all matters of law, for God's sake read the Constitution, the applicable Federalist Papers and Ratifying documents. It will then become abundantly clear that We the People are the final arbiters of what is and what is not constitutional--not the Supreme Court! And not one of our Founders would take exception to that foundational assertion.

     "To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very
       dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an 
       oligarchy."--Thomas Jefferson

Tragically, most States are populated by politicians who are ignorant of the Constitution or who reside in States which have been bought off and intimidated by federal largess. And while there has been an extraordinary level of nullification sweeping the country of late, much more needs to be done by the States to restore their co-equality with the central government, failing which the remedy lies clearly on the shoulders of We the People. Will we opt for peaceful nullification or something else too awful to contemplate?

Finally, despite all the preceding revisionist case law and gratuitous political-driven interpretations of the Constitution, we've got to get this right! Let the ratified Constitution ALWAYS be our guide!

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, .liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State." --James Madison, Federalist No. 45

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