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Michael Farris on Viewpoints with Kerby Anderson: Nullification may not be the best strategy

Published in Blog on July 17, 2017 by Convention Of States Project

The following excerpt is from an written by Kerby Anderson after Michael Farris appeared on his radio show, Viewpoints. Click here to listen to the interview.

Over the next few years, I think we will begin to hear the word “nullification” more and more. So let’s look at what it means, and why it isn’t a good strategy to limit the continuous expansion of the federal government.

Some politicians and citizens have been arguing that states could use the Tenth Amendment to “nullify” any federal law that exceeds the powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution. This might work in some cases, where a state refuses to accept federal funds and thereby avoids the federal regulations that are always attached to those funds. But nullification cannot begin to curb all sorts of other abuses of federal power.

Michael Farris was on my radio program recently and provides constitutional and practical reasons why nullification cannot do as much as many proponents claim. The Tenth Amendment states that the enumerated powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states or the people. That doesn’t imply that states have the authority to independently determine when the federal government has acted outside the scope of its authority.

If you believe that the states and the people have the right to nullify a federal law, you won’t have a republic. If people could nullify any federal law, then we would soon have anarchy. We cannot give citizens in this country the right to nullify any law they believe is unconstitutional.

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