Darryl Perry: Review of “Nullification: How To Resist Federal Tyranny In The 21st Century”

Emailed to contact.ipr@gmail.com by Boston Tea Party national chair Darryl Perry:

I have been “fan” of Tom Woods since I first read The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Since reading that book a few years ago, I’ve read more of Tom’s books; Who Killed the Constitution and Meltdown. I’ve had the chance to meet Tom, even having an interesting dinner with him, Adam Kokesh, Michael Maresco and about a dozen other active members of the “Freedom Movement.” Tom being the nice guy that he is, even contributed to a book I co-wrote and edited as a tribute to the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential campaign, Songs of Freedom: Tales From the Revolution (which was named 1 of 4 finalists in the Current Events: Political category by USA Book News in the National Best Books 2010 Awards). But, I digress.

In January, I heard Tom speak at a Campaign for Liberty event in Atlanta, where he mentioned that he was writing a book on “nullification.” He went on to give a few teasers about the contents. I knew I wanted to read the book, as I felt it would further my understanding of a concept I already liked. I could not have been more right.

Tom begins by examining WHY people should “return to a forbidden idea” – I really like how he calls “nullification” a “forbidden idea.” On page 3 Tom writes, “Nullification begins with the axiomatic point that a federal law that violates the Constitution is no law at all. It is void and of no effect…. Nullification provides a shield between the people of a State and an unconstitutional law from the federal government.” He also explains that the federal government, created by the states via the constitution, should not have “a monopoly on constitutional interpretation.” After all, why should any group/organization/government created by (and supposedly for the benefit) of the parties involved be allowed to become superior to the parties that created it? Woods goes on to cite numerous letters and papers written by the Federalists claiming that States did have a right to nullify unconstitutional laws. He even show modern examples of nullification that have not resulted (as some say nullification does) in bloodshed. Medical Marijuana laws, refusal to implement REAL ID & the Firearms Freedom Acts are just 3 examples of States using “nullification” to defend the State and the citizens & residents of that State from unconstitutional laws. Woods also cites the work being done by the Tenth Amendment Center and their fight to oppose federal violations of the Constitution.

Woods next examines “the problem an rightful remedy.” He writes, “When the Constitution was ratified, the people were assured that it established a government of limited powers… that the States retained all powers not delegated to the new government… This is not a peculiarly conservative or libertarian reading of the historical record. This is the historical record.” He then examines several instances where the federal government overstepped their bounds. Should we wait for the Supreme Court to decide whether or not the federal government has violated the Constitution? Jefferson argues doing so would “place us under the despotism of oligarchy.” The only option left is either nullification or civil disobedience.

Woods then looks at “The spirit of ’98”, referencing the Kentucky & Virginia Resolutions of 1798 nullifying the Alien & Sedition Acts. Kentucky & Virginia were not the only States to use nullification, indeed Rhode Island, Connecticut & Massachusetts all used nullification less than 15 years after Kentucky & Virginia. From 1812 until 1860 many other States employed nullification when the federal government was seen as overstepping the bounds of the Constitution. The most overlooked example of nullification was by Wisconsin when the legislature nullified a Fugitive Slave Law that was seen as unconstitutional. However, opponents of nullification don’t like to reference this act, because it doesn’t fit the argument that “nullification is about slavery.” In fact, nullification was never used to defend the institution of slavery.

In chapter 4, he compares the “compact theory” vs the “nationalist view” on the creation of the United States of America by asking the questions: “Was the United States created by a group of independent political societies that established the federal government as their agent, reserving all undelegated powers? Or was the United States the creation of a single, undifferentiated American people?” The “compact theory” is consistent with historical evidence; each of the 13 States ratified the Constitution separately, not as a single body. That alone supports the “compact theory.” The fact that the 10th Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” is further proof that of the “compact theory.” However, Tom gives space for the “nationalist view” and soundly refutes each “argument” in support of this view.

He then looks at “nullification today” – a pretty good name for a newspaper on the subject, if you ask me. Woods briefly gives a history of “Western liberty.” Then he takes a look at the reactions of different States to the recent “health care reform” bill that was passed by Congress. At the time of publishing 27 States had either passed nullification laws or were in the act of doing so. He also talks about jury nullification and other options to nullification, such as Amending the Constitution. But, if the federal government doesn’t abide by the Constitution as currently written, what makes anyone think they’ll obey an amendment? To answer this question. Woods, surprisingly, quotes Lysander Spooner.

Woods even includes “Eleven Essential Documents” which includes both the Kentucky & Virginia Resolutions of 1798 as well as nullification resolutions from Connecticut & Wisconsin. There can be no justice done in any attempt to summarize documents.

Tom Woods, has definitely written another excellent book. In one of my favorite quotes, which is an amazing summary of the subject, Woods writes, “Nullification is about learning to exercise our rights, whether the courts or the politicians want us to or not.”


In Peace, Freedom, Love & Liberty,
Darryl W. Perry
Chair Boston Tea Party National Committee
http://BostonTea.us

Owner/Managing Editor Free Patriot Press
http://FreePatriot-Press.com

2016 candidate for President of the United States of America
http://dwp2016.org


Darryl W. Perry is an Activist, Author, Poet & Statesman. Darryl writes a weekly article for the Mountaineer Jeffersonian and has appeared on various alternative media talking about his books, political career and goals. Darryl is the Chairman of the Boston Tea Party National Committee and Owner/Managing Editor of Free Patriot Press.

To schedule an interview with Darryl please send an email to editor@freepatriot-press.com or call 205 863 0110

10 thoughts on “Darryl Perry: Review of “Nullification: How To Resist Federal Tyranny In The 21st Century”

  1. Best We Can Do? [Lake]

    Why all of this up set for independents and Non Democans and non Republicrats? Every thing is AOK. Every thing is just fine!

    “I see no evidence of corruption” [by Rangel], but rather, that the congressman was “overzealous” and “sloppy in his personal finances.” [Lake: Yeah, Right, Sure]

    Chisam said Rangel could have legally raised money for the Charles B. Rangel Center at City College of New York by asking the ethics committee for permission to solicit nonprofit organizations.

    However, he would not have been able to use congressional letterheads or employees in the fund raising, as he is charged with doing.

    The counsel also said Rangel used a subsidized apartment in New York City as a campaign office when the lease required that it be for residential use only.

    “At the same time, the landlord was evicting other tenants at an increased rate” for failing to follow the same lease terms, Chisam said ………”

    [Lake: an icon for the ages ………]

  2. paulie Post author

    Nothing, as usual.

    This doesn’t either, but it does have to do with the BTP at least…

    You are uniquely positioned to promote this theme…

    http://hammeroftruth.com/2010/terrorized-enough-already/

    A lot of people may have forgotten but the TEA parties (before becoming cheer squads for the usual conservative mixing of church and state and the military/industrial/domestic espionage complex) stood for Taxed Enough Already. We need a new TEA party: Terrorized Enough Already. Enough already with the terrorizing us with terror of terrible terrorists. Enough already with terrorizing us with the terroristic TSA. http://wewontfly.com and http://flywithdignity.org can be the start of a new TEA party which will say “enough already” to the terrorizing, terror-obsessed Homeland Security State, much as the TEA parties were meant to say Enough Already to overtaxation. Can we get the Terrorized Enough meme out there?

    Let me know if you like it…the issue is hot right now, so it’s a good time to make hey of it.

    BTW, http://hammeroftruth.com is google news indexed and anyone can sign up to post articles there….no screening process for writers, except maybe after the fact if you don’t fit in with the spirit of the site.

  3. Robert Capozzi

    Let me get this straight, then. If, say, AL’s legislature and governor moved to “nullify” the 13th and 14th Amendments, they would be empowered to do so? If the nullification legislation passed by 51% in the legislature, that still holds?

    Come on. This is a dry hole if ever there was one.

    IMO.

  4. paulie Post author

    4 BC, let me help you get this straight. There’s nothing in there about nullifying constitutional amendments, only federal laws that are unconstitutional. From the article:

    “Nullification begins with the axiomatic point that a federal law that violates the Constitution is no law at all. It is void and of no effect…. Nullification provides a shield between the people of a State and an unconstitutional law from the federal government.” He also explains that the federal government, created by the states via the constitution, should not have “a monopoly on constitutional interpretation.” After all, why should any group/organization/government created by (and supposedly for the benefit) of the parties involved be allowed to become superior to the parties that created it? Woods goes on to cite numerous letters and papers written by the Federalists claiming that States did have a right to nullify unconstitutional laws. He even show modern examples of nullification that have not resulted (as some say nullification does) in bloodshed. Medical Marijuana laws, refusal to implement REAL ID & the Firearms Freedom Acts are just 3 examples of States using “nullification” to defend the State and the citizens & residents of that State from unconstitutional laws. Woods also cites the work being done by the Tenth Amendment Center and their fight to oppose federal violations of the Constitution.

  5. paulie Post author

    By the way, Alabama’s legislature has already nullified the 13th amendment. We have mandatory prison/jail labor, including for nonviolent “offenders.” We also have various state taxes, which take a portion of people’s earnings (labor) whether they like it or not (IE, involuntary servitude). And the state cooperates in the federal government’s selective “service” (AKA selective slavery) registration scheme. That’s just the stuff I’m thinking of off the top of my head!

    The people of Alabama should take the underground railroad and escape/secede from the overseership of the plantation masters on Goat Hill. And so should the people of every other state, in alphabetical order of course.

  6. Robert Capozzi

    pc, yes, I was playing the provocateur! It’s not obvious why a state can “nullify” enabling legislation but not an amendment, esp. when as NF points out, the AL insurrectionists weren’t asked at the time the amendment was added.

    Why stop at the Constitution if we want states to nullify “unconstitutional” legislation…why not go all the way?! Yes, the only solution is Nonarchy Pods! 😉

    I’ll stick with my dry-hole characterization for this proposed procedural remedy. Marbury v. Madison will do for the time being.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    Also, there is the question of what is SUFFICIENT nullification…50.00001% of the legislature seems WAY too low to me. Even if I bought into Woods’s contention, there is the question of procedural safeguards.

    For ex., in 1861, the minority of the SC population, represented by plantation owners, voted to “nullify” the entire Constitution in order to maintain their slave-based economy.

    Silly me, but that picture looks awfully askew. 😉

  8. paulie Post author

    Yes, the only solution is Nonarchy Pods!

    I’ve already said I am all for Archy Pods.

    Also, there is the question of what is SUFFICIENT nullification…50.00001% of the legislature seems WAY too low to me.

    50.00001% of a federal legislature, or of a United Nations general assembly, doesn’t strike me as being better. The only significant difference in principle is that the larger an administrative unit, the harder it is to vote with your feet, effectively lobby your representatives, etc; and the more layers of bureaucracy to sop up money and pass the buck on accountability with implementation.

    The examples cited in the article are all solid, for instance.

    I’m not saying local control is always better, just that it’s better on balance.

    Global government… seems to me like it would be a bad idea.

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