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Freedom Campaign - December 2010

The States Are the Key to Saving Our Freedom!

by Larry Greenley, Director of Marketing

The states, then, being the parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity, that there can be no tribunal above their authority, to decide in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated; and consequently, that, as the parties to it, they must themselves decide, in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition.                                       — James Madison, Virginia General Assembly Report of 1800.

Resolved…. That the several states who formed that instrument [the Constitution], being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and, That a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized [unconstitutional] acts done under color of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.      — Thomas Jefferson, The Kentucky Resolutions of 1799.

Read the above quotes from James Madison and Thomas Jefferson carefully.

Notice that Madison says that since the states are the parties to the constitutional compact, then there is no tribunal, not even the Supreme Court, that is above their authority to decide whether that compact has been violated and whether a violation is of sufficient magnitude to require the states to interpose themselves between the federal government and the American citizens.

Notice that Jefferson agrees with Madison that the states have the unquestionable right to judge infractions of the Constitution, then asserts that state nullification of all unconstitutional acts by the federal government is the rightful remedy.

Although the constitutional compact nature of our system of government is not widely known and understood, and is certainly not being taught in our schools, it is the heart of the Tenth Amendment movement. The best way to get up to speed on this topic is to read Tom Woods’ book, Nullification, especially the parts about “the compact theory of the union.” Don’t be misled by the word “theory.” It’s a theory in that it is not accepted by our academic elites; however, it’s quickly accepted as a fact by constitutionalists who spend a little time reviewing the creation of our system of government by the original 13 states.

Of course, regular readers of this Bulletin know that The John Birch Society has been advocating state nullification of ObamaCare since early this year, which is exactly in line with what Madison and Jefferson advocate for reining in an out-of-control federal government. Furthermore, regular readers know that a new drive is underway by many individuals and organizations to get state legislatures to petition Congress to convene a constitutional convention (Con-Con) to propose various amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The main problem with the new Con-Con drive is that it has the potential to divert the growing energy behind the constitutionally sound Tenth Amendment/Nullification movement into support for the constitutionally risky Con-Con movement. However, we have the opportunity to turn a purely defensive and reactive opposition to the Con-Con movement into a proactive approach. We can go on the offense with our state nullification of ObamaCare action project and show its superiority over the Con-Con approach for bringing our out-of-control federal government back into compliance with the Constitution.

A New Educational Tool

I’ve just written an article for the December 6, issue of The New American, “States Should Enforce, Not Revise, the Constitution.” The thesis of the article is: The States should rein in our out-of-control federal government by enforcing the Constitution through nullification of unconstitutional federal laws rather than by revising the Constitution through an inherently risky constitutional convention process. We’ll reprint this article (it should be in stock by December 1) and also make it available to read online and as a PDF download.

Please use this new TNA article as a key tool to convince state legislators to pursue state nullification of ObamaCare and other unconstitutional federal laws as the best method for taming our out-of-control federal government and to reject the constitutional convention method as ineffective and unnecessarily risky.

And, of course while you’re at it, if your state is one of the 34 that haven’t rescinded all previous Con-Con calls (These 16 states have passed rescission resolutions: AL, AZ, GA, ID, LA, MT, ND, NH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, VA, UT, and WY.), then please work with your state legislators to introduce and pass a resolution to rescind all existing Con-Con calls. The more states we can add to the rescission list, the more difficult it will be for pro Con-Con advocates to gain traction for their new Con-Con call resolutions. Furthermore, if a block of 17 rescinding states could be convinced to hold fast and not issue any new Con-Con calls, it would be impossible for the pro Con-Con forces to bring about a constitutional convention. However, don’t get over-confident. Florida was one of the early states to rescind all Con-Con calls in 1988, but then earlier this year passed a new Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) Con-Con call. And, Virginia, another rescission state, is already talking about a new Con-Con call in 2011.

In brief, use the information in the new TNA article to convince your state legislators to bring the federal government back under control by enforcing the Constitution, not revising it. Please include in your information packets for your state legislators copies of both our model nullification act and (in the 34 non-rescinding states) our model Con-Con rescission resolution. For further information and educational tools, go to our “Choose Freedom – STOP ObamaCare” web page at http://www.JBS.org/StopObamaCare and “Choose Freedom – STOP A Con-Con” web page at http://www.JBS.org/StopACon-Con.

Since the dials for the 2011 legislative session in your state are being preset in December, it is extremely important to be in personal contact with your state legislators in December regarding the action requests we’ve made in this article.

We must preserve our freedom under the Constitution by expanding the Tenth Amendment/Nullification movement and preventing it from being hijacked by the pro Con-Con forces!

Action Summary

  • Use the resources at  http://www.JBS.org/StopObamaCare and http://www.JBS.org/StopACon-Con to convince your state legislators to rein in our out-of-control federal government by nullifying ObamaCare and other unconstitutional laws, rejecting all new Con-Con calls, and (where appropriate) rescinding all existing Con-Con calls.
  • Be sure to include the new TNA reprint, “States Should Enforce, Not Revise, the Constitution,” with all educational packets for state legislators.
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