Nullification: "Terrifying" and "Stupid"?

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Nullification: "Terrifying" and "Stupid"?

An article in the Charleston (South Carolina) City Paper describes nullification as "terrifying" and "stupid."

A bill to refuse to enforce the unconstitutional mandates of ObamaCare will come before the South Carolina legislature when it reconvenes in January.

While such a reaction may seem reasonable in light of the train wreck that the Affordable Care Act has proven to be, there is one citizen of the Palmetto State who thinks it's time for South Carolina to get out of the shadow of its rebellious past.

Writing in the Charleston City Paper, Corey Hutchins hides behind scholars, historians, and partisan lawmakers to denounce the concept of nullification.

"Yet again, South Carolina reaches for the bottom," said Gwen Robinson, a Mt. Pleasant attorney, as quoted by Hutchins. "This is stupid,” Robinson reportedly added.

Sliding a little farther down the legal ladder, Hutchins includes the learned opinion of a recent law school graduate, Andrew Patterson, in his diatribe, as well: "You can call this bill what you want," Patterson told the lawmakers at the hearing last night. "But essentially it is gutting [a federal law] ... the idea of nullification is terrifying to me.”

Stupid and terrifying.

Finally, Hutchins decides to quote an actual licensed attorney, Charleston law professor William Merkel. Merkel, as reported by Hutchins, claims, incorrectly,

The purpose behind the Constitution — and [James] Madison, the reputed father of the Constitution spells this out in great detail in his notes he made leading into to the constitutional convention — the principle [sic] purpose was to strip the states of powers and provide the federal government with ample authority.

Try squaring that bald-faced mischaracterization of Madison with the following words from the man himself as written in Federalist 45:

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.

Merkel then reminds readers that “the phrase nullification doesn’t appear in the Constitution.” 

Click here to read the entire article.

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