“Wisconsin, States’ Rights & the Power of Nullification” was the theme of the Restoring the Republic conference held September 21 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Presented by the Wisconsin chapter of the Tenth Amendment Center, the three main featured speakers were Michael Maharrey, the communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center and the author of Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty; former Oklahoma State Senator Randy Brogdon, who successfully sponsored legislation nullifying REAL ID in the state of Oklahoma; and keynote speaker Dr. Tom Woods, the nationally acclaimed author of Nullification: How to Resist Tyranny in the 21st Century.
In addition to the Wisconsin chapter of the Tenth Amendment Center, the event was also sponsored by the Wisconsin chapter of Campaign for Liberty, Wisconsin Liberty Movement, Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women, UW-Madison chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, The Wisconsin 9/12 Project, FVCF (Fox Valley Conservative Forum), Prairie Patriots, and Wisconsin United for Nullification.
Kirsten Lombard of The Wisconsin 9/12 Project opened with remarks before giving the floor to Michael Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center. Maharrey’s speech focused on the history of nullification. Early in his remarks, Maharrey addressed Mark Levin’s new book, The Liberty Amendments, and its proposal for an Article V Constitutional Convention. "If they [Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court] won't obey the Constitution we have now what makes you think they will [obey] any new amendments to it?” Maharrey asked, before succinctly concluding, “That won’t work.” The only viable solution rooted deep and throughout American history and legal precedent is that of nullification, Maharrey explained.
Maharrey defined nullification as, “those of us with the authority to say no” executing that authority. The individual states as political society," Maharrey explained, "pre-existed the federal government.” He continued, “The states created the federal government and enumerated power to it.” He cited James Madison’s famous Federalist, No. 45 to emphasize the limits of such power enumerated by the states to the federal government. “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined,” Madison wrote, referring to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which specifically states what few items Congress is actually allowed and authorized to do.
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Photo of panel discussion during the Restoring the Republic event