“The states can’t simply choose to defy and override a valid federal law.” That’s law professor Allen Rostron’s opinion of the spate of state efforts to thwart federal attempts to infringe on the constitutionally protected right of citizens to keep and bear arms.
Rostron makes this statement in a recent article published by the Kansas City Star.
The right of states to refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal acts is known as nullification.
Nullification is a concept of constitutional law recognizing the right of each state to nullify, or invalidate, any federal measure that exceeds the few and defined powers allowed the federal government as enumerated in the Constitution.
Nullification exists as a right of the states because the sovereign states formed the union, and as creators of the compact, they hold ultimate authority as to the limits of the power of the central government to enact laws that are applicable to the states and the citizens thereof.
As President Obama and the United Nations accelerate their plan to disarm Americans, the need for nullification is urgent, and liberty-minded citizens are encouraged to see state legislators boldly asserting their right to restrain the federal government through application of that very powerful and very constitutional principle.
One would expect that Rostron, being a professor of law, has read the Federalist Papers. In fairness, he probably has, but perhaps he overlooked Federalist, No. 33, where Alexander Hamilton explained the legal validity of federal acts that exceed the powers granted to it by the Constitution. Hamilton wrote:
If a number of political societies enter into a larger political society, the laws which the latter may enact, pursuant to the powers intrusted [sic] to it by its constitution, must necessarily be supreme over those societies and the individuals of whom they are composed.... But it will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the larger society which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such. [Emphasis in original.]
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