Wisconsin GOP to Vote on Pro-Secession Resolution

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
04/17/2014
       
Wisconsin GOP to Vote on Pro-Secession Resolution

At its convention on May 2-4, the Wisconsin state Republican Party will vote on a resolution claiming that it “supports legislation that upholds Wisconsin's right, under extreme circumstances, to secede.”

A story published April 14 in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online reports that the “state sovereignty” resolution was approved in March by a regional Republican caucus as a method of showing support for state power as protected by the Tenth Amendment. As an expression of state sovereignty, the proposal recommends the nullification of all federal mandates that exceed “the scope of the constitutionally delegated powers of the federal government.”

The Journal Sentinel reports that at a press conference, Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, expressed disagreement with the resolution.

"I don't think that one aligns with where most Republican officials are in the state of Wisconsin — certainly not with me," Walker reportedly said at Friday’s press event.

In a statement published in the Journal Sentinel on April 4, Joe Fadness, the executive director of the state Republican Party, said the Wisconsin GOP “does not support secession.”

Secession is an extreme response, however, to the repeated federal abuses of power correctly identified and opposed by some Republicans in Wisconsin.

The most effective weapon in the war against federal overreach is nullification. Nullification recognizes that states (or counties, cities, or other local entities) possess the right to invalidate any federal measure that exceeds the few and defined powers allowed the federal government as enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

States (and their legal subdivisions) retain the right to act as arbiters of the constitutionality of federal acts because they 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.

Despite criticism by those who advocate for a more powerful federal government, nullification would not lead to anarchy, as it is only unconstitutional federal acts that will be subject to state invalidation. 

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Photo of Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin

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