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Nullification Advocates Take Show On The Road
Posted By Robert Steinback On April 26, 2011 @ 2:53 pm In Antigovernment | 49 Comments
Possibly coming to a city near you: A citizens’ seminar on how to weaken the “united” in United States by canceling federal laws that states don’t like.
The traveling conference, called “Nullify Now!” pushes nullification, the notion that a state has the right to invalidate and disregard any federal law. The concept relies on a spurious interpretation of the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states and the people any power not explicitly given to the federal government. Nullifiers ignore a long history of Supreme Court rulings defining federal authority.
Nullification  is nothing new. Battles over states’ abilities to reject federal government initiatives go back to the founding of the country. During the 1950s, Southerners revived the idea as a way to reject the federal government’s efforts at desegregation.
Today’s nullifiers seem to decry just about everything the federal government does.
With the help of this growing antigovernment movement, nullification has gained traction lately. State lawmakers have introduced, but not passed, numerous bills to nullify federal initiatives like gun regulations and the new health care reform act. Some have sought to deny the authority of federal agents to act in state jurisdictions. Arizona’s senate even passed a bill earlier this year that would create a legislative committee to “recommend, propose and call for a vote by simple majority to nullify in its entirety a specific federal law or regulation that is outside the scope of the powers delegated by the People to the federal government in the United States Constitution.”
The Nullify Now! road show stopped in Austin, Texas, on April 16. The lead national sponsor is a group called the Foundation for a Free Society. Executive Director Jason Rink, in a video on the group’s website, describes the federal government as the primary threat to liberty. He compares the present-day nullification movement with the American colonists who overthrew British rule in 1776 – thus equating the federal government with that of King George III.
“What happened that the protector of the liberties of man has turned and begun to hack away at the roots and branches of the tree of liberty?” Rink says. “Government itself has become the enemy of liberty over time.”
The other driving force behind the movement is the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC), a clearinghouse of nullification efforts founded and headed by Michael Boldin. The next conference is planned for May 28 in Los Angeles, though Boldin said in Austin he needed donations to make that happen.
Nullification Now’s conferences are headlined by prominent figures in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, which has been growing fast  in the last two years. Patriots generally define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing about the government, or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines. The Austin conference featured several prominent Patriot group leaders, including the CEO of the John Birch Society , which once argued that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a communist, and the head of Oath Keepers , a relatively new group that encourages police officers and soldiers to disobey orders they think may be unconstitutional.
Here are some highlights from the conference’s speakers:
Article printed from Hatewatch | Southern Poverty Law Center: http://www.splcenter.org/blog
URL to article: http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2011/04/26/nullification-advocates-take-show-on-the-road/
URLs in this post:
 Nullification: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullification_%28U.S._Constitution%29
 growing fast: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2011/spring/active-patriot-groups-in-the-us
 John Birch Society: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society
 Oath Keepers: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/fall/oath-keepers-group-battered-by-members-
 Catherine Bleish: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/summer/meet-the-patriots
 Daniel Miller: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2000/fall/separatism
 Stewart Rhodes: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/summer/meet-the-patriots?page=0,2
 League of the South: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/league-of-the-south
 : http://www.constitution.org/jjr/socon.htm
 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism
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