Danger Ahead – the Nullification of the Congress

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There hasn’t
been so much heated discussion of "nullification" since
the OJ trial. You remember that culture-clash moment in American
Justice, don’t you? When OJ Simpson, the former NFL star turned
actor, was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole, and
her friend? The 1995 courtroom spectacle in Los Angeles has been
described as the most publicized criminal trial in American history.
Its outcome – an acquittal in the face of reasonably damning
evidence – has also been cited as one of the most glaring examples
of a legal phenomenon known as "jury nullification."

Put simply,
jury nullification is the process whereby a jury in a criminal case
effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless
of the weight of evidence against him or her. It is the power of
the panel to act in bold defiance of both law and fact, voting to
set a defendant free, even if that person did run afoul of a particular
criminal statute. In the OJ case, the sympathetic jury essentially
poked a prominent finger in the eye of the system, giving their
own peculiar twist to the term "blind justice."

More recently,
nullification of a different sort has been put on trial in the court
of public opinion and pursued in the chambers of state legislatures
across the country. This type of nullification is not an act of
defiance, rather one of obedience – obedience to the Constitution
of the United States and to the conscience of its determined protectors.

When a state
nullifies a federal law, it does so with the solemn conviction that
the law in question is unconstitutional. The state’s lawmakers,
generally invoking their sovereign powers under the Tenth Amendment,
are proclaiming that the offensive law is void and inoperative,
or non-effective, within the boundaries of that state. In other
words, they declare that the federal law is not "legal"
and cannot be enforced against their citizens.

Such nullification
has a long history in the American tradition. Of late it has been
used by quite a few states in effectively blocking the federal Real
ID Act of 2005 and resisting federal marijuana laws. With regard
to healthcare legislation expected to be forced on us against our
will by Washington, a number of states are already putting into
motion the wheels of nullification. Legislation has been introduced,
or state constitutional amendments put forth for 2010, that could
effectively nullify national healthcare mandates within the borders
of the various states.

What’s directly
implied in such nullification laws is "interposition"
(as referred to by James Madison in the Virginia
Resolution of 1798
). This is a bedrock principle supporting
state sovereignty. According to this principle, state governments
not only have the right to resist unconstitutional federal acts,
but, in order to protect liberty, they are "duty bound to interpose"
or stand between the federal government and the people of the state.
To do less would be an unconscionable dereliction of civic duty
and would jeopardize the standing of the state and the rights of
its citizens.

Which introduction
to nullification brings us now to the sharp point of this piece
– the looming danger we face from the impending nullification
of the Congress of the United States.

It is a charge
that, until recently, would seem too outrageous even to consider.
But given the extreme, purposeful and concerted misdeeds, destructive
acts and examples of egregious malfeasance by official Washington,
it is a charge that cries out to be aired.

The Obama Administration
and its either willing or unwitting co-conspirators on Capitol Hill
(I would bet heavily on "willing") are, without a doubt,
scheming to undermine our cherished Constitutional system of checks
and balances. They are conspiring to cause future elections of our
U.S. Senators and Representatives to be effectively "null and
void" in their legislative impact. After all, in their radical
leftist construct for government "rule," why should the
"rulers" have to bother with that pesky, problematic,
unpredictable Congress? This would, indeed, be "fundamental
change," wouldn’t it? And if the Obamacratic oligarchists succeed
in this subversion – one that would tragically be "historic
and unprecedented" (to borrow again from Mr. Obama’s lofty
language) – it will matter little how federal elections turn
out in 2010…or in any year beyond.

Alarmist, am
I? Cuckoo escaped from the cage, you say? Consider this: Every major
move, initiative, proposal or policy of the Obama White House and
its willing enablers down the street in DC has, at its dark heart,
a pernicious power grab or power shift. The intent? To restructure
the balance of power into the hands of an almighty Executive. The

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21, 2010

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