Nullify! Chapter 2: Four Steps to Bring Down Federal Programs
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Nullify! Chapter 2: Four Steps to Bring Down Federal Programs


Did you know the man considered by many to be the “Father of the Constitution” gave us a blueprint for what to do when the federal government doesn’t follow the rules? Well he did, and it’s not something they teach you in school either. When ratification of the constitution was still up in the air, James Madison and others wrote a series of papers about how things would work. In one, Federalist paper #46, Madison laid out a clear plan, a blueprint for what was needed to keep the federal government in check when words on paper, wouldn’t do the job. Surprisingly, James Madison didn’t advise using as a first response to federal over reach what are known as the most wanted parts of the American system today. That is, voting bums out, suing in federal court, or demanding that federal politicians repeal their own laws. Instead, James Madison advised a series of four actions by individuals and States. 1. Protest on a large scale. Madison called it “disquietude of the people.” 2. Non-compliance. Madison recommended disobedience in general, and “a refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.” 3. Outspoken governors. Madison advised what he called “frowns of the executive of the State” to build awareness in the general public. And 4. State legislation. Madison said “legislative devices” should be used in the states. That is, passing resolutions or bills as needed to counter federal power. James Madison told us that using these steps together in multiple States would be extremely effective against the federal government. He wrote that doing so, would “present obstructions which the federal government would be hardly willing to encounter.” This advice was written in a time when the federal government did very little. Today, when the federal government is active in nearly all areas of life, James Madison’s blueprint will have far more impact and success than it did in his day. That’s because Washington DC relies on support and cooperation from the states for almost everything. As the National governors Association put it, States are partners with the federal government on “most federal programs.” Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits. In other words, if individuals and States protest and refuse to participate on a wide scale, there’s very little the federal government can do about it.

4 Comments

  • Agent76

    Or did he even consider this case either! (1803) Marbury v. Madison

    "The Chief Justice went on to say that it was the particular responsibility of the courts to protect the rights of individuals — even against the president of the United States."

    Marbury v. Madison, arguably the most important case in Supreme Court history, was the first U.S. Supreme Court case to apply the principle of "judicial review" — the power of federal courts to void acts of Congress in conflict with the Constitution. Written in 1803 by Chief Justice John Marshall, the decision played a key role in making the Supreme Court a separate branch of government on par with Congress and the executive.

    In resolving the case, Chief Justice Marshall answered three questions. First, did Marbury have a right to the writ for which he petitioned? Second, did the laws of the United States allow the courts to grant Marbury such a writ? Third, if they did, could the Supreme Court issue such a writ? With regard to the first question, Marshall ruled that Marbury had been properly appointed in accordance with procedures established by law, and that he therefore had a right to the writ. Secondly, because Marbury had a legal right to his commission, the law must afford him a remedy. The Chief Justice went on to say that it was the particular responsibility of the courts to protect the rights of individuals — even against the president of the United States.

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/democracy/landmark_marbury.html

  • Ethercruiser1

    Excellent 4 steps given by Madison to help nullify Federal oversteps. Sadly:

    Step #1: Not enough people are motivated enough to go out & protest on a mass scale
    Step #2: Not enough people refuse to cooperate with officers of the Union trying to enforce Unconstitutional laws
    Step #3: There are not enough outspoken State governors standing up against an Unconstitutional Federal government
    Step #4: Not enough State legislations are willing to pass laws that nullify Unconstitutional Federal laws

    But these are 4 things we should all be doing now!
    Thumbs up for a great "Chapter 2".

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