• Warning: More Excuses to Take Your Rights
    Articles,  Blog

    Warning: More Excuses to Take Your Rights

    Taking away rights because some people abuse them is dangerous. Every time someone uses a gun to commit a crime, you’ll hear gun control supporters claim that new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms are “necessary.” They don’t care that criminals don’t follow the law, and they don’t care that they’ll be attacking an essential tool of self-defense. Their view is extremely dangerous. But they’re not alone. Lately, a small, but very vocal, minority of conservatives have been complaining in much the same way about nullification. They tell us that nullification is bad because as they say it, “sanctuary cities are nullification.” Their view is also very…

  • Archibald Maclaine and Nullification
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    Archibald Maclaine and Nullification

    It wasn’t just Thomas jefferson and James Madison who supported nullification During the 1788 Hillsborough Convention, delegates from North Carolina opposing ratification of the Constitution outnumbered those in favor by about 2-1. One of the greatest concerns was about the extent of powers delegated to the federal government, and the lack of a bill of rights at that time. Archibald Maclaine was a well-known attorney in the state and was a leader there in opposition to the Stamp Act years earlier. He argued in favor of ratification and suggested nullification as a response to federal overreach. He said: “If Congress should make a law beyond its powers and the spirit…

  • “Enforce the Law,” But Only if it Doesn’t Violate the Constitution
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    “Enforce the Law,” But Only if it Doesn’t Violate the Constitution

    We recently released a report showing that our Second Amendment president has actually ramped up enforcement of unconstitutional federal gun laws when you compare him to gun-grabbing President Obama during his last year in office Well, we got a lot of hate mail for that one. Of course, a lot of it was just silly. Typing, “That’s B.S.,” in all caps isn’t really an argument. But several people brought up something more substantive saying the president has to enforce the law no matter what. One guy said if the president starts picking and choosing which laws to enforce, it will “break the system.” Now look – considering virtually everything the…

  • Constitution 101: Immigration vs Naturalization
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    Constitution 101: Immigration vs Naturalization

    Did you know there is a difference between immigration and naturalization under the Constitution? Most people assume that the federal government has complete control over immigration. This is partly due to the fact that they confuse immigration and naturalization. In fact, they are two very distinct things. The Constitution delegates to the federal government the power to establish a “uniform Rule of Naturalization,” but it does not expressly delegate any power to regulate immigration. Both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson said the individual states have the power to regulate immigration and to deal with any foreigners within their borders. Madison insisted the only time the federal government could deport a…

  • Texas vs DC: States Can Impact the Federal Resettlement Program
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    Texas vs DC: States Can Impact the Federal Resettlement Program

    States do have the ability to impact the federal government’s refugee resettlement program. As was widely reported last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has officially told the national Office of Refugee Resettlement that if certain conditions aren’t met, the state will be withdrawing from the federal resettlement program. Of course, the New York Times quickly downplayed the impact of Texas withdrawing from the program. But the practical realities look different. The state provides vital logistic medical and social service assistance. Texas manages $96 million in federal funds for services provided to refugees. And last year alone it resettled some seven thousand refugees. Several non-profits such as the International Rescue Committee,…

  • Articles

    There’s not Enough Gold? Nonsense!

    Some people believe that we can’t use sound money because they’re supposedly “not enough gold.” But they couldn’t be more wrong. Claims that gold can’t be used as money because there’s not enough of it reveal a fundamental misunderstanding. There’s always enough metal to support the money supply. It’s just a question of price. While it would be impossible to support the economy at the current price per ounce, the market would simply re-price the metal higher to make the system workable. Some people estimate a gold price between $9,000 and $10,000 per ounce would do the trick for a worldwide gold standard. This might sound like a lot, but…

  • Centralized Power is the Problem, not the Solution
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    Centralized Power is the Problem, not the Solution

    Whenever you give government power to do something you like, you’re also giving your opponents the power to do the opposite. Sometimes people tell us we are missing opportunities to expand liberty by insisting on decentralization of power, and refusing to turn to Washington D.C. for solutions. They tell us that sometimes we need federal power to keep States from violating our rights. For instance, a lot of conservatives have put their faith in federal courts to protect our gun rights from strict state regulations. Others will point to successes, such as the Supreme Court decision that struck down Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages. Every once in a while, the…

  • Constitution 101: The Preamble Delegates No Power
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    Constitution 101: The Preamble Delegates No Power

    A lot of people believe the Preamble to the Constitution gives the federal government the power to do just about anything. And a lot of people are wrong. If you learned anything about the Constitution in school, you learned the preamble. In fact, you may have even memorized it. Many people quote it to supposedly prove that the federal government has the power to do anything it wants to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.” But in a legal document, and the Constitution is in fact an 18th century legal document, a preamble does not carry…

  • Nullify! Chapter 14: Anti-Commandeering
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    Nullify! Chapter 14: Anti-Commandeering

    To stop federal acts, James Madison recommended a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.” Over 170 years of supreme court precedent supports this strategy too. Known as the “anti-commandeering doctrine,” in four major cases dating back to 1842, the Supreme Court has held that the federal government cannot require states to use personnel or resources to help the federal government carry out its acts or regulatory programs. In the 1842 Prigg case, Justice Joseph Story wrote that the federal government could not force states to implement or carry out the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. He said that it was a federal law, and the federal government ultimately…