Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Nullification and Secession: Solutions or Talking Points? | Abbeville Institute

Posted by M. C. on September 5, 2018


Many of us in the South have maintained our faith in the Constitutional right of nullification and secession despite the efforts of massed, bloody, Yankee bayonets. But is the talk about nullification and secession an earnest effort to put forward solutions to an out of control, Deep State, supreme federal government or is it merely an exercise in heady political calisthenics?

I belong to the tribe that believes nullification and secession are the only real solutions to the current out of control supreme federal government. To demonstrate the validity of my belief, I will pose and answer three fundamental questions: (1) Are the concepts of state nullification and secession legitimate American political principles? (2) Is the current supreme federal government a legitimate governing authority? and (3) Would the modern-day acceptance of state nullification and secession be so unworkable that it would destroy the United States?…

Even the High Federalist Alexander Hamilton was forced to admit that the Sovereign States had the right to protect their citizens from an abusive federal government:

It may be safety received as an axiom in our political system, that the State government…afford security…against the national authority. [1]

He based this upon the principle of State Sovereignty noting, “The State governments, by their original constitutions, are invested with complete sovereignty.” [2] James Madison expressed his agreement with the principle of State Sovereignty when he wrote:

Do they [the anti-Federalists] require that, in the establishment of the Constitution, the States should be regarded as distinct and independent sovereigns? They are so regarded by the Constitution proposed. [3]

These words from Federalist founding fathers stand in sharp contrast to Lincoln’s opinion. But the anti-Federalists speaking in the State ratification conventions were even more direct. Anti-Federalists in states such as Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island placed wording in their ratification resolutions declaring for all the world to see that the Sovereign State had the right to withdraw its consent to the Union formed by the Constitution should said Union become abusive or encroach upon the rights reserved to the Sovereign States.[4] Nullification and secession are based upon the American principle of State Sovereignty. As a Sovereign, the State may take whatever action it deems necessary to protect its rights and the liberty of its citizens. This includes the right to withdraw powers previously delegated by the Sovereign State to its agent—the federal government. Therefore, according to the founding fathers, nullification and secession are legitimate powers reserved to the Sovereign States. The founding fathers, who believed in liberty, were right—Lincoln, who believed in an all-powerful federal government, was wrong!…

The current supreme federal government has no real check on its powers. As pointed out by John C. Calhoun, the Constitution is not self-enforcing! [19] The threat of state nullification or secession would be a significant factor causing the federal government to construe the limits of its powers carefully. For example; Obamacare never would have been considered, much less passed, if the once sovereign states had the power of nullification and secession. Nullification and secession are the only real or ultimate checks against an aggressive federal government—a government that is today controlled by power-hungry elites in Washington, D.C. and Wall Street.

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Big Gov

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