“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Is it possible for state law to nullify federal law according to the Constitution? Normally the answer would be no. Article 6 Clause 2 states: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
The Wyoming legislature is considering legislation to overturn gun control restrictions (that may be passed by the federal government) within their borders. Maine, New Jersey, and Oklahoma have also introduced legislation to nullify Obamacare within their borders.
Article 6, Clause 2 specifically states “under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land”. The Constitution of the United States grants that authority so long as it is within the scope of the document. If federal law is enacted that violates the tenth amendment which guarantees the States or the people any power not specifically delegated to the federal government by way of the constitution, than that law should be deemed unconstitutional making nullification unnecessary.
The very concept of nullification is in direct conflict with the Constitution of the United States as it takes the authority reserved for the Supreme Court and gives it to the states.
This leaves quite the quandary for the American Citizens and the States. Our Presidents past and present as well as the legislature have passed laws that flagrantly violate the tenth amendment, yet they have either remained unchallenged or have been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court which is the authorized arbiter in these cases.
Is it possible to fight against unconstitutional laws and judicial activism by passing laws on the state level which also violate Constitutional authority? I place blame upon the President, and congress and activist Supreme Court Justices for putting the States and the Citizens in a position where they feel that nullification is necessary to preserve the rights that should never have been denied.
Not just Wyoming but many states on on a path to where a Constitutional Showdown is imminent. It is time for our Public servants to recognize that power grabs will no longer be tolerated. The question is what are the most feasible ways of accomplishing this? Nullification could be considered a form of civil disobedience. It is a clear statement to the federal government that if they are not going to abide by the law of the land, then neither will the States.
I applaud the efforts of Wyoming and the other states that are fighting for their rights. While I am not proposing any better solutions, I do have to questions whether removing another brick from the Constitution is the right way of doing so. Courteous responses are welcome and appreciated.