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  • Morning Bell: New Year's Resolutions for Conservatives

    Let’s be honest: We all know you’re not really gonna quit smoking, start exercising, and eat more vegetables as of today. As Emerson wryly remarked: “All promise outruns performance.”

    The key to keeping your New Year’s resolutions is to make them more realistic. Rather than try to drastically change the way you live, why not start with the more modest goal of changing the way you speak? And what better place to start for conservatives than with America’s Founding principles?

    As conservatives continue to rediscover the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, it is important to use words and embrace ideas that are consistent with our Founding principles.

    If you’re fond of the term “states’ rights,” have a soft spot for nullification, are tempted by isolationism or are wary of equality, here are four simple resolutions to begin getting right with America’s principles. Once you have these down, you can start correcting your friends and move on to other core concepts.

    1. Speak of Federalism, not “States’ Rights”

    States don’t have rights. People do.

    States have powers. Nowhere in the Constitution are states said to possess rights. Congress has certain powers, clearly enumerated in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, and the conservative-favorite Tenth Amendment makes clear that all the other powers are reserved to the states.

    Not only is it incorrect to speak of states’ rights, but the expression has more baggage than Samsonite and Louis Vuitton combined. In case you didn’t know, “states’ rights” was the rallying cry of segregationists. Since no right-thinking conservative will keep company with such people, let’s just drop the term states’ rights once and for all.

    If you’re concerned about federal encroachments on state sovereignty or the erosion of federalism–as you should be–then speak of federal encroachments on state sovereignty or the erosion of federalism. Or of the need to restore limited constitutional government, reinvigorate local self-government, decentralize power or check the growth of out-of-control government. With so many great formulations to choose from, why weaken the case for liberty by relying on “states’” rights?

    2. Resist the Nullification Temptation

    Are you unhappy with the constitutional abomination called Obamacare? Do you think that Congress has no power to compel you to purchase health insurance?

    Good. Now encourage the repeal of the law or wait and see what mood Justice Anthony Kennedy will be in next June when the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of Obamacare.

    But please don’t start talking about nullification as the magical silver bullet that other conservatives somehow overlooked in their efforts to repeal Obamacare (or any other unconstitutional law, for that matter).

    Nullification is blatantly unconstitutional. As James Madison pointed out in 1798, 1800 and again during the Nullification Crisis of 1832, individual states do not have the power to unilaterally declare federal legislation unconstitutional. They have the power–in fact, the duty–to challenge laws they deem objectionable, but this must be done within the existing constitutional framework. Let us behold a republican remedy, as Madison would say, to this federal overreach.

    3. Isolationism is un-American

    Unless you’re describing the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan or the hermit kingdom of North Korea, “isolationism” should be eliminated from conservative foreign policy discussions.

    As a nation dedicated to the universal truth of human equality, America simply cannot withdraw from the world and be indifferent to the fate of liberty. American exceptionalism is fundamentally incompatible with isolationism. More so than any other country, we have a duty to stand for liberty.

    And no, the Founders were not isolationists. The Heritage Foundation’s Marion Smith has written the definitive refutation of this bogus argument in “The Myth of Isolationism.”

    So if we’re not isolationists, does that mean we’re interventionists who want to make the world “safe for democracy“? Of course not. There is a middle ground between naive isolationism and crusading interventionism: a distinctively American foreign policy, anchored in the principles of the Founding, that secures our interests all the while upholding our commitment to liberty–a commitment which need not necessarily translate into military interventions.

    4. Equality is not a four-letter word

    Seeing how the Left blathers on incessantly about inequality and dreams of a Harrison Bergersonesque America, some conservatives are wary of equality. Yet no word is more central to the American tradition which we uphold than equality.

    Equality is the first self-evident truth proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and ours is a country “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” By this, of course, we mean equal natural rights and the equal opportunities afforded by free markets and the rule of law.

    The real tragedy of inequality in America is not that some earn more than others–class envy is something that afflicts Europeans, not Americans. Rather, it is that big government breeds what Paul Ryan calls “a class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society.”

    Let us therefore reclaim the mantle of equality from those who’ve perverted it in the pursuit of equal outcomes.

    - David Azerrad is Assistant Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    57 Responses to Morning Bell: New Year's Resolutions for Conservatives

    1. scott martin says:

      Heritage,

      Thank you for the lessen on this windy January day. Really enjoyed being taught. I too was admonished by my [ well meaning] but fundamentally wrong thinking on nullification. From this Day forward I will try to properly learn the correct terminologies of our CONSTITUTIONAL INTENT MEANING.

      Thank You, Scott M.

    2. Michael J Gillman says:

      Great advice. Supporters of conservative goals should not let themselves be accused of "yahoo conservatism". To win elections, we need to reach out to thinking voters, and some of the rhetoric, cartoons and personal attacks by our fire-breathing supporters fail to serve that objective. Language is critical.

    3. Steven Polgar says:

      Congratulations on a concise and clear statement on the importance of the words we use to express our ideas. As a teacher and writer of this, one of the world's richest languages, I have harangued my students and readers about the importance of words and the way we choose them.

    4. The Farmer says:

      Do any of the hirelings in our pulpits dare speak on the subject of unkept "vows" and what the Lord has to say about that type of sin in connection with the New Year?
      Its much much better NOT TO VOW then to bring His rath on yourself folks!

    5. Matt says:

      This is right on…. The only thing missing from this piece is to refute the "know nothing" aspects if our immigration debates. Conservatives do not need to oppose legal remedies for illegals already here that fall short of deportation. When someone is arrested for a crime in our justice system, they are JUSTLY punished (if convicted) according to the facts of their case and the criminal background etc, and consequently afforded a punishment that falls short of the maximum. Many times, guilty parties are offered probAtion, ore-trial diversion, suspended jail times, loweryhanmaximum fines, etc. sincedepirtation is the MAXIMUM punishment for illegally entering our borders and committing no other crime while doing so, then it follows that deportation need not apply to EVERY illegal immigrant. Newt is right on this one. Punishments can be tailored and structured to fit "the best interests of the govt" and certainly, forced deportation of 12 million
      People wouldn't be in our best interests. Nor necessary for justice sake, as some would claim. Neither would blanket mnesty, but their is always a middle ground of justice somewhere between maximum sentence and full amnesty.

    6. David White says:

      Great, pithy way to begin the new year. Let us all remember where our "rights" come from "the devine Creator" and we will be humble and grateful.

    7. Jim, CT says:

      If a people can neither nullify a law with which they disagree, nor secede from a nation, then they are slaves to the dictatorial whims of the people of other states. The states agreed to join the union subject to the laws of the Constitution. If the other states no longer abide by the laws of the Constitution, then the agreement is void. Denying this is ultimately the equivalent of supporting tyrannical federal rule.

      I am a non-interventionist, not an isolationist (the primary difference being non-interventionists support free trade and isolationists support high tariffs). But Pat Buchanan is an isolationist. And I think Pat Buchanan is far more conservative than the author of this… article.

    8. Gordon McCauley says:

      What is "the existing Constitutional framework" for challenging the Constitutionality of acts of Congress? Are you implying the Federal government decides whether its acts are Constitutional? Are you implying that it no longer takes three-quarters of the States to ratify changes to the Constitution, but rather only 5 Federal employees? When Congress declares the moon is made of green cheese, I suggest the States ignore it and go on about their business as always.

    9. Frank says:

      This is one of the best & most appropriate articles recently written by Heritage & with which I can agree without reservation. I especially appreciate their discussion of point #3. NONE of the Republican candidates for President are isolationists, but I fear some are too much interventionists still. Even if you want to argue in favor of continued global interventionist (which our Founding Fathers would not want), we live in a new reality that such a thing is now unaffordable. Even our military leaders now tell us: the greatest threat America faces today is an economic threat. We are simply spending too much, running too big a deficit, overall debt is too high & continues to sky-rocket, we are over-taxes & over-regulated, America is becoming uncompetitive and jobs continue to move out of the USA… for a reason. The US Dollar might collapse, as might all the paper-based world currencies. What about a return to sound (gold & silver) money?

      Let's pursue a small, limited, Constitutional form of Federalism, work within the system & resist nullification, follow our Founding Father's advice & be non-interventionists & reclaim the mantle of equality from those who’ve perverted it in the pursuit of equal outcomes.

    10. Steve Owens says:

      Please tell me what this NDAA that the president just signed on Saturday is all about. What I read it doesn't look good for Americans in the very near future.

    11. I like these. We definately need to take back control of the language.

    12. george seaver says:

      States rights and nullification were also used in Wisconsin to oppose the fugitive slave act. There comes a time….

    13. Wayne Grievo says:

      Wonderful article. Clear thinking is a pleasure to behold. Thank you. What a great way to start the new year.

    14. harold says:

      Equality is one of the most misused terms in our country today. We were 'created' equal. America is the land of equal opportunity, not equal outcome.

    15. Don Lisa says:

      David: While I am a Conservative in the Reagan mold, I often used the term "states' rights" when I should have referenced "states' powers" or federal encroachments on state sovereignty or the erosion of federalism. Thanks for straightening me out.

    16. Bob Dewey says:

      Conservate is an adjective used to modify some noun. It is not a political position in the political configuration of the American political system. There are two political power points in our Constitution, the several states and the central government. Conservative and liberal are used by the two political parties to hid the fact that these parties have joined and both represent the interests of the central government.

    17. Wow, I never thought that Heritage would be promoting political correctness. The liberals have effectively won many wars on the people by hijacking the liberty of language. The term “states’ rights” is still okay in my book. I like the fact that it conjures up the struggle between the states (which are made up of “people”) and the federal government (which is made up of people as well, otherwise known as “bureaucrats”). As far as the term having “baggage,” that is in the mind of reader or the listener, who is probably a liberal waiting to call the “PC police” to arrest me for being “insensitive.” Please do not infringe on my liberty of language, as long as I am civil in my discourse. I have the right to use the term “states’ rights.”

    18. Spiritof76 says:

      I disagree with your portrayal of American Exceptinalism. It has nothing to do with being an international policemen. Its genesis is sovereignty of people and not the state, however that is established. At that time, in 1776, and perhaps even now, that concept (found in the Declaration of Independence and executed in the US Constitution) was unique and exceptional. The rest of the world was ruled by tyrants and dictators.
      Was George Washington an isolationist for pursuing a policy of non-interference in other nation's political intrigue? He was for international commece and trade but not for war unless there was an existential threat to the US and the Congress declared war first.
      Please stop promoting the progressive polcies of Teddy Roosevelt as synonymous with the founding principles. The former is a destructive policy while the latter is a policy of peace.

    19. Mike Becker says:

      Although my life has made me very liberal I appreciate this article and the principles it espouses. Reasonable people should be able to have reasonable discussions. I might not agree with your take on "Federalism" but I appreciate common sense and logic and there is much of that in the underpinnings of modern American conservatism. God's Peace in 2012.

    20. Joseph Mixon says:

      This article by David Azerrad is not only timely but informative. All people should be better educated on our founding principles.

    21. Lloyd Scallan says:

      You forgot one. Get rid of Obama and most Democats in Congress!

    22. Guest says:

      The equality arguments always bring this song to mind. Those of us of a certain age should remember it.
      http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rush/thetrees.html

    23. Warren Norcom says:

      My compliments to Mr. Azerrad for a well written and thought provoking conservative, or I might say simply right and logical list of New Year's resolutions. As happens often, negative experiences serve to force us to reflect on our own beliefs, norms and actions. They awaken us to the necessity of changing them and engaging in the national debate to help correct or maintain those principles that we hold dear as Americans. Such has it been for many of us in the last three years of the Obama administration. I have never seen such interest and engagement of the American people to understand the original intentions of our Founding Fathers in establishing the foundations of our Republic. The word "engagement" is key as a huge political wave is moving across the land, as exemplified by the Tea Party movement, huge change in the House of Representatives, legal challenges to unconstitutional mandates and laws, and radio and TV forums (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others). I had to link on a new phrase for me: "Harrison Bergersonesque". Good term. I plan to drop it on my friends to impress them.

    24. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      Texas Governor, Perry while campaigning made a great remark, "Make the job part-time." This is the only solution to eliminate Washington D.C.intransigence. The longer we support life-time politicians, regardless of party, the more they will pander to each other and ignore what goes on in the real world. The only real resolution is to resolve to move the cheese. Believe me, the rats will follow…

      Of course, without lifers in Washington, who would Heritage have dinner with?

    25. Bill F. says:

      Right On ! ! !

    26. FlaJim says:

      States' Rights are indeed just that as defined in the Tenth Amendment. It doesn't matter who used the term in the past. As for segregation, both Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams affirm that segration — in schools at least — was a beneficial experience. Primarily, however, States' Rights supporters look to stop the over reach of the Feds. A liberal interpretation of the interstate commerce clause is an excellent example of what needs to be opposed.

      Nullification is basically a dare. Andrew Jackson successfully defied the Supreme Court when he deported the indians in Georgia to Oklahoma. In cases where a state denies the right of the feds on Constitutional or moral grounds, they're stating, "Leave us out or we'll leave." There's no prohibition of secession in the Constitution. The contract is not binding if one party wants out.

    27. Well written. Thank you for your insight.

    28. Frank says:

      This is a must read for every high school student as well as for college students and all educaters

    29. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Get Obama out of ofice.

    30. Carolyn says:

      This is excellent! Inspiring and enlightening. Well done.

    31. Jack Hotchkiss says:

      Very well said and stated. I love learning and this email was a love fest for me.
      Thank you
      Jack Hotchkiss

    32. Paddy O says:

      ANTICS WITH SEMANTICS! People populate states, the majority of whom elect a legislative body to make laws which define their rights in the way they want to live. Sale of liquor,traffic laws,election procedures etc.
      If an individual does not want to conform to to these rules they have the right to move to another State.

      To say that States do not have rights is tantamount to saying that the U.S. government does not have the right to vote in the U.N, enter into treaties, or define it's borders. To have an orderly society people give up a part of their rights to government thereby conferring " Rights" to Local State and federal governments which then possess rights!

    33. Maui Quizon says:

      "The Founders are the generation of statesmen who led America through the Revolutionary War and the creation of the U.S. Constitution. They also established the state and national governments on firm footing following the ratification of the Constitution, through the first few decades of America’s history. The most prominent Founders include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Adams. Their principles and actions still provide us with a guide for thinking about today’s political issues."

    34. Leith N. Wood says:

      Happy New Year! Thanks for more good ideas. Keep them coming for it's going to be a bumpy year with a lot of negativity and lies from the other side. Conservatives need to stick together, speak out and support each other. Bless you.

    35. Guest says:

      I will be looking here every day to see if anyone can tell me which one of our Rights has not been weakened or annihilated by laws made by the Congressmembers or servants of the states. They are being watered down daily and the people yawn and reach into one another's pocket with impunity by way of the 'forces' they have elected to allow theft. We are no longer free men, we are owned body and soul and if you don't believe that you are a fool. You can be held indefinitely if someone in authority thinks you MIGHT commit a crime. Or, one man can determine your status as terrifying and have you assassinated. The leaders order killing of those who have not harmed us. We have reached the bottom of the barrel. A country born in liberty no longer enjoys liberty…and the public doesn't even wimper.

    36. Dennis Crane says:

      Sir: The article defining and reclaiming our conservative heritage through the proper use of important terms, is wonderful. I am very pleased to see Heritage using it's resources to elucidate the vital factors of our Republic. Please continue. Thank You, Dennis Crane

    37. Tom Bastoni says:

      Great article to start the year and set the tone for 2012. God help us to stand for the freedoms and rights provided by our Constitution

    38. Leon Lundquist says:

      Not to be confused with Jury Nullification, the State already has the power, if it should need, to fulfill the steps of Amendment to the Constitution. The idea of States independantly Nullifying Law is duplicitous. But if the Law in question has yet to be Found Constitutional the Supreme Court must Hear the question when States have Found it Unconstitutional. No! It isn't lawful what the Domestic Enemy has done against the interests of the American People. It never was lawful, but the Case has never been Heard, to be Found Constitutional, but all those Cases are a gigantic pile of Unsettled Law! And that is America's Achilles Heel stabbed by the DINOs. Those guys usurped the American Government, and Obama is Deconstructing the Constitution. Newt Gingrich is uniquely situated to undo the mess, if the Justices of the Ninth Circuit are prove to be Domestic Enemies, then their Rulings are Crimes against Law, Oath and Constitution.

    39. A great article. I am a Libertarian and agree with your resolutions. If I could tweak the Libertarian platform, (and Ron Paul's) it would be to get away from naive isolationism and realize that America needs to be fully on guard against attack. You can be non-interventionist, but peace through strength is the only safe policy in today's crazy world.

    40. Stephen Metz says:

      Amen!

    41. Guest says:

      Regarding number 3: Both Jefferson and Washington told the citizens that a nonintervention policy was best and to avoid political entanglements. They said the US should be friendly with all, enjoy commerce, and lead by example to liberty. Where does it sayin the US Constitution that the US must bomb anyother into submission if they don't adhere to the US vision of democracy (tho the US is a republic, as I recall) Trade and minding our own business would not make us isolationists. Our presence and liberty would make us very much a part of the world and a shining example.

    42. Guest says:

      "Every ambitious would-be empire clarions it abroad that she is conquering the world to bring it peace, security, and freedom, nd is sacrificing her sons only for the most noble and humanitarian purposes. That is a lie, and it is an ancient lei, yet generations still rise and believe it! … If America ever does seek Empire, and most nations do, then plnned reforms in our domestic life will be abandoned, States Rights will be abolished–in order to impose a centralized government upon us for the purpose of internal repudiation of freedom, and adventures abroad. The American Dream will then die–on battlefields all over the world–and a nation conceived in liberty will destroy liberty for Americans and impose tyranny on subject nations." George S Boutwell, (1818-1905) American statesman, Secy of Treasury under Grant, Gov. of MA, Senator and Rep of MA, and the first Commissioner of the Internal Revenue under Lincoln

      • I'm afraid this has already happened. The Patriot Act stripped our fourth amendment rights and provision 1305 in the NDAA stripped our fifth amendment rights. America has been "conquering the world to bring it peace" since the Woodrow Wilson administration.

    43. Sox says:

      http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/heritage-foundation-

      Oh yes, the Republican establishment has done such a great job at limiting and cutting the size of government, we should keep on doing the same thing and support the same people.

    44. Guest says:

      The death throes of the Neocons… attacking true Conservatives with this tripe. Good riddance Heritage. Take the rest of your neocon friends with when you go down the drain pipe of history.

      Nullification is the duty of every state to keep the Federal govt in check. Relying on the whims of a SCOTUS is just folly.

      Non-interventionism is the best policy of all. The warmongering we've had since WWII hasn't worked. Lead by example, don't force your views on anyone else. And let's face it, when you say "America's interests" you really mean OIL. That's the bottom line when it comes to our foreign policy.

    45. James R Roesch says:

      Nullification is not a "temptation," but what Thomas Jefferson himself claimed was the surest defense of federalism from a central government. States, as the principals who created the federal government as an agent to serve limited purposes, have the right not only to overrule the federal government but also to withdraw from the U.S. altogether. That's the whole point of the Declaration of Independence. The alternative is to trust that the federal government will police itself, which is absurd when you understand that any government is not "of, for, or by the people," but a parasitic entity with its own interests and incentives. The Heritage Foundation says that nullification is "blatantly unconstitutional" because in 1832 and 1865 the federal government managed to coerce the states into submission. So now might makes right? And apparently now the peaceful, commercial foregin relations advocated by Washington and Jefferson are "isolationism."

    46. Who said the founders were isolationists? They were non-interventionist. There is a world of difference and the Heritage Foundation should know this.

    47. onceproudamerica says:

      It seems the author didn't study the Constitution or US History very well.

      The States GRANTED the federal government that THEY CREATED certain 'enumerated powers', and did not cede their sovereignty to it. Since the time of Lincoln, DC has increasingly become a lawless colossus which has been unlawfully usurping the authority of the States since that time.

      One only needs to read the Preamble to the Bill of Rights to understand this fact…

      The Ninth and Tenth Amendments further underscore my point:

      Amendment IX

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      Amendment X

      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.

    48. Peter says:

      Yup, we're exceptional allright.
      $15T in debt (some to China), never ending deficits and wars, 18% un(under)employment. Untold trillions of unfunded welfare state liabilities. An out of control central banking system. Corruption at all levels of The few Christians that are left in the Middle East scrambling to find a country that will accept them, before the US (inadvertently?) installs the next Islamic regime. NDAA, "PATRIOT" act, PIPA, SOPA, the Bill Of Rights is being dismantled under our very noses through a thousand paper cuts. We're now less free than Canada (But still one notch better than Bahrain), marvellous. Next stop, Zimbabwe.
      We live in a country where progressives like Newt, Rick (both Ricks) and Mitt can call themselves conservative, so I guess this all comes as no surprise.
      Exceptional? Exceptionally stupid, maybe.
      Nullification sounds like a good idea to me. Read this and learn. Better still, let's vote for the only real conservative in the race (You know, the one whose name can not be mentioned).

    49. oddsox says:

      Great article, especially on Equality.

      Equality's what you are for?
      Then this I would kindly implore:
      Your motives revealed
      Are to level the field
      But never to even the score.

      I believe the New Year is also a time for predictions, so here are mine: http://open.salon.com/blog/oddsox/2011/12/31/12_p

    50. Earl, QUEENS, NY says:

      Why can't republicans learn from past errors instead of repeating them over and over again?? Get real!! The GOP nominated weak moderates – Ford, Dole and John McCain in 1976, 1996 and 2008, respectively. They all lost to democraps!! To the contrary, in 1980 we nominated a bold outspoken conservative – Ronald Reagan. Although not perfect, Reagan won in 2 landslides. So why not choose a Reagan like candidate this year?? Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann probably fit that niche, as does Herman Cain (if we can get him back into the 2012 race). We DO NOT need RINOs like Romney or Huntsman, senile choices like Newt Gingrich, nor do we need McGovern-like nincompoops such as Ron Paul. The 2012 election is too critical to repeat the errors of 1976, 1996 and 2008. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! LET'S VOTE WISELY THIS YEAR!!

    51. Juan Martinez says:

      What an excellent article. All four points are spot on. Good work, David!

      Now, if could just eat more vegetables . . .

    52. wessr says:

      My comment cannot comprehensively be short.

      I submit and because I am not alone in my convictions, that resisting "the nullification temptation" is in no way a settled matter to resignation. The Jefferson, Madison, the 1832 crisis and any other pertaining arguments on the subject proves the point rather than they negating it. Upon the basis to the original resolutions, that they did not solicit a majority consensus from the other states does not negate the issue either. The following is a condensed basis that warrants still, consideration by US citizens in matters of functions and responsibilities of our republic system of government.

      So if, the SCOTUS, which is a branch of the federal govt., upon which it becomes blatantly obvious or dubious that some of the Justices are by their records, activists; and, they thereby legislate law from the bench rather than for justice, rather than by the original intent of the Constitution; and, as a result through a biased majority decision upholds a law enacted by congress, no matter how nefariously it managed to do so, we the people who are parties to same Constitution have no basis for nullification of unconstitutional law(s)? How disloyal, abhorrent and convenient could or would it be if the states' people have no recourse against their federal govt. the protections the Constitution allows, if one, two or all three branches subvert that recourse?

      The simple, although politically incorrect to some but to many others, most correct answer as Jefferson emphatically stated and most certainly, Madison likewise implied the same, was that an unconstitutional law is unenforcible unless the usurpers of the Constitution subjugate the people; and this would then be by an illegal authority. If that very unfortunate scenario manifests itself by way of upholding some or all of the provisions of Obamacare (by recent example), our Constitution and also our states' constitutions, essentially will have no restraint left to limit the whims of an elitist ruling class. Every effort and means of the people must throw off any such tyranny in order to Constitutionally limit all branches of the Federal govt. back to only their enumerated powers.

      Of Jefferson's and Madison's greatest fears (for substantial, precedented reasons) was the courts especially but the other two branches also, neglecting Constitutional authority precisely because of man's inclination towards totalitarian rule.

      The Heritage Foundation does not hold exclusivity of Constitutional scholars on the subject nor do the courts. Simply, any law which is unconstitutional is "null and void and of no effect"… if all else fails, "nullification is the rightful remedy" (this is not without precedent). If the authority of the Constitution is not upheld, the usurpers of that authority will have taken it for their own. This also has precedent. If all else fails is not without possibility or even probability. Obamacare has made the case that still warrants "nullification" if necessary, a reasonable examination.

      Additionally, the states' prosecutors or any their people who capitulates to usurpers our founder's original intent in the country's Constitution will be condemned by historians who maintain their honor. An obligation will owe to posterity no less than the truth and will also be obligated with duty's intent to restore a just government to that end.

    53. Lee M. says:

      Excellent!!!

    54. sdfultz says:

      I am delighted to read this article this morning, this is an example of the Foundry I recognize.
      This is a learning opportunity a refreshing lesson in American explanation of itself, back to the basics.
      I like it and crave more of this type of commentary.
      Thanks you!

    55. Philosopherking says:

      I can't imagine anyone talking about federalism without state's rights or nullification. I think the author of this article is really misguided in that the only check on the federal government is nullification because the central government will not see any limits to their own power.

    56. Philosopherking says:

      The idea that states don't have the power to nullify federal laws is stupid. The first thing one must realize is that the restrictions set on states are placed in the constitution itself. It declares what states can't do and is the only place where limitations on the state governments are found. Nowhere does it say individual states can't nullify federal laws and if you don't like then add an amendment to the constitution that prohibits states from doing so.

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