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Nullification

State Nullification of Federal Action

An important way to seek constitutional compliance is to organize widespread civil refusal to comply with unlawful official actions. A precedent for this was the 1783 Pennsylvania Council of Censors, discussed by James Madison in Federalist #48. The objective is to avoid having to launch separate legislation for every usurpation, but to provide a process by which resistance may be mobilized quickly as usurpations occur. The items below concern doing this at the state level for federal actions.

  • Proposal for a Federal Action Review Commission (Nullification Commission). Latest version.
    1. Draft bill proposing amendment to Texas Constitution for establishment of a state grand jury for the review of the constitutionality of the actions of United States government officials and agents, and to authorize state grand juries to investigate public administration.. 2011/09/20.
  • State Nullification of Federal Action. External site for this topic.
  • FAQ on the FARC — Frequently asked questions on the Federal Action Review Commission proposal.
  • Court decisions
    1. Florida v. U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services, Case No.: 3:10-cv-91-RV/EMT. Summary judgment of District Judge Roger Vinson, 1/31/11.
    2. Virginia v. Sibelius, Case No.: 3:10-cv-188-HEH. Memorandum Opinion of District Judge Henry E. Hudson, 12/13/10.
  • Tom Woods on Nullification Proposal of Jon Roland. From his book, Nullification.
  • Tom Woods. His site. Alternate.
  • Flyer #1 on Nullification Proposal of Jon Roland. 2010/11/21.
  • Flyer #2 on Nullification Proposal of Jon Roland. 2010/09/02.
  • Vimeo videos on nullification. Presentations on the subject.
  • So you want to nullify violations of the Constitution. Animated YouTube video.
  • Interview with a Zombie. YouTube videos from Tom Woods.
  • Flaws in other nullification legislation. Blog article on opposing legislation and litigation, 2010/04/26.
    • Flawed Texas Health Freedom Act. Blog article on one attempt at nullification in Texas, 2010/11/19.
    • Flawed Texas HB 297. Blog article on one attempt at nullification in Texas, 2010/11/21.
    • Flawed Texas HB 1937. Blog article on one attempt at nullification in Texas, 2010/03/19.
    • Flaws in Tennessee Nullification Bills. Blog article on two bills in Tennessee, 2011/02/24.
  • Nullification is a serious option, by Jon Roland. Op-ed published on webpage of Austin American Statesman, Feb. 8, 2010.
  • Cautions for “nullification” proponents. Blog article, including copies of some email exchanges, 2010/01.
  • The crisis: or, Essays on the usurpations of the federal government, Robert James Turnbull, Brutus (pseud.) (1827) — Discusses the misconstructions of the Constitution by the Supreme Court and Congress from a Jeffersonian standpoint, and develops the concept of state-level nullification.
  • Council of Censors, Lewis Hamilton Header (1899). Pennsylvania constitutional review commission 1783-84.
  • History of the Vermont Council of Censors. Vermont had an elected constitutional review commission 1777-1870.

Advocacy groups

Many if not most of the proposals from these groups are unsound, but at least they are trying.

  • Nullification: It’s Official. Tenth Amendment Center blog. Proposals need work.
  • United States Patriots Union. Have their own proposals, that also need work.

Related topics

  • Draft Amendments to U.S. Constitution — A few amendments that might help return constitutional construction to original understanding.
  • Declaration of Nonauthority — A finding that officials are not in compliance with the Constitution and acting without authority.


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