“When a government is big enough to give you everything you need,
it is powerful enough to take away everything you have"
One of the most influential people in my early life was my 8th grade social studies teacher. Every time I watch the news or study some historical fact or happening, I remember something that he said and he ultimately helped me understand the political and historical concepts of our country.
A major concept that he spoke at length about is spending a lot of time in the news lately. That concept is State's Rights and with it; secession.
Lots of people have talked about leaving the United States since we officially became a country. Every time the federal government does something that someone doesn't like they rumble about seceding. Rarely though does the talk get any further than the barroom door.
The first major rift of the 20th century between states rights and the federal government came over medical marijuana. In several states. people in both the political and medical arenas began to realize that the feds were sticking to old and antiquated notions that flew in the face of science and reason. The state's law makers began to rely on facts instead of propaganda and decided to enforce the 10th amendment 1 of our constitution and reclaim their individual state's rights.
There is international president for their opinions and actions.
Although marijuana is technically illegal in Israel, “...but medical use has been permitted since the early 1990s for cancer patients...2”. In 2001, the Canadian government came to it's senses and legalized it3.
Now, the legislatures of 17 states*- Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington - as well as the District of Columbia have come to their senses and approved its medical use4. Several others have decriminalized it and/or are considering legalizing it. Although the feds still say it's illegal and would like people to believe that it (marijuana) has no legitimate use, all of these states have decided to claim their rights.
Medical marijuana is one of, but not by any means the only issue that has fostered a battle between the states and the federal government.
Montana recently threw down the gauntlet over a supreme court case.
With the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to hear District of Columbia v. Heller in late 2007, an early 2008 movement began in Montana involving at least 60 elected officials addressing potential secession5 if the Second Amendment were interpreted not to grant an individual right, citing its compact with the United States of America."In a joint resolution, the Montana politicians argue that when Washington approved the state constitution, including a clause granting “any person” the right to bear arms, upon the Treasure State’s entry into the Union in 1889, the federal government recognized that clause as consistent with the Second Amendment. If the Court comes down on the side of a collective right, they argue, it would breach the compact for statehood between Montana and the federal government.”
Next came Texas.
To set their foot down, the Texas legislature passed H.C.R. No. 508 that stated in part “That this serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers...”. The complete text almost reads like a call to arms, telling the feds to get off their back and out of Texas.
An interesting note:
“Should Texas one day secede, one man may already be vying to be its president. Actor Chuck Norris said last month he may be interested in the post.”
Then there's Arizona and the whole immigration debacle. The feds actually sued a state and told them (AZ) that the state couldn't do the feds job even if the feds weren't going to do it. That one is still playing out; in court, both sides claimed partial victory.
And let's not forget the National ID act9.
Led by Maine in early 2007, 25 states over the past 2 years have passed resolutions and binding laws denouncing and refusing to implement the Bush-era law which many expressed concerned about privacy, funding and more. While the law is still on the books in D.C., its implementation has been delayed numerous times in response to this massive state resistance, and in practice, is virtually null and void.
About two thirds of the states have got their hackles up about something involving state's rights and the sovereignty of the individual state governments. During the War Between the States, 11 states seceded from a total of 34. I'm sure you know the results. If, however, over half of the states we have today decided to dissolve the union, the outcome is by no means a given. One thing is almost guaranteed though. With all the money and egos involved it would be a bloody mess.
Between national ID, medical marijuana, guns, taxes, immigration, and a whole slew of other laws, law suits and actions the individual states have had just about enough. Something is going to tip a lot of states to the point where they may decide join together and either declare the US Federal Government to be invalid, make serious movements towards nullification10, mass secession or; and people, this is a very real very dangerous possibility, we could be headed for a revolution. Not a handful of nut-cases running around shouting about a new world order, but an armed uprising with the governors of several states calling out their individual militias and national guard units to battle the federal government.
"But the simple truth--born of experience--is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people."Judge Alex Kozinski - United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
It has been said that the tree of liberty must, from time to time be watered with the blood of patriots. I hope that time, at least for our country, is a long way off.
At least that's my opinion. Let's hear yours.
But once citizens understand that they can circumvent a power-hungry Congress and its enablers on the court by demanding their state governments step up and nullify unconstitutional laws, entrenched abuses of every sort could come crashing down.
[AZ] Senate Bill 1433 would create a 12-person “Joint Legislative Committee on Nullification of Federal Laws,” which would “recommend, propose and call for a vote by simple majority to nullify in its entirety a specific federal law or regulation that is outside the scope of the powers delegated by the People to the federal government in the United States Constitution.”
*Post election note: Last week's election added more states to the list of clear thinkers. Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana. And there's another interesting little battle brewing; the good people of Washington state and Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana for the over-21 crowd. Not sure how the feds are going to handle that one but at least the people there have stood up for themselves and said enough is enough. We'll watch the confrontations over the coming months. If anything real interesting happens, you'll be able to read all about it right here.
N. Richard Peterson
Citations1 U.S. Constitution - Amendment 10
Complete text and explaination of 10th amendment
2 Isreal and marijuana
3 Canada and marijuana
4 Medical Marijuana by state
Map of Medical Marijuana states
6 Text of Montana Law
7 Rick Perry interview & Secession
8 H.C.R. No. 50
9 National ID Act summary
10 The Nuclear Option - Nillification
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