Using Nullification To Destroy Federalism
Animosity reigns supreme among Democrats who now are anything but “the loyal opposition.” The intention to disrupt, undermine, insult, reject, and vilify anything and everything about President Donald Trump’s person, his programs, and his policies is there for all to see. Character assassination is but one dimension of the attack on this administration. Ridicule on late night talk/comedy shows is standard and has been standard throughout the President’s first year in office. Incessant conversations about the investigation into the bogus “Russia collusion” has been allotted more than 80% of news and discussion time on major media outlets.
But lately, with the failure to make collusion stick, the failure to make Trump’s mental health disqualification stick, the failure to make his breaking of the emoluments clause of the Constitution stick, and the failure to make his supposed womanizing and #metoo wrongdoings stick, the disloyal opposition is now clinging to the charge of racism for his having reversed President Obama’s executive order regarding DACA for a class of persons living within our borders. That has also been linked to his intense beefing up of federal law enforcement Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to find, arrest, and deport criminals who are in this country illegally.
In other words, the so-called “Dreamers,” who are here illegally are being defended along with other illegals who, in addition to being illegals, are also criminals. And this is all under the name of diversity. Trump is being characterized as a pathological xenophobe. This enforcement is presumably motivated by his hate and the hate of his supporters for non-white peoples, especially Hispanics. And this pervasive and obsessive anti-Latino tendency is reinforced by an additional dimension of his mindset, and that of his Christian, conservative, dumb, working-class mindsets, by Islamophobia.
All we dumb deplorables tend to see the USA as not the land of the free, home of the brave, as we like to claim. Rather, we have dark motives of trying to maintain white Christian superiority and this ethnic hegemony has existed in a mean way for a long time. This rejection is always appended with the suffix “phobia.” Phobias are fears, but not merely fears. They are irrational fears. The irrationality thus dovetails nicely with the narrative of a mental health imbalance and threat from both the President and his supporters throughout the culture.
Various governors and big city mayors have recently taken the step of declaring themselves to be sanctuary cities or sanctuary states. California has passed laws forbidding citizens from cooperating with federal law enforcement in finding and capturing illegal persons. The state has two new laws that took effect in 2018, AB 450 and SB 54, that protect illegal aliens. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, addressing rumors of raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, [stated] “It’s important, given these rumors out there, to let people and more specifically employers know that if they voluntarily start giving up information about their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws [they will be prosecuted].”
This radical step of nullification of federal law by the Democrats is part of a long history of nullification that has been embraced by Democrats, and before them by the Democratic-Republicans at the end of the 18th century. In 1798 and 1799, the Virginia Resolution, written by James Madison, and the Kentucky Resolution written by Thomas Jefferson were passed and claimed the right of those states to nullify (not obey) various provisions of the federal Alien and Sedition Acts. They believed the Alien Act was a political power play by the Federalists to delay voting for immigrants who would probably vote Democratic-Republican.
(Do I need to point out parallel motives by the Democrats today in their “protection” of the illegals, even the criminals? They are maneuvering for illegals to be able to vote even though they are not citizens, and of course this would add to the entrenchment of Democratic Party power in California and elsewhere.)
In 1832, there was another nullification crisis whereby South Carolina, under the leadership of Sen. John C. Calhoun, a Democrat, claimed it had the right to nullify and would nullify the federal tariff act passed under Andrew Jackson. Jackson was enraged by South Carolina’s nerve in challenging the tariff because the Constitution clearly gives the federal government the authority to impose tariffs (just as it gives our federal government the authority to control immigration policy and to enforce that policy). Nullification seemed just a breath away from secession. However, the “great compromiser,” Henry Clay, stepped into the issue, and a new bill was passed which provided for a gradual reduction of the tariff over a ten-year period. Both President Jackson and Calhoun got on board with the compromise and further strife was averted.
Then, of course, the cataclysmic nullification came after the election of President Abraham Lincoln. The South with its feverish and unreasonable expectation regarding the rights of the governed in our republic, did not seek merely to nullify a law but sought to nullify the results of a federal election for President. The slaveholders were typically Democrats. No law had been passed to either abolish or restrict slavery, but Lincoln’s victory in 1860 was perceived as such a dire threat by Southern leaders that they took the step of firing on Fort Sumter, a federal facility located in South Carolina. This act of nullification led directly to our Civil War.
The Democrats have been masters of nullification. The judicial system has been bombarded with cases that challenged states rights regarding abortion, homosexual marriage, prayer in the public schools, and police practices by state and local governments. In the past 50-60 years, the federal courts have been used to nullify states rights.
A few years ago, when Arizona tried to execute strict enforcement laws against illegals, the Democrats were up in arms. This was taken to court, and it was determined that some of the measures taken by the Republicans and by Gov. Jan Brewer were outside the purview of state authority because immigration enforcement was strictly under federal supervision. By trying to provide a safer and more lawful environment, she was lambasted as a vile nullifier of federal authority. One of my colleagues at the time literally compared Arizona to North Korea, asserting that it was acting ruthlessly and unlawfully. Also in Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was persecuted for his supposed overstepping of his authority.
Now we have the Democrats in California and elsewhere with their “sanctuary city” and “sanctuary state” movement on the search and destroy path of nullification of legitimate federal authority. They are shaking their fists in Jeff Sessions’ face more defiantly than Jan Brewer or Joe Arpaio ever did against the laxity of the feds under Obama. The Democrats are at war with the very system of federalism that is our system of governance. They are nullifying federal rights when they should be supporting them, as required by the U.S. Constitution. This is surely a despicable attack on our legal system and the foundations of our republic. Nullification has been going on for a long time, but it has been weaponized by the Democrats to destroy the institutions we love.