Democrats try their hand at nullification

Prior to the Civil War, some states advocated a theory of constitutional law that each state has a right to nullify, or not follow, a federal law.  The basis of this argument is that each state retains enough sovereignty to decide the constitutionality of laws.  The purpose was to have federal law not apply in the state if the state disagreed with the law on constitutional grounds. The theory started with John Taylor of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.  They belonged to Democrat-Republican Party, which opposed President John Adams, of the Federalist Party, over the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.  Specifically, they opposed the Sedition Act that made it a crime to criticize the government.  Taylor, Madison, and Jefferson argued that a state can judge whether a federal law is constitutional.  It was part of the states' rights doctrine. Madison and Jefferson made these arguments before the Supreme Court, in Marbury v. Madison, 5...(Read Full Post)

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