Nullification – The Duty of Our Representatives
(a crash course by Micah Turner)
“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.”
– U.S. Constitution 10th Amendment
This means that if the constitution does not explicitly and specifically proclaim a delegated authority to the Federal Government they cannot do it; if the constitution declares the several States cannot do something, they cannot (The states cannot violate the natural rights of Man). Furthermore under article III section 1 of the constitution it describes what authority federal courts have. This article limits the federal courts authority to federal laws and inter-state suits. They have no authority over anything else not in the constitution; including any illegal laws, federal laws or entities over anything not specifically enumerated in the constitution created by the federal government. This sentiment was often expressed by the Supreme Court concerning gay marriage suits with the brief and correct, “states rights” rebuttal before they caved on the issue.
The Federal Government is not the all powerful, anything they say goes, entity they would have you believe. The Constitution of The United States of America accomplishes mainly three things; it draws a contract between the Federal Government and the States, it creates a framework for which the government is to operate from and it limits all governments.
Instead of suing the federal government, state legislatures are fully within their authority to make laws abolishing any unconstitutional entity or law from their state, including ones enacted by the federal government. One unfortunately popular complaint in the western states is how much land the federal government controls. In the Constitution, the highest law of the land, under article I section 8 it defines the only land the federal government can control and it’s stipulation for ownership, “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings…” (Article 1 Section 8)
This is the only clause in the constitution that delegates the federal government’s land management and ownership. The Federal Government can own and manage land exclusively for Washington DC, Military purposes, dock-yards and other needful buildings, and this must be purchased from the state and can only be purchased with consent of that state’s legislator. Under these clearly defined powers does a state have full authority to seize any land outside of the Fed’s expressed authority; this includes national parks, wildlife reserves, and any other type of land outside federal authority including land that was not purchased with permission from that state’s legislature. Because the federal government also lacks any authority to create entities such as the FDA, EPA, BLM and pretty much any other federal alphabet soup entity a state legislature has authority to confiscate those buildings as well and bar any of their employees from returning to work.
Elected county sheriffs have nullification authority. This is true because the sheriff is the closest elected executive office to the people. The people in his county have delegated their authority to him to him to protect their natural rights. This enforcement authority by common and natural law supersede all other executive offices even the President of The United States, especially the President of the United States.
“…The office of Sheriff is a constitutional office; that the Sheriff was an officer of the common law, and that when the constitution of 1776 provided for the election by the people of a Sheriff for each county, without prescribing in express terms the powers and duties of the office, it must have been intended that the office should carry with it eo nomine, all the duties, powers and privileges appertaining to it at common law; … the Legislature could not destroy or abridge that right, and confer it, in whole or in part, upon any other person designated by it or by its delegated authority.” (Beasley Vs. Ridout, year 1915 Maryland Court opinion page 650.)
“The Sheriff is the “Chief Executive and Administrative Officer” of a county chosen by popular election. His principal duties are in aid of the criminal and civil courts of record [common law courts]; such as serving process, summoning juries, executing judgments, holding judicial sales and the like. He is also the chief conservator of the peace within his territorial jurisdiction.” Harston v. Langston, Tex.Civ. App., 292 S.W. 648, 650. (the brackets in this paragraph were not added by me, but by the court itself)
In all the original State constitutions drafted by the state’s following closely the declaration of independence there are provisions that created the office of the Sheriff. Only in the State of Maryland is the election intervals of the sheriff and his duties prescribed in any degree and directs, “he shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as are now or may hereafter be fixed by law.” All of the other states only declare the office to exist. Maryland is the odd ball.
So why did the framers of the other states not express or affix any duties to the office of the Sheriff? They intended the office of Sheriff to be an office of common law. An office of common law is one that cannot be discounted or removed.
Common law – the part of English law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes. Often contrasted with statutory (written) law.
Common law and its application is a logical product of natural law.
Traditionally the office of the sheriff’s source begins in 500AD of what we now call England. “The word “Sheriff” is a contraction of the term “shire reeve”, meaning a royal official responsible for keeping the peace throughout a shire or county on behalf of the king(s). We the People “Ordained” the Constitution for the United States of America which puts the People as the said kings above the Constitution and our elected servants under the Constitution, therein the great American experiment. Our servants have no more power than that which We the People gave them and any law they write to the contrary is null and void as if it has never been passed.” – NationalLibertyAlliance.org/countysheriff
There are many court cases across the United States that uphold the common law office and powers of the Sheriff. All of the cases I have found on this subject are over 100 years old; I suspect one must travel the country visiting places of public records to read these cases. As consequence, I only have the plethora of other court citings from Beasely v. Ridout, a narrow slice is displayed.
“This Act was drawn in question in [New York] People v. Keeler, 29 Hun. 175, and was held unconstitutional, because it deprived the Sheriff of common law powers and duties pertaining to his office, and violated the provision requiring the Sheriff to be elected by the people.
The same was held in Wisconsin as to a Sheriff, in State v. Brunst, 26 Wis. 412, for the reasons stated in Warner v. People, and People v. Keeler, supra; and as to a constable, in Allor v. Wayne County, 43 Mich. 76, for analogous reasons.” – Beasley v. Ridout pg. 652
There is a lot of legal theory behind Common Law and the sheriff’s position. I’m going to cut out all the extreme philosophical philandering with the subject and reveal the most common conclusion that has time and time again been upheld by courts across this nation.
The Sheriff’s duties and his office (which as prescribed by courts across this nation time and time again as his property while in office during good behavior) is subject only and directly to his electorate. His office is an executive one and because of his extreme localization his executive authority supersedes all others. Any other executive authority that were to override him would be exactly one group of people dictating differently what an entirely different group of people legally have claim too; such action is illegal and immoral, a destruction of sovereignty.
The initial Constitutions of the states were careful not to describe the duties of the Sheriff; If the legislature can dictate the operations of something then it’s arguable it may expand or decrease those powers at will. By not naming the powers of the Sheriff his powers of common law are cemented at a plane above legislative and judicial reach. A legislature could add to his powers but they could not take the Sheriff’s Common Law authorities away.
The founding fathers of the constitution decided to take the office of the Sheriff with his naturally granted Common Law to the extreme (this may sound crazy but this idea has been upheld repeatedly in courts across the country). The founders must have thought that they must not mention the office of Sheriff in the constitution. Under this premise not only was the Sheriff’s authority Common Law, but so was his office. It is the right of the people to have an officer, a Sheriff, as their local direct elected executive representative and it is his authority to enforce the natural rights of man; ensuring a barrier between the people and a tyrannical government. Under this truth does the Sheriff’s office and his authority exist and operate.
“All laws, rules and practices which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”
– Marbury v. Madison, 5th US (1st Cranch) 137, 180
Jury’s also have have Nullification Authority. As William Goodloe, Washington State Supreme Court Justice states, ”The Founders view of the jury as being of paramount importance in defending liberty is easily seen when examining the words of the Constitution. There are only 14 words describing freedom of speech and of the press in the Constitution. But there are 186 words describing trial by jury in the Constitution. It is guaranteed in the main body in Article 3, Section 2, Paragraph 3, and in two amendments, the Sixth and the Seventh. No other right is mentioned so frequently, three times, or has as many words devoted to it. It is plain that the Founders viewed the jury trial right as the most important right since it gave birth to, and defended, all other rights. It should also be noted that trial by jury and jury nullification were common law rights at the time of the drafting of the Constitution and so are also included as rights retained by the people under the Ninth Amendment.” (Jury Nullification: Empowering the Jury as the Fourth Branch of Government page 3)
Lawyer Lysander Spooner explained the doctrine in Trial By Jury in 1852, page one, “For more than six hundred years – that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215 – there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws.”
When a trial is being conducted it is not only the individual or entity under question, it is the Law being used to bring that trial about that must also be tried. Trying both the accused and the law the accused allegedly infringed is both the right and moral obligation of the jury. Such practices have been a stop gap against tyranny many times throughout history, not just in American history.
I argue any work that creates no victim cannot be considered a crime. The only exception to this would be a circumstance where the accused was significantly conspiring to cause significant harm to another.
“Jury nullification is an antidote for the kind of anarchy caused by the victimless crime laws. America now leads the world in the percentage of its population behind bars largely because of victimless crime laws and the ancillary crime that such laws generate. A long series of jury refusals to apply such laws will advise legislatures to repeal or modify them.” – Justice William Goodloe, Washington State Supreme Court, in his essay, Jury Nullification: Empowering the Jury as the Fourth Branch of Government
Your state legislature has full authority to nullify anything unconstitutional. Your elected country sheriff (if you have one) has the obligation to uphold the natural rights of Man and ensure its order. Jury’s also have this authority. Not only can they, they must. Those in office swore an oath to uphold and defend the constitution. Any adulteration allowed to the constitution is treason and no less. To say these offices could nullify on a whim is barely an exaggeration. Your state officials have the power to brutally hack at the fed’s intrusion and those sinful federal courts couldn’t do a thing to stop them.
Some people try to say that Article 5 is a better solution than Nullification.
Nullification or Article 5? Here’s your study guide.
Why Not Article V?
Some so-called conservative voices have recently been clamoring for what is often called a constitutional convention, an Article V convention, or an amendments convention, all basically meaning the same thing which is the convention of the states to propose changes or a rewrite of the U.S. Constitution.
The Constitution, under Article V, allows for two methods of adding amendments to the Constitution. Only one of those two methods have ever been used. Meaning, all 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution have used the same method.
The first method, is that a single amendment is proposed by Congress. That amendment then gets the approval of 2/3rds of both the House and the Senate, then it goes to the states for ratification, which takes approval of 3/4ths of the states. The second method has not been done since we became a nation. Under this method, 2/3rds of the states call for a convention to propose amendments. Last time this was done was when our nation was under the articles of Confederation. It had a “safety net” that said in order to change the articles, every single state had to agree. However, once the convention was called they threw out the rules and wrote new ones. Thankfully, we had men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. Today, we have people like Nancy Pelosi and John McCain that would be in charge of writing new rules.
There are two things that supporters of a convention fail to realize. The first being, conspirators like George Soros are funding the push for a convention. Second, a convention blames the Constitution for our problems. Meaning, they are saying our Constitution is being followed but is unable to solve the problems we face. However, it is clear that the Constitution is not being followed, and adding a few new lines that say “we really mean it this time”, won’t work any more than the limitations that are there already. Yes, Article V is in the Constitution yet Article V is for when the Constitution is followed and needs help. The bill of rights is for when the Constitution of ignored.
Most proponents of a Con Con say that they can limit the convention to a single subject, how-ever, the convention of states project doesn’t even try to get you to fall for that debunked idea.
Not only that, but it’s proposals are so vague it could literally allow for anything. They pro-pose at least three subjects that are a prime example of blaming the victim. The Constitution is being victimized by our elected representatives ignoring Article 1 Section 8, but they think if we tell them what they supposedly can or cannot do by adding just a few more lines, this will finally make them obey their oath of office? If a burglar tried to rob you, will you saying “no” one more time get him to stop robbing you and start obeying the law? Some of the Con Con key proposals are:
- Fiscal restraints a.k.a. balanced budget amendment or BBA. What does that mean? Article 1 section 8 already restrains them, and they don’t follow those. All but one state has fiscal restraints on them, but they always find a way around those and find themselves millions if not billions of dollars in debt. The restraint is there, we need to enforce it, not beg them to stop disobeying the limits they already have.
- Limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. Again, article 1 section 8 imposes those limits clearly but they don’t care.
- Term limits. The Constitution has always been about expanding rights, not limiting them. Is it really a good idea for the government to tell us that we can no longer vote for George Washington if he wanted to run again? Where has this worked where it’s been tried? Has this helped us pick better presidents? Has it helped California? Are these the models of success we are to look to so that we support this idea?
Instead of hoping we can get 38 states to agree with these without some horrific “compromises”, we must use the solution at our disposal that only depends on our legislature agreeing to it: Nullification
Enforce the Constitution. Utilize the tool of the 9th and tenth amendment. It’s there, without the clear and present dangers of a blame the victim convention.