Null. Void. Of No Effect. – Michael Boldin

January 14th, 2011

(TenthAmendmentCenter) – When Washington D.C. violates the constitution – as it does every single day – the essential question is – “what do we do about it?”

For countless decades, Americans have been responding through protests, lawsuits, and “voting the bums out.”  Yet, year in and year out, federal power always grows.  And it doesn’t matter which political part is in power, or what person occupies the white house either.


In 1798, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers….a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” [emphasis added]

Notice that TJ didn’t advise us to use nullification as a remedy “once in a while.”  And he certainly didn’t tell us that a nullification is the rightful remedy after “we vote some bums out” or “we sue the federal government in federal court” or after anything else for that matter.  Jefferson was pretty straightforward and recommended that every single time the federal government exercises powers not delegated to it in the constitution (there’s about 30 powers and nothing more), that we’re to reject and nullify those acts on a state level as they happen.


Already, more than two dozen states have virtually stopped the 2005 Real ID act dead in its tracks. How? By refusing to implement it.  Fifteen states – most recently Arizona – are using the principles of the 10th Amendment to actively defy federal laws (and a supreme court ruling, too!) on marijuana.  Eight states have passed Firearms Freedom Acts in an attempt to reject some federal gun laws and regulations.  And seven states have passed Health Care Freedom Acts to block health care mandates from being enforced.


Get used to reading these words, because the political climate is starting to swing a new direction.  There is a growing number of people in America that are recognizing a simple truth – Asking, demanding, or suing to get the federal government to fox problems caused by the federal government just doesn’t work.

Take, for example, the Federal Health Care Nullification Act, first introduced in Texas as HB297, and now also introduced in Montana (SB161), Wyoming (HB0035) and Maine (LD58).  Here’s an excerpt:

“the federal law known as the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers, and is hereby declared to be invalid, shall not be recognized, is specifically rejected, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect.”

But these bills, as introduced in Texas, Maine, Montana and Wyoming are far more than mere declarations or position statements


Implied in any nullification legislation is enforcement of the state law. In the Virginia Resolution of 1798, James Madison wrote of the principle of interposition:

That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.

In his famous speech during the war of 1812, Daniel Webster said:

“The operation of measures thus unconstitutional and illegal ought to be prevented by a resort to other measures which are both constitutional and legal. It will be the solemn duty of the State governments to protect their own authority over their own militia, and to interpose between their citizens and arbitrary power. These are among the objects for which the State governments exist”

Here Madison and Webster assert what is required of nullification laws to be successful — that state governments not only have the right to resist unconstitutional federal acts, but that, in order to protect liberty, they are “duty bound to interpose” or stand between the federal government and the people of the state.

All four bills explicitly include this principle, and if passed, would impose penalties on federal agents for attempting to enforce National Health Care mandates in their state.  For example, from Wyoming’s HB35:

Any official, agent, employee or public servant of the state of Wyoming as defined in W.S. 6-5-101, who enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States in violation of this article shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), imprisonment in the  county jail for not more than two (2) years, or both.

Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center tell us to expect approximately ten states to introduce such bills in the 2011 legislative session.


CLICK HERE – to view the TAC’s Health Care Nullification Act legislative tracking page.

CLICK HERE – to view the full text of TAC’s model legislation – the Federal Health Care Nullification Act.  Please send it to your state reps and senators for introduction in your state today!

Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Source: Tenth Amendment Center

One Response to “Null. Void. Of No Effect. – Michael Boldin”

  1. Blockade Runner Says:

    “Secession” the word no one wants to say, conjuring up images
    of Lincoln’s War Against Southern Independence, and the typical
    demonization of southern slave holders, was our founder’s solution
    to an out-of-control, tyrannical British crown. They did not seek to
    change the British system through endless petitions and elections.
    Neither did they seek to overthrow or end the British Empire.
    They merely declared their independence…in other words,
    13 British colonies SECEEDED.

    While plot to overthrow the US govt is treason and would quickly been
    eliminated as terrorism. A state declaring it’s intent to LEAVE the control of the US govt
    (secession) is akin to divorcing an abusive spouse. I seek no violent end of the
    government made up of states that remain. I merely suggest that states would do
    better on their own. At the very least Secession should be used as a trump card
    to contest continued Federal usurpation of authority which amounts to tyranny.

    Governors and state legislatures could announce
    their intent to seceed as their only remaining option unless conditions
    are met on the part of the United States government.

    End FED control of money, along with fractional banking which is the root of much
    of what ails our country.

    The demand to dismantle US agencies, departments,
    and bureaus that do not square with the 18 inumerated powers given
    (by the states) to the federal govt in the constitution.

    Further annouce that federal laws that usurp state sovereignty
    will not be enforced in the said states. When Washington retaliates
    against any such state. other states will rally, realizing that an attack
    against one, is an attack against all.

    Washington has been compromised. The game is rigged. Look to
    your state. The U.S. Government Inc. is not your country.
    Washington D.C. is not America.

    Is the sanctity of the “union” created by states to safeguard our individual liberties
    and state sovereignty/identity, more sacred than the freedom their are intended to
    protect. When any government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right
    and responsibility of the people to replace that government with one more suitable
    to the desired end.

    The dreams and quest of the British was a worldwide empire, one from which the
    colonies sought escape. Likewise, Lincoln’s dream, in reality the fulfillment of Alexander
    Hamilton’s vision, was a strong, central, National government, not the limited
    “federal” government laid out in the U.S. constitution. The radical republican elitist of
    Lincoln’s cabinet, even more than Lincoln himself, desired an American Empire.
    Hegemony over all within their grasp. For this they waged bloody, total war, on a sovereign
    albeit new nation, made up of states who desired no part of their plan, and sought only to
    be left alone, free, to pursue constitutionally limited government by consent of the governed.

    Two great challenges face us today however, which did not face our predecessors.
    1. The courage which comes from faith, moral clarity, and trust in divine providence.
    This indispensible character has all but been choked out of American culture and public life.
    2. The disparity which exists today between the resource available to patriots, as to
    compared to those of their government. Both in 1776 and 1861, there was relative parity
    between the weapons available to the common man and british/federal forces. Both
    possessed roughly equivalent small arms. But today our government possess ruthless,
    horrible weapons of destruction, automatic weapons, armor, aircraft, survaillence technology,
    biological and chemical weapons, and a ruthlessness not posessed by the American
    rank and file.

    Nevertheless, the founders solution, the southern confederacy’s solution, is still our solution.
    A declaration of independence, and a wholesale movement animated by willingness to die
    rather than submit, such as launched America, and embodied in the South’s declaration
    of secession from what they believed to be an out-of-control, central government,
    is all, I believe, which can save America today. God help us!

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