Posted by William Kennedy
What if the federal government passes a “law” and everyone ignores them or actively blocks its enforcement? What if a state said it no longer would comply with the EPA, HUD, DOE, DOT, DHS, etc. etc.? What if multiple states refused to comply with federal rules, regulations and “laws”?
If they did, what then?
Would the federal government send in Federal Marshals to arrest the Governor and Legislature? What if the people of the state resisted? Would they call up the National Guard and have them enforce Martial Law? Would they round up people and put them into Internment Camps? What if the National Guard refused to follow their orders? Would they send in the Army?
Do the states have a right to refuse “laws” that violate the Constitution?
If as the founding fathers understood that the Constitution is a contract among the several states, what is the remedy to violations of the contract? As any good lawyer will tell you, three remedies are available to the injured party when a contract is violated. First, you could take the party that breached the contract to court and obtain monetary damages. Second, a court could order the defaulting party to the contract to perform his contractual obligations. And finally, “rescission,” or annulment of the contract, the contract is canceled. The aggrieved party would ask the court to make them whole again by returning them to the same condition that they had before they entered into the contract.
For a state, that finale or third option for a broken contract is secession. If the Constitution is what the founders believed it to be when they wrote and ratified it—an agreement—a compact—a contract, then the states as aggrieved parties to the contract have every right to “walk away” from the contract and return themselves to their previous status.
Was this an option, rescission or secession, something that was even discussed at the time of the ratification debates? Clearly, it was understood that nothing is forever and that if this new Constitution and the government that would be formed should violate the states or the people’s rights; they would be no longer bound by it. But the clearest examples of their thoughts on the subject are found in the Constitutional ratification debates of each state. Listed below are the best examples.
Continue reading @ Tenth Amendment Center
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