Refuting more Historical Ignorance on Nullification

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The website Human Events published an article by Jarret Stepman in which he attacks nullification advocates.  In his article, “Secessionists and Nullifiers won’t Succeed,”Stepman agrees that citizens must resist federal power.

“There are far better options on the table, and more legal ways for citizens to resist the power of the federal government.”

However, Stepman says that nullification is not the answer.

“Although there is a great temptation for conservatives, in light of the most recent election, to attempt to nullify federal laws and even abandon the union, it must be noted that these actions are unproductive, unconstitutional, have led to the destruction of two national political parties and one bloody civil war.”

Stepman begins his argument with a history lecture.  He correctly explains the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 as the origins of nullification, and points out that they were written by Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, respectively.

“These resolutions were written in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Federalist dominated Congress and President John Adams…The resolutions, while fueling political movement that brought Thomas Jefferson and his followers to power, was outright rejected by ten states.”

While it is true that the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions were (more…)

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