The states of these united States are the supreme sovereign over the federal government. Chief Justice Roberts has written, “In the typical case we look to the States to defend their prerogatives by adopting ‘the simple expedi¬ent of not yielding’ to federal blandishments when they do not want to embrace the federal policies as their own. Massachusetts v. Mellon, 262 U. S. 447, 482 (1923). The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Some¬times they have to act like it.”
While Roberts recognizes the states as independent sovereigns, Thomas Jefferson saw that the states were supreme over the federal government when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.” This Declaration, written and ratified prior to the existing U. S. Constitution, declares the status of the states as the sovereigns prior in time to the federal government.
But the practical question always arises in a battle between sovereigns, how do we settle claims between competing claims? In my thinking, nullification is a perfectly acceptable theoretical answer. If states are the sovereigns, they can declare the acts of their agent non-binding. But this theoretical answer does not answer the practical question, especially when the agent has usurped enough power to have previously invaded and conquered a number of the sovereign states and presently extracts a crushing load of tax revenue from the producers of wealth in the states. Ultimately, the question comes down to who has the physical and moral will to enforce change on the system. That means a state must be willing to secede, and if the federal agent challenges the secession, the state must be prepared for battle and be prepared to win. Others have suggested calling a constitutional convention or adopting Madison’s lost amendment, the repeal amendment. These proposals are fraught with their own problems.
Yesterday, Carl Bearden, of United for Missouri, made a profound observation that the states need do nothing more than say no to federal mandates. This is difficult for state elected officials who have become addicted to federal money, giving them the power and prestige to use your money as they see fit as well as the ability to buy your vote with state benefits.
If the states are sovereign in theory, they have the authority to say no to federal mandates. This works well in the real world as well. The federal government, considering its size and the number of federal mandates out there, is now incapable of administering all of its mandates. If the states simply say no, the federal government mandates will fall of their own weight and the tyrant will eventually realize that their edicts are falling on deaf ears.
Missouri has already started to take this approach. The voters have adopted the Healthcare Freedom Act. In conformance with the will of the voters, the legislature has refused to establish state systems for administering Obamacare. The Senate continues to thwart efforts to expand Medicaid. That should continue. If we are to ever to free ourselves from the crushing empire in Washington, D.C., the states must continue to expand these efforts.
As I write this, I recall my high school days, when inspired with my own self-expression, I followed the crowd to a sit-in for some cause I don’t even remember now. The effort was ultimately to no avail. The difference is that I had no authority to effect change, thankfully. The states do. It is time for the states to act like independent sovereigns and just sit-in on the multiple mandates imposed by the empire.