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Nullification: Winning States Rights Guarantees Freedom from Tyranny

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,638 times Debate No: 20875
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




I propose to use all 5 rounds to allow adequate discussion & opportunity to make our points clearly.

Round 1: Pro resolution (below) Con Challenge
Rd. 2: Pro Argument Con Counter
RD 3 Pro Argue Counter Con Argument
Rd 4 Pro Counter Con Argue Counter
Rd 5 Summary & Conclusion Sum. & Concl.

Nullification: The Individual States have no choice but to Exercise their Right under the provision of the 10th Amendment to Nullify all Laws Invoked by the Federal Government which are not specifically granted to it by the Constitution.

It has become more apparent to us as citizens and tax payers, particularly within the past 3 years, that we are at the mercy of a formerly insensitive Congress, turned blatantly arrogant toward us, in their execution of the nation's business. Washington continually passes more and more laws which are favorable to a select few if beneficial at all to the public at large in exchange for campaign contributions and other consideration personally benefiting the office holders.

Throughout the country, depending on the issue, some states have taken their grievances to the higher court with mixed results. Six states are actively objecting to the assumption on the part of the federal government of their authority, and subsequent failure to act, on Immigration. Something like 22 states are exploring opposing federal requirement of mandatory purchase of health insurance in lieu of a confiscatory penalty, also with mixed results.

In the US Constitution, the Tenth Amendment clearly states: Amendment X – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Proponents of States Rights, or rather limited federal authority, argue that the intent of this provision, purposefully attached to the original Constitution with the other Amendments, clearly states the division of federal vs state authority and responsibility.

Opponents to States Rights cite the "commerce clause", "general welfare clause", and the "necessary and proper" clause as making provisions of Amendment X inapplicable due to its inclusion in the Amendments as opposed to the original body of the Constitution, known also as the Articles of Confederation.

The commerce clause, Article I, Sect. 8, clause 3, states that the United States government "shall have the power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and within the Indian Tribes…."

The general welfare clause appears in two instances in the Constitution. The first is in the Preamble, which is considered a formal introduction of the document, its purpose, as well as its standing to whomever it was addressed (King George III) and is not considered a proper part of the document content. The phrase also appears in the "taxing and spending clause", Article I, Sect.8, clause 1, also known as the "Uniformity Clause". It states: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence(sic) and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States…".

The "necessary and proper" clause, also known as the Elastic Clause, Basket Clause, and the Coefficient Clause, Article I, Sect. 8, clause 18: "The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

Opponents cite the three above elements as evidence that, together, they supersede and negate provisions and restrictions described in Amendment X because they were included in the Constitution document prior to the attachment of subsequent Amendments, which were included later, after much debate.

Proponents of Amendment X claim that, due to the fact that it was included later, the founders realized the broad powers granted to the new federal government and that was contrary to the original intent of the drafters and ratifying body. The States Rights provision in the tenth amendment was included to temper unchecked authority and power in the US Government.

The actions on the part of the US Congress today, and to a lesser extent, but no less important, a politicized judiciary branch, indicate no end in sight of confiscatory taxation, intrusive restriction, and anti-business regulation. This Congress hasn't passed a budget in over three years. Senate Leader Harry Reid says that we don't need one. Congress won't pass a budget because, to do so, then the public will the see the amount of deficit we as a country are incurring.

The Congress and Executive branches both are employing authority to rule our day to day lives which are far beyond that which may be considered reasonable. We as a society, as a nation, are quickly approaching socialism and police state totalitarianism as a method to cause the public to act in certain manners.

I submit that the only way we can temper the power and authority exercised by Washington is if the States can win their (our) rights granted to them and guaranteed in the Constitution. To be able to do so will require victory in the Supreme Court. Congress won't merely cede their power. We need to take it away from them; to get it back where it belongs; with the States.

Sources: Woods, Thomas E. - "Nullification, How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century" -2011

US Constitution


I thank my opponent for opening this debate.

I want to preface this by clarifying that there is no merit in arguing whether the Constitution protects States' Rights - there is only merit in argument which rights the Constitution reserves for the federal government. However, there is merit in arguing whether the concept of States' Rights can truly prevent tyranny, or if it simply begets tyranny on a smaller scale.

1: Removing Federal Gov't from Certain State Issues Discourages Positive National Discourse
In the late 1800's the United States was in the middle of a Civil War. This Civil War stemmed directly from the concept of States' Rights as it pertained to slavery. Between Lincoln's victory in the Presidential Election and the already heated debate about the legality of slavery, the states were at each others necks and this led to Civil War. In a country where States' Rights is never an issue to begin with, it won't cause a Civil War. Civil War may not be completely preventable without the presence of States' Rights, but similarly you can still contract lung cancer without ever smoking a cigarette. The presence of States' Rights however has always left the United States in a constant tension - giving states the rights to remain inconsistent on so many serious issues, especially on social issues, encourages negative discourse between the states.

2: States Can Be Just As Tyrannical if not More
Remember the slavery thing I mentioned earlier? One of the worst injustices in the history of the United States which would have ended much sooner if not for the continued argument of "states rights". Those states that used the argument used it to continue their subjugation of American slaves. Over the course of our nations history it has been used most often as a means of restricting the rights of citizens within that states, including women, gays and lesbians, racial demographics, and low income families. And whereas individual rights do not give a person the right to discriminate, states' rights allows them all the power needed to discriminate for any reason. In a democratic society it is much easier for the tyrannical majority to control the minority than nationally, given that most states tend to have a majority political presence, making tyranny much easier. Tyranny on a national scale is much more difficult, though it s constantly feared. But throughout our nations history it has been the States' Rights advocates who have been the most tyrannical, such as Andrew Jackson (who violated state decisions regarding Indian Land) and Ulysses S. Grant.

Conclusion: States' Rights can still lead to tyranny and in fact may be a more likely road to social tyranny, as history has shown, but simply on a smaller scale. The lack of political balance in individual states gives leaders and the tyrannical majority the ability to subjugate minority demographics as they desire. And while progression can change this subjugation, without the input of a federal government, they can often take many many years.

I look forward to my opponent's response.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting. I look forward to our conversation.

The Constitution reserves nothing to the Federal Government. The Federal Government hasn't the authority to reserve for itself anything. Prior to the adoption of the Constitution on Sept 8, 1787 there was no Federal Government. The United States did not exist. The Constitution was the instrument by which guidelines and rules agreed upon by the 13 individual colonies states through the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. The thirteen colonies realized that they must establish a framework by which they may work cooperatively rather than as thirteen separate sovereigns, which was what their status essentially was post Revolutionary War.

The States via the Constitution breathed life into the Federal Government. The Constitution allows the government to exist. The Revolutionary War was not a revolution at all but rather it was a war for independence. Thirteen governments cooperated to defend themselves against a foreign aggressor. In the tradition of there being strength in numbers, it followed that a continuation of mutual cooperation among the colonies or States was a prudent development. It made sense, too, that a central body was necessary so to conduct the business of affairs which affect all or several States and which could and would represent the interests of the thirteen states as a whole.

By creating such an entity the founders were wise to recognize that certain boundaries needed to be established in order to define the powers, duties, and functions of this new government. The Articles of Confederation became the Constitution. Though not terribly restrictive, it defined the areas of interest in which the Government was to operate and generally through stated sentiment pointed in the general direction the path that the new government should take.

There were two schools of thought: The Washingtonian (Federalist) desired a broad and far reaching government which oversaw and influenced more and more aspects of people's lives and business. The Jeffersonian school (Democratic Republican) resisted and wanted a small non intrusive government which generally left people alone. The Jeffersonians wanted a bill of rights to define precisely what authority was granted the government. The Washingtonians argued that such a bill wasn't necessary, would impede the abilities of the government to function, and was too restrictive. A Bill of Rights was not fully adopted and attached as a part of the Constitution until 1791.

The Bill of Rights, reinforcing the tone established with the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) of "God given unalienable rights", is a permissive instrument rather than a restrictive one. It defines the authority given the Government and specifically states that if not granted through the Constitution, then authority isn't given; it rests with either the respective States or the people themselves.

The Tenth Amendment specifically states: " 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". I really don't see a lot of ambiguity there. The oft repeated counter used claims the Commerce Clause, the General Welfare clause, and the "necessary and proper" serve to negate the Tenth Amendment because it was not part of the original document (Articles of Confederation).

Let's take a look at the roots of tyranny as they develop in today's world. Take, for example, the State of Arizona and their border problem. Arizona has big troubles with the flow of illegals crossing the border from Mexico. Drugs, guns, kidnapping, murders, etc. To exacerbate the problem, Arizona is required to render medical care, schooling, food, housing, etc. to these same people.

The US Government has a set of Immigration laws on the books. The US will not enforce those rules for purely political reasons. Arizona is warned that its interference in the realm of immigration enforcement is illegal because the laws relating to immigration are Federal Laws, therefore Arizona has no authority to enforce them.

So, Arizona passes into law its own set of Immigration Laws. With State Laws giving them authority, Arizona proceeded to enforce immigration. The US files an injunction and orders Arizona to cease and desist. Arizona goes to the Supreme Court for relief and the Court denies their claim. Only the Federal Government has the authority to enforce Immigration Law. And it has no intentions of doing so, apparently.

The tyranny in this case is not caused by States Rights. The tyranny is caused by a failure of specific performance of the US Government. The Fed maintains that it has the authority, the exclusive right to enforce, but it doesn't have the responsibility or obligation to do so. Arizona, says the Fed, doesn't have either the right nor the authority even though it has laws empowering them which are identical to those which the Fed refuse to enforce.

The Supreme Court has ruled that any matter regarding Federal interests or the Constitution must be heard in a Federal Court. A lesser court has no standing. A State or lesser court can not reverse a decision handed down by a Federal Court . A State may not enforce Federal Law unless delegated by the Fed to do so.

Immigration Law may be the play toy of the Federal Government but the immigration problem directly affect Arizona and they are helpless to do anything to mitigate. The ability to nullify the Federal Court ruling, to open the way for Arizona to enforce its own Immigration Laws is clearly needed in this case. There is harm being done, expense incurred, laws being broken and the party that receives injury can't act to correct and the party that can act won't.

No, States Rights is not the cause of the tyranny. It is because of the tyranny present due to unfair and unreasonable action on the part of the Federal Government that States Rights must be upheld and employed to the fullest. It is apparent that the Federal Government is not going to allow that to happen. The Federal Government, too, has created through the Courts a conflict of interest and ambiguity with regard to relief to those seeking it in this matter. The only avenue left for the State of Arizona, six other States experiencing similar difficulties, as well as the rest of us is to nullify, or set aside, Federal Law and allow justice and fairness to return.

I look forward to your response.


Thank you to my opponent for his response.

I'd like to respond first to the comment out of the gate that the Constitution does not grant or reserve powers for the Federal Government. As a matter of fact the first three acts exist for the very purpose OF outlining those rights that fall to the three branches of the Federal Government. To say the Constitution grants no powers to them is dishonest to say the least. Without those powers granted to the Federal Government in fact, the Tenth Amendment would be moot, as it's specifically worded to grant the States those powers NOT granted to the Federal Government. That the States must agree to these terms is irrelevant, that's the point of a democratic nation.

The bulk of your second argument is historical rhetoric. The states did fight against Britain, the aggressor. But those same states, following the war, also proposed that George Washington be made King, not President. George Washington would be in the position of a Federal Government official, the exact thing you accuse of tyranny, and yet declined the offer.

As for your claim that the Federalists were strongly against the Bill of Rights, some certainly were and this was a basis for many of the Federalists papers, but much of the ideology behind the Bill of Rights is what made the Articles of Confederation fail. Recall that we did not start with a Constitution. Originally the states were governed by the Articles of Confederation which showed a great deal of respect for States' Rights, which in turn let to a very weak central government, one which could not govern over the conflicts between the States. It was not a matter of tyranny, but a matter of creating a unified nation rather than 13 separate ones.

As much as I would love to argue immigration law with you, the pertinence seems to be a debate in and of itself, as President Obama has the record for most illegal immigrants deported and the more progression in immigration reform and protection of the borders than his predecessors. Otherwise, citizens in other Southern states, without the consent of any government, federal, state or local, have taken it about themselves to police the borders at gunpoint. The issue with immigration is it is a foreign policy matter as much as it is internal. Foreign policy can't fall on the states individually because having 50 states with 50 different policies is asking for trouble. Additionally, it's an interstate issue - it isn't something each state has an individual problem with. To assume states' should retain those states' rights violates the very reason we abandoned the Articles of Confederation - because it didn't leave the ability to deal with interstate conflicts and problems.

Additionally, Arizona can't have individual immigration laws, because the issue arises that if say, Texas, has stricter laws, can the citizenship be crossed over? If it can't than that violate the essence of a country and we may as well split into 50 separate countries.

I never once said the federal government is incapable of tyranny. Any government, corporation, group or individual is capable of tyranny. But a state government is just as likely and logically more likely in a democracy, as like I said before, it's much easier to gain control of a state, which is less diverse in ideology, than a country.

Your last paragraph is rhetoric.

I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for her response in our continuing discussion.

I think we have a miscommunication in our exchanges. Let me state again: The Constitution does not RESERVE powers or anything else for the Federal government. It GRANTS power and authority to the extent that the States wished to empower the new Federal Government. The Constitution describes how much or how little power and authority the thirteen states collectively wished to grant. Now the Fed can reserve all the power and authority it wants, but unless the Constitution specifically allows, such action is clearly unconstitutional. To reserve something establishes that one had it to begin with and seeks to protect. The Fed began with nothing. The States created it, and GRANTED the power and authority it needed, but at the same time RESERVED rights and power for themselves while doing so for protection because the founders were wise enough to recognize that they were creating an entity greater than any one of them and probably larger than all of them.

The Tenth Amendment, a part of the Bill of Rights, attached and made a part of the Constitution later, reinforces the intent of founders to limit the scope of government by illuminating and clarifying those rights which they chose to be retained by the States. It's sort of a "read my lips" type of statement. Its easy to see how a large and powerful entity could over reach its authority and power to the detriment of the individual States and a clarification of intent was in order. Also, identification and inclusion of those "God given Rights", omitted originally, subsequently were deemed appropriate now, if not a necessity, to become a part of the Constitution. The Federal Government had shown that it couldn't be trusted to tend to the interests of the collective States over its own interests and required some guidance. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Nothing has changed in 230 years, either.

I agree with you that Immigration deserves its own separate argument, but my point is not Immigration itself, but I used the subject as a familiar example of tyranny caused by denial of States Rights cast upon the State of Arizona. The conundrum created by the emasculation of Arizona in attempts to resolve its problem and the abject negligence and irresponsibility on the part of the Federal Government to allow Arizona to do so or to recognize its own authority to act causes violation of other aspects of the Constitution as well.

The "general welfare" clause, one of three used often to negate States Rights, grants the "…power to lay and collect taxes…..and provide for…general welfare…"(Art. I, Sec.8, Cl 1). It grants the power but does not impose responsibility to the Fed. The simple presence of illegals is, by definition, illegal. A law is violated, a crime has been committed. Nobody needs to be robbed, nor anyone killed, nor any drugs sold for there to be a violation of the law. The general welfare of the public at large, by default if not in fact, is compromised and placed in jeopardy by allowing such a condition to continue unchecked. Apparently "general welfare" is OK to cite when denying the rights to protect one's property and security, but also OK to ignore when tasked with execution of responsibility, by one's own admission.

The failure to enforce or to prevent entry on the part of the Fed is not a result of conflicting policy or of uncoordinated efforts between rival agencies. It is a result of pure politics. People, generally, cross the border to arrive here not because of opportunity, they're not looking for work. They're here because everything is free. They've taken great risk to travel here. If the government provided food, housing, free medical care, free school, a big screen TV, and the opportunity to vote and vote often, by virtue of no requirement to show identification, even these illegal immigrants, newly arrived from their third world hell holes, know enough not to bite the hand which feeds them. Every illegal, here illegally, is a potentially reliable democratic vote on election day.

I agree with you, too, that individual States, each with its own set of immigration laws, would create utter chaos in the enforcement of those laws. Absolutely there exists a need for a unified set of laws enforced in an organized and just manner. Note the contrast when Governor Perry (Texas) wants to give illegals free college tuition but Governor Brewer (AZ) only wants to send these people back home. Enter the Federal Government. One set of laws. An entity big enough to enforce them.

Here lies the tyranny. The Fed is holding Arizona hostage by not enforcing the law and by preventing Arizona from doing so itself. All the while Arizona is required to feed, house, clothe, care for, supervise, and educate these people. Arizona can not enforce because the court says it can't . Arizona can't argue the issue in court because the court says it can't. Arizona can't enact its own laws because the court says it can't. Arizona can't compel the Fed to execute its responsibilities because the Fed has another agenda which it sees as greater than the "general welfare" of the good people of the State of Arizona. There is your tyranny, darceem. The big kid won't help the little kid nor will the big kid allow the little kid to help him/herself.

Perhaps in the case of Arizona and its Immigration problem the Fed does indeed have authority and jurisdiction for the very reason which you cited earlier and that is a uniform and efficient application of the law by one central body, that being the Federal Government. But failure or refusal to act and further prevention of Arizona to exercise its own rights in the absence of Federal action also violates the mechanism of Tenth Amendment and States Rights. The States granted to the Fed certain powers and authority. Just because the States did so doesn't mean the States gave away or abandoned their own rights. The action to grant to the Fed was to cause a unified effort on behalf of all of the States. That Arizona is prevented from taking action is denying a right which it has always had.

Complicit with the Fed in denying Arizona the right to action or remedy is the Court. The Court will neither allow Arizona to take action, it won't allow any discussion of the matter, nor will it provide a forum to encourage such a discussion. I don't believe our nation's founders intended such misuse of the powers of government to be used to these ends. The final result is not even unfortunately inadvertent, rather it is purposeful, methodical, and deliberate. These events can only be described as tyranny.

I look forward to my opponents response


I thank my opponent for his response.

Except that there are several powers which only the Federal government may hold, both logically and in the Constitution, either that they must approve or that they only can do. For instance, new states may be created or states may merge together, but ONLY with the permission of Congress. As well, Congress is reserved the power to protect the states from international and domestic violence. There are others as well, but by that argument, if nothing is reserved to the Federal government, then nothing can be reserved to the states, since the tenth amendment grants the state the powers not given to the Federal government. But perhaps we're simply disagreeing on the definitions.

As for the Founders intentions in including the Tenth Amendment, some Founders may have desired it to limit the Federal Government, but I believe the true intent was to give the states more options, and specify that the states are awarded certain rights of their own.

Arizona is an example of the government using our courts systems to fight an unconstitutional law, and the federal government was not the only one to do so. Other individual non-profits filed the same complaints against Arizona's immigration bill (which is what I assume we're talking about). The Federal government did not overturn the law without any checks and balances, they went through the same legal procedure that it would have if the ACLU or another organization's case was taken.

Except for the government to defend against such a crime, as they HAVE done, would have to impede across state borders would it not? Arizona can not simultaneously demand that the Federal government do something about it while trying to change the way the law works. In the same way a teenager can not demand their parents buy them a car, while at the same time ignoring the requests made of them. The states are notorious for this. Many have demanded that the Federal government "get out of states rights" while at the same time not hesitating to request money from the Federal government when they're in need.

As I said before, this is it's own argument - as I don't believe in this example that the Federal government hasn't done it's job - the rate of deportation has spiked, meaning the Federal government must be doing something about it.

Your argument now appears to be that tyranny is the government NOT imposing on state abilities. I don't believe that is tyranny. Tyranny is imposing on rights where you do not have the ability granted (or reserved). The government not enforcing laws where it has the ability may be stupidity but is certainly not tyranny.

I await my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 3


I Thank my opponent for her response

Observation of the government at work, particularly the past decade, more particularly the past five years, has overtly demonstrated the dysfunctional nature and the void of disconnection which has developed between the public and Washington. Watching Congress attempt to pass any legislation, good or bad, results in bipartisan bickering, divisions along party lines, and potential perpetual gridlock.

This Presidential campaign and the political blood sport which running for elected office has devolved to, runs for congressional seats equally vicious, and to a slightly lesser extent, with State and local level as well illuminates the primary function today of government is getting there, and fighting to stay there. The inability of regular everyday citizens to be able to influence government policy in any way, that government policy is structured with interests of the citizens in mind only secondarily if at all makes a clear example of just how broken our United States political system has become.

A few very powerful interests dictate and run the show. American people are being herded down a long dark road to economic destruction, moral depravity, and loss of our liberties. Recent history demonstrates that Washington and the people who exploit their reason for being there, ignoring or forgetting who sent them there, is immune to conventional traditional national political action under our current systems.

We can't change Washington because Congress is owned and controlled by special interests. Neither can we take over the establishment control of either political party as the media elites can and will break, sideline or ignore any candidate that threatens the elite interests. Third party efforts at the national level are doomed to failure and an ineffective tool for promoting freedom principles. The powers that be easily manipulate such an effort into a "divide and conquer" exercise. This is very sad but a fact we must face.

Finally, education, although important, is not a fast enough solution to save our nation when more than 50% of the electorate lives off the looting of taxpayers through government benefits or make-work jobs. Education, too is not a viable solution in it's current state; where the environment, once dedicated to learning, enlightenment, discovery, and creativity is now utilized as an indoctrination program determined to transform the little darlin's into loyal clones of some undefined politically correct utopian ideology.

As advocates of freedom and liberty our choices for remedy are disappearing quickly. Do we just give up? We…just await the imminent collapse of our economy, political system, and society? Do we have the tools to cope with economic-societal collapse, hyperinflation, food shortage, and random acts of violence? Even people who are "financially prepared" for such a cataclysm will not remain unscathed. Fascism and wealth and property confiscation is a probable result of conditions and are sure to follow.

To imagine that policies and programs which influence all of our daily lives are determined by a few who were the highest bidder, owed someone a favor, knew the "right people", or somehow otherwise personally benefited should be the nightmare which startles everyone awake. This sort of abhorrent behavior is no longer carried out in the shadows, clandestinely, in the "smoky back rooms". These people feel entitled to conduct OUR business in such a manner.

They'll occasionally throw a weaker player or one who is out of favor with the rest to the dogs, to show the world the wonderful job they are doing in policing themselves, but generally such action proceeds unchecked.
By decree of the Constitution itself, Congress is charged with execution of the affairs and business of the citizens. The Representatives, who directly represent the population pass law and spend money. The House side of the Congress represents the interests of the people directly. The Senate is charged with assuring the actions of the government are representative of the country as a whole. They are supposed to assure that a certain bill introduced, though maybe beneficial for some, won't at the same time be detrimental for others. The Supreme Court, in theory apolitical in nature, assures that all business being conducted is constitutional.

The Court has demonstrated a tendency to apply a degree of judicial restraint by applying a narrow interpretation of the powers and rights reserved by the States because the Constitution is not specific toward those powers. The Constitution is specific about those powers granted to the Federal, however. The same Court tends to apply broad activist interpretation to the Constitution when determining what the document allows the Federal Government to consider. Just what it is that the Constitution allows? A broad interpretation would imply that if the issue isn't prohibited, then it must be allowed, and therefore Constitutional.

This double standard creates the tyranny of denying the States exercise of powers and rights which the States themselves reserved upon the ratification and reaffirmed wit the Bill of Rights. The Court looks at the Tenth Amendment and concludes that it doesn't add anything to the core enumeration powers of the original Articles of Confederation a/k/a The Constitution. This is the narrow judicial restraint and a conservative interpretation. Then the Court, through a broad interpretation, the activist interpretation, interprets Congress' powers granted to be broad in nature. Pair the two methods together, it's easy to conclude that the States reserved to themselves very few or no powers or rights. Judges who don't (or won't) recognize the double standard application, also will not recognize the Tenth Amendment as an embodiment of rights.

There is only one effective, democratic and peaceful tool left to Americans to defend their liberties and restore the original republic of our founding fathers. It is the right of state sovereignty and nullification.

Citizens can, of course, continue feeling important and wasting time, money and efforts on establishment approved candidates for Congress and Presidential campaigns claiming to represent our free-market views and pledging to defend our freedom . But if we do, we are just encouraging continuation of a rigged game designed to keep productive Americans busy at doing nothing that matters or interferes with the status quo and certainly does not threaten those who are in charge.

Many other freedom advocates have proposed nullification and state sovereignty movements that could be launched in all 50 states. Although the elites ruling our nation have total control over the federal government and the two-party system nationally, they have neglected to extend this top-down control to the state level. This is because over the last fifty years states have become mere powerless appendages of Washington and with little if any real influence, and have become dependent upon them. Some states are subsidized over 70% of their total budgets by the Fed. This presents an opportunity for the Freedom movement.

A decentralized national movement focused state-by-state at the legislature level is the only game left for us to play if we wish to be effective. When a state or states vote to nullify a congressional bank bailout, the sovereign debt of Washington or the Fed's dollar policy, this will attract media attention, especially uncontrolled foreign journalists and the alternative freedom media. Media coverage attracts investor and market attention and as we see today in the European sovereign debt crisis originally born on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs, markets move politicians and governments.

I look forward to my opponent's response


darceem forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


I regret that my opponent has chosen to terminate her argument so near the conclusion of our discussion.

No amendment in our Bill of Rights is more deeply rooted in American history, politics, and government than our Tenth Amendment. Its roots are deep in the colonies histories, in the framing and ratification of our first constitution, our Articles of Confederation, and in the framing and ratification of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. They might be traced back to English history and the authority of self-governing entities in medieval law, and even to the form of civil government which God gave His people when they entered the Promised Land after their exodus from Egypt.

It should be enough for us to know that the Tenth Amendments protection of federalism of each states right to govern its own internal affairs except for those few areas of authority which the states delegated to our central government in the Constitution and those few powers which the states forbade to themselves in our fundamental law was not an afterthought but an explicit reaffirmation of a principle that is absolutely fundamental to our constitutional system of civil government.

No amendment is of more practical importance than our Tenth Amendment for protecting what remains of our liberty and recovering the huge percentage of liberty that previous generations, and we ourselves, have surrendered to the Federal Leviathan. For our federal system was and still is a system of separation of powers with checks and balances between our national/central government and our states governments. Our state governments have powers which can be used against central government usurpation. And our state and local government officials, not to mention our states citizens, have means of influencing the officials of our national government to obey the oaths of office which all our elected and appointed officials take to uphold our Constitution. (ref)

It is encouraging to see that more and more of our elected officials, particularly at the state level, are realizing the importance of our Tenth Amendment to the proper functioning of state government and its function as the gateway to the preservation of our liberty.

It is important to preserve the rights of the States and those of the citizens to be able to enjoy those rights and to be able to protect them from a Federal Government, intoxicated by its own usurped powers, which is less and less willing to recognize that the origins of its power comes from the States and the citizens.

To need to have at our disposal a mechanism such as nullification is truly unfortunate. But if we fail to protect our rights, reserved by the founders, we will lose the. The Federal Government posits that we either gave them up or never had them at all.

(ref): Gateway to Liberty: The Constitutional Power of the 10th Amendment

I most sincerely thank my opponent for the opportunity to share this debate.


darceem forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by darceem 6 years ago
I can't argue what the Constitution says, since it's one of the few thing the Constitution is fairly clear on. I can however argue that, being in the Constitution or not, the concept of States' Rights is flawed and has a history of regressive and aggressive tyranny against individuals where Federal government has had to intervene.
Posted by PeterO 6 years ago
Thank you darceem...........

Yes, my position is that States Rights protects against tyranny.
The Constitution, too, protects States Rights.
The government, such as it is, doesn't recognize our rights granted by the Constitution because it is not convenient to their agenda,
The argument is about what the Constitution says, or what the liberals say that it says.
Posted by darceem 6 years ago
I'll accept the argument if the premise of your argument is that State's Rights protects against tyranny (as your title suggests) and not that the Constitution protects states rights (which is what your round one introduction appears to suggest).
Posted by THEBOMB 6 years ago
*cough* REALID Act *cough*
Posted by PeterO 6 years ago
Thank you for your comment Double_R,

When States disagree with actions of the Fed, the Supreme Court ruled that federal issues and issues on Constitution must be heard in Supreme (or Federal) Court only, And that States Courts decision can not supersede or over ride federal court decision. In other words, the Fed can do what it damn pleases . I disagree with this arrangement. The federal government runs roughshod over the states and the citizens and taxpayers whenever it possibly can.
The States need the power to nullify, or to set aside (ignore) federal dictate when that dictate does not serve the best interests of that state .
The tendency of the fed to arrogantly maintain that the states have no voice or no rights here runs consistent with their broad base of actions. We need to go to a part-time Congress. Every minute that Congress is in session, while they sell the ranch to buy votes, our liberties and our wallets are in grave peril. We need leadership from intelligent reasonable people.....not a bunch of whores.
Posted by Double_R 6 years ago
PerterO, I really don't understand what you are arguing here. Is the theory of nullification that you just described your position in this debate? It would not seem so by the statement at the end of your opening round:

"the only way we can temper the power and authority... is if the States can win their rights granted to them... To be able to do so will require victory in the Supreme Court".
Posted by PeterO 6 years ago
Thank you for your inquiry THEBOMB,

Yes the Supreme has heard the issue several times throughout history. The earliest about 1800 over the Kentucky-Virginia Resolution which went counter to the Sedition Act. I issues over slavery which resulted in secession and a war. More recently, over segregation-integration in public schools in the 1950-60's.

Presently in Arizona over immigration laws and enforcement of same. There is an issue brewing over Obamacare.

The Supreme Court says that federal issue and Constitutional issues must be heard in the Supreme Court ......and the State Court can not overturn a Supreme Court decision

The theory of nullification is that the states have the unilateral power to determine the constitutionality of federal laws, and that a state's determination of unconstitutionality cannot be reviewed or reversed by the federal government. Therefore, nullification involves a declaration by a state legislature (or a state court) that a federal statute is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced within the state. Under the theory of nullification, such a declaration by a state is final and binding, and cannot be overruled by the federal courts. On the other hand, when a state files a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of a federal statute, the ultimate decision on constitutionality is made by the federal courts, not by the state legislature or state courts. Because such a lawsuit recognizes the authority of the federal courts to make the ultimate decision on constitutionality, it is not an instance of nullification. - Woods -"Nullification..."
Posted by THEBOMB 6 years ago
Hasn't the Supreme Court already decided this a few times throughout history....?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 6 years ago
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