Resistance Is NOT Futile: Forgotten Lessons from the Nullification Crisis

Nullification is the process by which a state reasserts its sovereignty (per the 10th Amendment) and nullifies an unconstitutional federal law, making it void within the boundaries of that state.

States which are currently considering nullifying federal legislation (including health care and gun control) include:









Rhode Island


South Carolina



The list is growing. 

Even as calls for nullification of proposed federal health care mandates have intensified on the state level, an almost hysterical effort has arisen to discredit such measures, and paint them as part of an obsolete theory with no bearing on modern politics.

Regardless of its logical descent from our most basic founding principle, that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, nullification simply doesn’t work, critics say.

Or does it?

While it’s true that our system of checks and balances has been weakened substantially over the years, federalism itself has not. Divided power remains as viable a structure of government as it was the day our Constitution was ratified. Perhaps a better question is: Can nullification succeed peacefully?

Of course! It already has. For proof, one need look no further than the truth behind a favorite parable of establishment statists, the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33.

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