July 6th, 2010

Utah Nullification: Encouraging our State Legislators to Assert Our Sovereignty

Last weekend I received my copy of Tom Woods’ new book Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century. As I began reading it, I was impressed with its persuasive arguments for using state nullification as a method of keeping the federal government in check. Woods’ book reviews the history of nullification, and explains how it has played out in recent years.

As I was reading, though, I had a thought: this information is great, but if it’s to be effective, it needs to be in the hands of those who can actually use it.

Minutes later, my latest project was born: Utah Nullification. This project seeks to raise enough funds to buy a copy of the book for every state legislator in Utah (just over 100). The book will be accompanied with an explanatory letter, and once delivered, we’ll work on getting concerned citizens state-wide to encourage their representatives and senators to read the book and work to understand why nullification is important.

This isn’t some anachronistic political doctrine relegated to the history books. On the contrary, Utah has nullified federal laws several times in recent years! We’ve done it with the Real ID Act, the recent health care legislation, and in bucking federal firearms regulations for locally manufactured guns. Dozens of states have likewise nullified federal laws that are clearly unconstitutional, and will continue to do so as the federal government repeatedly oversteps its bounds.

Below I’ve included the press release I sent out this morning. Please visit the website and make a donation to support the project, follow us on Facebook and on Twitter, and spread the word through whatever circle of influence you have. Let’s work together to encourage our state legislators to stand up and assert our sovereignty.

Local Political Activist Launches “Utah Nullification” Project
Project’s goal is to raise funds to purchase a copy of a new book on the topic of state nullification for every Utah legislator

Lehi, UT, July 6, 2010 — On the heels of the release of bestselling author Thomas E. Woods’ new book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, a local political activist has launched a project to put the book into the hands of every state legislator in Utah. In his latest work, Woods, a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, explains the history, purpose, and effective use of state nullification as a check on federal laws and programs that exceed constitutional authority.

On the announcement of the Utah Nullification project, Woods commented: “Thomas Jefferson warned that if the federal government is allowed to hold a monopoly on determining the extent of its own powers, we have no right to be surprised when it keeps discovering new ones. History clearly shows that it has just done that, and despite their protests, resolutions, and lawsuits, the states have repeatedly ceded their sovereignty to an ever-expanding accumulation of federal power. The subject of nullification is one that every concerned citizen should familiarize himself with, but most especially the legislators of the several states. I look forward to what will unfold in Utah once each of the state legislators is given the opportunity to study this information and consider its application.”

Project organizer Connor Boyack explained his idea, noting the role nullification has already played in Utah: “This project’s goal is to give every Utah state legislator an opportunity to understand how we as a state can assert our sovereignty and refuse to comply with clearly unconstitutional federal mandates which exceed the limited and specified delegated powers found in the U.S. Constitution.” Boyack continued: “Utah has already used this power on several recent occasions, when refusing to comply with the Real ID Act, when declaring that locally produced and sold firearms are not subject to federal regulation, and in opting out of the recent federal health care legislation.”

Boyack’s project seeks to raise $2,000 to cover the cost of the books, packaging, and shipping to each of Utah’s state legislators. Any money left over will be used to send a copy of the book to Utah’s federal delegation, as well as other state officials, including the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and Utah Supreme Court justices.

“I’m encouraged by Utah’s several bold and important assertions of state sovereignty,” Boyack said, “and hope to see it happen even more. Those legislators who accept and read this book will quickly come to understand how badly nullification is needed, and how many opportunities exist for its use.”

Those interested in donating to the project, tracking its progress, and learning more about state nullification can do so at www.utahnullification.com.

15 Responses to “Utah Nullification: Encouraging our State Legislators to Assert Our Sovereignty”

  1. July 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I love the idea of nullification. I just hope it has the teeth it needs to survive a legal battle. Whether or not it’s practical is secondary to me though. My first question is- Is it right? In this case- the people are superior to their government and have every right to say “NO WAY!” when their government goes too far. I can’t wait to read Wood’s book. Knowing the authors abilities and principles I’m sure it’s awesome. I hope my legislators will read it too!

  2. July 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Took the words right out of my mouth: “anachronistic political doctrine relegated to the history books.”

    Utah’s attempts to evade federal law will bring nothing but enormous legal bills and a reputation as the reddest state in America. Bad idea.

  3. July 6, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Shrinking to save money and face aren’t good enough reasons to continue tollerating federal abuses of power. I wonder what type of colonial citizen would have said something like that a few hundred years ago.

  4. Eric Checketts
    July 6, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    I hope (though I cannot say I’m optimistic) that people will not see this as a radical and misguided effort, but rather as a necessary check and a balance in our struggling system.

  5. July 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    This is a great idea and it is something that has come to mind recently as well. The states do need to take a stand. I also like Sherrif Richard Mack’s ideas about having all sherrifs make sure that the feds respect constitutional laws and when the feds are caught harrassing the citizens of their counties, the sherrif locks them up!

  6. July 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    Rmwarnick, so we just keep licking the boots of the thugs in wash DC? It is past time to take a stand. If enough states stand up then the feds will have no choice but to back down

  7. July 6, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    Marc–

    Where were you when President Bush and a Republican Congress instituted warrantless surveillance of Americans and unconstitutionally suspended habeas corpus?

    Talk about “thugs.” These things are still going on, in fact President Obama has authorized the assassination of U.S. citizens without any shred of due process.

    So, yeah, let’s take a stand. Maybe Utah could start by rejecting the new NSA data center being built at Camp Williams.

  8. July 6, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    RM, I was here with all you guys when bush was running amok. The people of utah were too busy worshipping at his feet to notice that the man was a tyrant. And yes, just say no to the NSA “spy” center.

  9. July 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    Hey Connor, pleasant surprise today to turn on 610 KVNU and hear you as their guest. Keep up the good work.

  10. July 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    I don’t remember, but….did anyone ever teach us about nullification in school? I really can’t say that I remember it being taught….it’s funny it’s the things we probably should know about our government but somehow got shoved under the door mat. Thanks for the insights Connor…I’ll definitely be getting this book!

  11. July 10, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    I learned about Nullification in school. It failed!! The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land. So plan to spend big bucks and losing as well. Yet you’ve got the Industrial complex to back you up. Someday you will see that big business not big government to be the evil empire. May the US Constitution continue to protect us from the likes of your group who are puppets for big business.

  12. Clif
    July 11, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    You know, a lot of people throw the word “tyranny” around pretty loosely these days. It’s one of those words (like “nazi”) that is used so carelessly that it has pretty much lost any real meaning.

    So our (democratically elected) representatives in Washington aren’t in agreement with your views and opinions and therefore we have tyranny, huh?

    Nullification is a failed doctrine. John C. Calhoun occupies a relatively obscure position in U.S. history for good reason. He was dead wrong. Once you leave it up to the states to decide what is and what isn’t constitutional – it isn’t too long before you no longer have a UNITED States. There was a reason that the Articles of Confederation failed. There was a reason that the Civil War was fought. (BTW, the right side won the Civil War – I always thought that fact was obvious, but lately, I’m not so sure it is.)

    It is worth at least acknowledging the fact that such a doctrine has been used to advance the causes of slavery, segregation, corruption, and, oh yeah, mobbings and murders of the early Latter-Day Saints.

  13. July 19, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    I would urge you to forget about nullification and go on to secession. Asserting nullification will just result in an interminable court case in which Utah will spend millions of taxpayer dollars and then lose. By moving rapidly, and hopefully with other states, to secede, Utah can setup an independent republic and govern itself as it sees fit. Of course, you will lose all the federal funds and the federal jobs and law enforcement, but you can replace those in time.

    I would love it if all the right-wing, individualist, small-government, free-market states left the union. Then the rest of us could move ahead with huge increases in social programs and huge decreases in military spending and sit calmly and securely in Washington watching the rest of you evolve into failed states.

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