Inform Your State Legislators About Nullification
by Peter Rykowski, Research Associate and Bulletin Editor
The midterm elections are almost here — and may have already happened by the time you’re reading this. Although many Americans are focused on the elections for Congress, let’s not forget about the state legislatures — they are just as important, if not even more so.
This is especially the case as states are at the forefront of the battle to defend the Constitution. On one hand, they can apply for an Article V convention, which could decimate our founding document and the God-given rights it protects. Conversely, they also can defend the Constitution and push back against federal usurpations by nullifying unconstitutional federal laws.
Accordingly, once it’s clear who your state legislators will be during next year’s legislative sessions — regardless of whether they are newly elected or reelected — take the opportunity to promptly contact and meet with them. When doing so, inform them about what nullification is and how they can use it to push back against federal usurpations.
When meeting with your legislators or legislators-elect, hand them and their staff copies of the “Nullification: What States Can Do” slim jim and the “Nullification: The Founders’ Solution to Federal Overreach” pamphlet. These materials, especially when used together, do a great job at explaining what nullification is and how it is the solution to resisting federal usurpations, giving specific ways states can exercise this principle.
Also give your legislators and legislators-elect copies of model nullification bills, to emphasize the fact that nullification is not merely theoretical and that multiple solid proposals have been introduced and — in some cases — enacted into law. Urge them to introduce versions of those bills in their respective upcoming legislative sessions. For a list of model bills on a variety of topics, which you can print out or share online, go to our action-project page at https://gojt.us/kf11.
Additionally, urge your legislators and legislators-elect to nullify unconstitutional federal laws by simply ignoring them — instead of passing legislation to comply with such laws — as Alexander Hamilton suggested in The Federalist, No 16. Noncompliance with federal encroachments can have a powerful impact.
Informing your legislators about nullification and how they can practically use it will help ensure that they introduce, support, and pass such legislation — and not pursue false solutions such as a Con-Con. There will be many individuals and interest groups seeking to influence your legislators, so be sure to meet them early and regularly. Taking the initiative by actively informing your officials will have a big impact on restoring constitutional governance.