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Fri Dec 30, 2011, 04:39 PM

Mother Jones: Nullification Makes a Comeback


In the 19th century, the theory of nullification, and the crisis it provoked, was all about states rights. Nullification advocates argued that the constitution was a compact between sovereign states, and therefore states could choose to ignore federal laws that they considered unconstitutional.

The Civil War largely put an end to this clash, but in the 21st century there's a new theory of nullification. This one, though, isn't about a conflict between states and the federal government. It's about a conflict within the federal government. There isn't yet any modern-day John Calhoun to articulate this new theory of nullification in detail, but the nickel version is pretty simple: it says that a single senator can nullify a duly passed statute of the United States.

In one sense, this is just the latest front in the Republican war against executive branch nominees of the Obama administration. But until now, that war has been merely an escalation: more nominees are being filibustered than ever before, creating logjams in the federal court system and a shortage of leadership in the executive branch. It's a big problem, but nothing has actually been shut down because of it.

That's now changing. Republicans are refusing to allow votes on President Obama's nominee to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and on his nominees to fill vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board. In both cases, the Republican refusal is explicity aimed at shutting down these agencies. In the case of the CFPB, it's because the law that created it gives certain powers to its director, and without a director those powers can't be exercised. In the case of the NLRB, it's because they can't function at all unless a minimum of three out of five seats are filled. When Craig Becker, already a recess appointment because of a Republican filibuster last year, finishes his term at the end of 2011, only two seats will remain filled and the NLRB will grind to a halt. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/12/nullification-makes-comeback



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Reply Mother Jones: Nullification Makes a Comeback (Original post)
marmar Dec 2011 OP
Odin2005 Jan 2012 #1

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 06:11 PM

1. And it's the same people as in the early 1800s.

Southern White Men.

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