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Jun 12, 2016

Show 1528 NULLIFY! An Introduction to the History, Constitutionality, and Practical Applications of Nullification.

This is an audio version of the 26 short videos from The Tenth Amendment Center.

To watch a continuous playlist of these videos visit-


Segment 1- In this introductory episode of the new weekly series, Nullify!, Tenth Amendment Center founder Michael Boldin sets the stage - whether you're on the left or the right, or somewhere in-between, the federal government is not your friend, and it's unlikely you'll ever accomplish your political goals through Washington D.C.

"They’re all bad, and virtually all the solutions both sides give you are bad too." 

"Stop everything you’ve been doing - or not doing for that matter - and throw it in the trash. It’s not working. We’re going to start from scratch with a new approach that’s actually been around for a long time."


Segment 2-: Three Things

Three Things that James Madison did NOT Advise

"What James Madison did NOT advise might be even more notable than what he did advise. He never told you that your first or primary strategy should include the three things most people do today."


Segment 3- Four Steps to Bring Down Federal Programs

James Madison told us that using these steps together in multiple states would be extremely effective against the federal government. He wrote that doing so would...

“present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.”


Segment 4- Theo & Alex

 “No matter how you try to balance federal power among various federal branches, they’re all still part of the same entity, the federal government.”


While James Madison wrote the most specific and complete set of instructions on how to stop the federal government without going to the federal government, he was far from the only founder to talk about states as a check on federal power.


“If you have a problem with the federal government, you need something outside the federal government to stop it.”


Segment 5- The Principles of '98 from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison

In 1798, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison penned the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, formally articulating the principles of nullification for the first time.


Segment 6- "A Starting Point"

Understood in this correct historical context, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 provide an invaluable blueprint on how to stop federal power today.


Segment 7- Effective Strategy

Thomas Jefferson advised a whatever-it-takes approach with nullification. Part of that approach involved smart strategy.

Jefferson called on each state to "take measures of its own for providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the General Government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shall be exercised within their respective territories."


Segment 8- Two Definitions

Did you know there are two primary definitions for the word nullify? Knowing the difference is essential for putting it into practice.


Segment 9- The Winning Path

"When enough people say no to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to force their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats."

One of the best examples of how to nullify didn’t come from the 19th century, and it has nothing to do with slavery. It’s happening now, and it’s about a plant called marijuana.


Segment 9- Nullification vs Slavery

They Don't Teach You This in Government Schools: Nullification was used by almost every Northern state to REJECT slavery - not the other way around.


Segment 10- Vermont vs the Feds

DID YOU KNOW? The Feds once threatened to invade Vermont to force compliance, but the state didn't back down. That's nullification in action.


Segment 11- Prohibition

DID YOU KNOW? On December 5, 1933, the 18th amendment was repealed by the 21st amendment, ending alcohol prohibition. What most people don’t know is that state and local nullification created the atmosphere where this repeal was inevitable.


Segment 12- Defining Nullification

*Courts Not Needed

"When enough people say no to the federal government and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to force their so-called laws, regulations, or mandates down our throats."


Segment 13- Arresting Feds?

Defeating federal acts with state-level resistance is like a chess match. An aggressive attack might be exciting, but slow, steady, and strategic usually wins the game.


Segment 14- Anti-Commandeering

To stop federal acts, James Madison recommended a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.” Over 170 years of supreme court precedent supports this strategy too.


Segment 15- Wasting Time

If you want to beat the feds, you have to understand how things work - on the ground. Here's what would happen if a state tried to arrest a DEA agent for raiding a marijuana dispensary, or an ATF agent for enforcing a gun law...


Segment 16- Withdrawing support

Partnerships don’t work when half the team stops participating. By withdrawing support, states can effectively bring down “most federal programs.”


Segment 17- Achilles Heel

Nearly two dozen states circumventing federal prohibition has exposed a serious achilles heel which proves that nullification by noncompliance works.


Segment 18- Supremacy Clause

Federal laws not made in pursuance of the constitution are not supreme. They’re void. And should be treated that way too.


Segment 19- Supremacy Misapplied

"It’s the federal government’s own problem that they’ve set up programs that rely on help to implement.

Refusing to help the federal government is smart strategy - it’s constitutional, it’s an easy legal argument, and it works."


Segment 19- Not in the Text?

Some people are fond of saying that nullification can’t be done - in any form - because “it’s not in the constitution.” But, this view flips the entire system upside down.


Segment 20- Nullification was not "Settled in 1865"

Whenever states take action to resist federal laws, some condescending person is bound to say “This was settled in 1865. The nullifiers lost.” But they’ve got it backwards.


Segment 21- Lawyers

"Ignoring definitions of words like nullify, nullification, and null from dictionaries of both the 18th century and today, most lawyers claim the only definition of nullification is the legal one."


Segment 22- James Madison's 1830 Letter

Some people say an 1830 letter from James Madison proves he opposed nullification in all situations. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Segment 23- Nullification is the Natural Right

James Madison considered nullification a "natural right" - something far greater and more important than any privilege or permission granted by governing documents.


Segment 24- Madison and Jefferson Today

Both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison recommended being strategic about stopping federal power in the states. But they differed in what qualified for the strongest level of resistance.

As James Madison put it, nullification by any means necessary is “the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression.”

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