Here’s An Innovative Way To Oppose Laws That Are Not Constitutional WITHOUT Using Nullification

Written by Michael Cummings on November 28, 2018

Mark Levin followers will recall his disagreement with nullification, which is the active invalidation of a law a state deems unconstitutional. Levin states:

In his 1830 letter, James Madison explains at length his rejection of nullification and his support for Article V. (See link below.) Moreover, unlike Article V, which was expressly proposed, crafted, and adopted at the Constitutional Convention, and ratified as part of the Constitution at the state ratification conventions, nullification was not. The word nullification doesn’t even appear in Madison’s notes of the Convention’s proceedings and, of course, in the Constitution itself. Article V is obviously part of the Constitution. I didn’t invent it. But I do endorse it.

There’s much more to say and I will next week. That said, there are those who are neo-confederates and part of fringe groups who seek the unraveling of the Republic. During the pre-Civil War period nullification was seen by many as a step toward secession. I reject this.

Furthermore, a republic of 50 states cannot function if one or two or ten states nullify laws they consider unconstitutional, whether those states are blue or red or what have you. It is not our purpose to reinvent the Articles of Confederation in some form but to reestablish our constitutional system, federalism and the power of the states acting collectively.

I tend to agree with Mark (I’ve listened to him so long I feel I can use his first name). The Constitution establishes ways to change laws through legislation as well as the Amendment process via Constitutional Convention or Article V Convention of States. This is intentional because, as Thomas Jefferson said, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.”

But if we find laws we disagree with, and of course there are hordes of them most of us find detestable, at what point do we determine there are too many to change and the process is too long? At what point do we say, “Enough”?

It appears a police chief in Washington state has reached his limit.

One police chief in Washington State wants to make his city a “sanctuary” for gun owners.

Republic Police Department Chief Loren Culp is looking to shield his city from a new state law that imposes more strict limitations on firearms.

Initiative 1639 was recently approved in Washington and prevents individuals under the age of 21 from buying semiautomatic weapons.

The law also creates the potential for someone to be criminally prosecuted if he or she stores a gun where a “prohibited” person gains access to it.

Loren said on Sunday that he “cannot and will not” enforce the law, and that I-1639 almost eliminates the ability for individuals under the age of 21 to exercise their constitutional rights.

“It goes against the oath of my office,” he said on Fox & Friends.

Loren wrote on his department’s Facebook page, according to The Spokesman-Review, that he is recommending the “Second Amendment Sanctuary City Ordinance,” which would “prevent federal and state infringement on the right to keep and bear arms.”

The thought of sanctuary cities is disgusting on its face. How anyone could think that protecting people from deportation or prosecution who are in this country illegally is a good and moral virtue flies in the face of the rule of law, and can only be something Democrats could come up with.

While we must hold fast to the rules set forth in the Constitution, I have to applaud this police chief. When you witness firsthand what a bad law does to a community — such as murder committed by someone who wouldn’t otherwise be here – what is law enforcement to do for the people they would give their lives to defend other than file expensive lawsuits which would inevitably find their conclusion at the Supreme Court? Beyond an Article V Convention of States, officials aren’t left with much to work with.

This is a problem I don’t believe people are taking seriously, and it’s easy to see this will get worse before it gets better.

Michael Cummings
Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.