Thomas Jefferson believed that the states had the right and the obligation interpose themselves if the federal government overstepped its bounds. Indeed, he also believed that they could nullify federal law if it was found to be unconstitutional, and that they could secede from the union. In this video, Lew Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses the forgotten powers of the states with Judge Andrew Napolitano.
We’ve seen a number of discussions on this site that center on these very important powers, with some claiming that the states have every right to exercise them, as powers they reserved to themselves. On the other hand, a number of people have declared that, due to the decisions of the federal courts–part of the federal government which was, itself, a creation of the states–the states long ago “surrendered” those powers.
If our republic is to survive, the balance of power, as defined by the Constitution, must be restored. We, the people of the several States, must insist that our state governments exercise their reserved, sovereign powers decisively in order to bring about that restoration. Should we choose not to do so, it is all but certain that the United States of America, as our forebears knew it and left it to us, will cease to exist. Are you willing to accept that?