Now I am pretty sure that a goodly percentage of the Gentle Readers are looking at the title and going, “What???” A significant number will recognize it as a reference to the Constitution, but to be honest only a limited number of people know that Article I defines the Legislative Branch, Article II the Executive, and Article III the Judicial. Most people are not quite sure about the other Articles.
Let’s cut to the chase. It is the Supremacy Clause:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The reason that states have to obey Federal laws and the Constitution as a whole is specifically because of this clause of the Constitution. That obedience is not optional, conditional, or debatable. If you are part of the United States, you are subject to Federal law and your “feelz” otherwise have no bearing. If you disagree with Federal law, if you want to deny rights under the Constitution, you are out of luck. You can try to change it in court. You can try to have Congress pass a change to the law or repeal it. You can try to amend the Constitution. But the Federal power in the areas where the Constitution grants lawmaking power to the Federal government over-rides anything the States can do.
This is key to the functioning of a free, constitutional republic. If a state, or group of states, can defy the Federal government at will, there is no Federal government. There is no equal justice under the law. And there is, in fact, no rule of law.
This was recognized from the beginning. In Federalist #44 James Madison pointed out that if it was not included, then each state would have functional veto power over the entire country. Without it, the country would not work.
There have been 3 attempts to over-ride or ignore the Supremacy clause and each was aimed at destroying the country.
The first was the Nullification Crisis of the early 1830’s. Now one can make a rational argument that the tax structure of the time was intrinsically discriminatory against the South. At the time, the only real source of Federal tax money was import tariffs. The South was agricultural and exported overseas where prices were higher. At the time it was difficult to transfer money safely from Europe to the US, however goods could be shipped and insured. So it made economic sense to buy goods in Europe, ship them ensured to the South, but that meant that the South paid the import tariffs. The North manufactured what it needed in most cases and did not pay that great a percentage of the national tax bill.
That and the spending policies of the Federal government ended up being a major, but understated, cause of the later Civil War. Slavery was a dying institution in the South at the beginning of the Civil War, and throughout the Civil War was legal in the North. The Emancipation Proclamation only had effect in areas in rebellion, and areas occupied by the Union Army were no longer in rebellion. Ulysses S. Grant was attended by at least one slave the entire time he commanded the Union Army, and he and his wife did not free their slaves until after the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, 8 months after the end of the war.
So in 1828 and in 1832 when Congress passed increased tariffs on imports [the latter being referred to as the Tariff of Abominations] the state of South Carolina declared that it was null and void in South Carolina as of February 1, 1833. They were declaring that Article VI Clause 2 did not exist for them. The governor of South Carolina also called up 2,000 cavalry and 25,000 infantry to defend the state.
It was resolved as of March 1, 1833 when President Andrew Jackson’s statements, including a promise to march with the Army to South Carolina and start hanging people sank in. Under the threat of force, and with the passage of a very slightly revised Tariff in 1833, South Carolina revoked its Ordinance of Nullification and sent its troops home. But a precedent had been set. A state refusing to enforce Federal laws was subject to compulsion by Federal military force.
The second attempt to over-ride the Supremacy clause was a literal dissolution of the country. Once again, it started in South Carolina, and with a number of disputes about then current, and anticipated, Federal laws –v- “states rights”; South Carolina and eventually a total of 11 Southern states seceded from the Union and attempted to form a separate country. It took over 4 years and over a 1,000,000 dead, and changed the nature of the Federal Union permanently; but the 11 states were reduced to submission to Federal law by military force. There remained no doubt or equivocation about the Supremacy of Federal law and the Federal Constitution.
The third attempt to over-ride the Supremacy clause and to functionally divide the country is in progress at this very moment. A number of states and subdivisions of states right now are claiming that they have the right to nullify Federal law within their boundaries. The Constitution of the United States gives the Federal government the role of making the laws concerning immigration and naturalization. And they have done so. Control of the borders of the United States and their defense from unauthorized crossing is the responsibility of the Federal government under the Constitution, and they have made laws pursuant to that. The Federal government has made laws concerning medical practices, what drugs are legal, what drugs are not legal, and their importation. And those Federal laws pre-empt any state or local laws, rulings, or regulations. The Federal government has made laws regarding qualifications for voting and for receipt of Federal benefits. They pre-empt any state or local laws.
And yet, we find states, cities, and counties making laws and policies in direct contravention of the Federal laws, nullifying their effect in their boundaries. States, cities, and counties have declared that Federal immigration laws are void in their jurisdictions and that they will deliberately conceal criminals from Federal law. States, cities, and counties have declared that Federal drug laws are void in their jurisdictions, and conspired to break Federal law. States, cities, and counties have deliberately given Federal benefits to those who are not eligible under Federal law. States, cities, and counties have allowed non-citizens to vote in Federal elections in violation of Federal law, or have allowed citizens to vote repeatedly. It is no longer an anomaly to have more voters and votes cast than people eligible to vote in a jurisdiction. In my home state of Colorado, there are 64 Counties or “Cities and Counties”. 22 of the 64 have more people registered to vote than there are people eligible to vote [citizen, over 18, not under a legal disability to vote].
There is one common factor in the jurisdictions violating Federal law and the Supremacy clause of the Constitution. Every [series of expletives deleted] one of them is controlled by the Democrat Party. Which has a certain consistency. South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis was controlled by the Democrats, when they were ready to take up arms against the United States. The entire Confederate States of America was controlled by what were members of the Democrat Party.
The Democrats were the party of the South from the moment of their founding. Their members of Congress before the Civil War transitioned into running the Confederate States government during the war. As soon as the post Civil War “Reconstruction” was over; the South became Democrat again. And in an example of the irony of history, the KKK who the current Democrat street thugs of Antifa, BLM, and various Socialist groups, etc. claim to be fighting was a creation of the Democrat Party. Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest [who despite his politics was one of the most brilliant mounted infantry commanders in history] founded the KKK. The Democrats who ran the state governments coddled the KKK, passed and enforced the Jim Crow laws that kept Blacks as second class citizens, and both segregated all public institutions and barred Blacks from voting. The civilian Federal government was not racially segregated until Democrat president Woodwork Wilson appointed cabinet heads with a mandate to segregate their departments.
In the fight for the Civil Rights laws of the 1960’s, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus who called out the Arkansas National Guard to bar Blacks from schools [and using the Supremacy clause, President Eisenhower sent in the 101st Airborne Division to enforce Federal law] was a Democrat. Alabama Governor George Wallace who stood in the door of the school to block the entrance of Blacks was a Democrat. The Klansmen who murdered those trying to register Blacks to vote were Democrats. And Sheriff Eugene “Bull” Conner who set police dogs on Black schoolchildren actually was a member of the Democrat Party’s National Committee when he did it.
Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the longest serving Democrat Senator, and Senate Majority Leader was the Grand Cyclops of the West Virginia KKK and incidentally led the 83 day long filibuster to try to block the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Now add in another factor. We literally have a state trying to secede from the Union. Once again, totally Democrat run. California does not have enough Republicans to even outnumber the illegal invaders from Mexico. The Democrats can, and do, do anything they want because there is no political opposition to stop them, and they can ignore any legal prohibitions because there will be no enforcement.
Once again, as you are reading this, they are circulating a petition to have secession on the ballot. They pretty it up with fancy language, but it comes down to leaving the country, but somehow insisting that we still pay for them.
OK, we have nullification of Federal laws in violation of the Supremacy clause of the Constitution all over the country by the political party that has attempts to break up the country as its factual history. We have an open attempt to break the country apart. We have had a year of violent, physical assaults on those who do not share the Leftist/Socialist/Democrat political viewpoint solely in Democrat controlled areas, and law enforcement in those areas either have been ordered to stand down and allow the assaults [like in Charlottesville, Virginia] or have actively aided the assaults like in San Jose, California.
The nullification of the local rule of law, based on politics, is possibly the ultimate attack on the Constitution. We have had this pattern before. The two previous times, it has involved the risk of war or the actual outbreak of war. To the American Left, the Constitution is a joke. To those of us who have seriously sworn the Oath to the Constitution, and take it seriously, this is the ultimate red line.
Events are moving rapidly. There are attacks on any symbols of the past by Leftist thugs all over the country. And it is not merely a matter of Confederate statues and memorials as they claim. In Chicago, a group tried to burn a bust of Abraham Lincoln that has stood in a park since 1926. I don’t know which is a greater indictment of education in Chicago; the fact that they tried to burn the bust of the president who fought against the Confederacy and freed the slaves, or that they just tried to burn a bronze statue.
In New Orleans, the Democrat/Leftist thugs just vandalized the landmark statue of Saint Joan of Arc. Think about it. She died two generations before North America was discovered by western Europeans. And over 4 centuries before there was a Confederacy. But apparently being a woman who listened to G-d was enough to be defined as a symbol of hate. In California today [August 18] a statue of Father Junipero Serra, who founded the missions that became the major cities of California, was vandalized with paint and a swastika, because somehow he was a symbol of the Confederacy that did not come into being until over 70 years after he died.
The goal appears to be the destruction of any symbol that predates the establishment of the Soviet Union. And that apparently includes the Bill of Rights. Antifa and their Democrat supporters [and their media mouthpieces] have been claiming since the Charlottesville riot that Free Speech/the First Amendment does not apply to hate speech/racists/white supremacists or apparently anyone or thing that the Left does not like at any given moment. Leftist supporting companies like Google are firing people based on their perfectly legal political beliefs, even if that firing is against the law [and in California where Google is based, it is]. And the Republican Party is joining in on the attacks on the Bill of Rights and unofficially has formed an Antifa-sympathizer caucus of Senators who speak well of Antifa for physically attacking the legal “Unite the Right” demonstration in Charlottesville.
This time, it seems that there is no organized political force that is defending either the Constitution or unity of the country. If the Democrats get their way, there will be no unified law, there will be no Constitution, and there will be no United States of America. The third time may be the charm.