During the civil rights era, after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court, a majority of Southern congressmen signed a document titled the “Southern Manifesto,” . This document claimed that the states were free to ignore federal laws.
Almost 50 years later, led by right-wing historian Thomas Woods, Conservatives have returned to that blatantly unconstitutional idea, and the nullification movement has been gaining steam.
The nullification movement, which asserts that in order for states to legitimately get around the U.S. Constitution, they just need to nullify federal laws, has now been endorsed by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Libertarian whacko:
The chances of us getting things changed around soon through the legislative process is not all the good. And that is why I am a strong endorser of the nullification movement, that states like this should just nullify these laws. And in principle, nullification is proper and moral and constitutional, which I believe it is, there is no reason in the world why this country can’t look at the process of, say, not only should we not belong to the United Nations, the United Nations comes down hard on us, telling us what we should do to our families and family values, education and medical care and gun rights and environmentalism. Let’s nullify what the UN tries to tell us to do as well.
Despite Paul’s insistence that nullification is proper and constitutional, Article 6 of the Constitution clearly states that Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land…anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” That’s why one of our founding fathers, James Madison, argued that nullification would “speedily put an end to the Union itself” by allowing federal laws to be freely ignored by states.
ThinkProgress legal expert Ian Millhiser noted that nullification isn’t just blatantly unconstitutional, it’s “nothing less than a plan to remove the word ‘United’ from the United States of America.”