Report: Rand Paul to introduce bill nullifying Obama’s executive orders on guns

posted at 8:51 pm on January 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via the Daily Caller, a teaser for his appearance on “Hannity” later tonight. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that a guy who just visited Israel and is now talking about blocking executive overreach on gun-grabbing just might be running for president in 2016.

The bill will go nowhere but conservatives will appreciate the gesture:

“I’m told Sen. Rand Paul will introduce language within hours, within hours, to call for the nullification and prohibition of funding for the president’s executive actions announced today and possibly even using the federal courts to nullify and defund some of the things that he plans on doing,” [Fox News host Eric] Bolling said.

[A] Capitol Hill source told TheDC that Paul’s legislation is expected to do three things: nullify Obama’s executive orders, defund them and ask the Senate to file a court challenge to them.

At the very least, if he can figure out a way to bring this to the floor, it’ll be fun to see how Democrats whose seats are up next year will vote on it. Word on the Hill is that Reid might not even force a vote on the assault-weapons ban lest it prove too difficult for red-state Dems’ reelection campaigns. (According to a CNN poll released today, the recent surge of support for gun control is already starting to fade.) Will Mark Begich? Mary Landrieu? Heidi Heitkamp? Watch the video of her below from a local newscast yesterday (via the Washington Free Beacon) not only sounding sour on Obama’s gun recommendations but going so far as to accuse the White House of having an agenda unrelated to school shootings. Which, of course, is true.

Exit question: How many doctors are really going to follow the White House’s recommendations to talk to their patients about gun safety? I know they do get intrusive on occasion, and it’s a legit topic in the case of a patient who seems genuinely mental, but doctors must realize what a hot button this subject is for many people. Why risk alienating a patient and having him take his business elsewhere by trying to have “the talk” with him about guns? How many doctors know enough about guns themselves to even have that talk? This seems like a golden example of the White House floating an idea that sounds conscientious — it isn’t, it’s just the AMA’s attempt to leach some extra federal money — but which will be roundly ignored. The nicest thing that can be said for it is that it’s not remotely the most laughworthy recommendation offered by Obama this morning.


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“Nullification is unconstitutional; it nowhere appears in the Constitution.”

This is an odd complaint, coming as it usually does from those who in any other circumstance do not seem especially concerned to find express constitutional sanction for particular government policies.

The mere fact that a state’s reserved right to obstruct the enforcement of an unconstitutional law is not expressly stated in the Constitution does not mean the right does not exist. The Constitution is supposed to establish a federal government of enumerated powers, with the remainder reserved to the states or the people. Essentially nothing the states do is authorized in the federal Constitution, since enumerating the states’ powers is not the purpose and is alien to the structure of that document.

James Madison urged that the true meaning of the Constitution was to be found in the state ratifying conventions, for it was there that the people, assembled in convention, were instructed with regard to what the new document meant. Jefferson spoke likewise: should you wish to know the meaning of the Constitution, consult the words of its friends.

Federalist supporters of the Constitution at the Virginia ratifying convention of 1788 assured Virginians that they would be “exonerated” should the federal government attempt to impose “any supplementary condition” upon them – in other words, if it tried to exercise a power over and above the ones the states had delegated to it. Virginians were given this interpretation of the Constitution by members of the five-man commission that was to draft Virginia’s ratification instrument. Patrick Henry, John Taylor, and later Jefferson himself elaborated on these safeguards that Virginians had been assured of at their ratifying convention.

Nullification derives from the (surely correct) “compact theory” of the Union, to which no full-fledged alternative appears to have been offered until as late as the 1830s. That compact theory, in turn, derives from and implies the following:

1) The states preceded the Union. The Declaration of Independence speaks of “free and independent states” that “have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.” The British acknowledged the independence not of a single blob, but of a group of states, which they proceeded to list one by one. Article II of the Articles of Confederation says the states “retain their sovereignty, freedom, and independence”; they must have enjoyed that sovereignty in the past in order for them to “retain” it in 1781 when the Articles were officially adopted. The ratification of the Constitution was accomplished not by a single, national vote, but by the individual ratifications of the various states, each assembled in convention.

2) In the American system no government is sovereign, not the federal government and not the states. The peoples of the states are the sovereigns. It is they who apportion powers between themselves, their state governments, and the federal government. In doing so they are not impairing their sovereignty in any way. To the contrary, they are exercising it.

3) Since the peoples of the states are the sovereigns, then when the federal government exercises a power of dubious constitutionality on a matter of great importance, it is they themselves who are the proper disputants, as they review whether their agent was intended to hold such a power. No other arrangement makes sense. No one asks his agent whether the agent has or should have such-and-such power. In other words, the very nature of sovereignty, and of the American system itself, is such that the sovereigns must retain the power to restrain the agent they themselves created. James Madison explains this clearly in the famous Virginia Report of 1800:

The resolution [of 1798] of the General Assembly [of Virginia] relates to those great and extraordinary cases, in which all the forms of the Constitution may prove ineffectual against infractions dangerous to the essential right of the parties to it. The resolution supposes that dangerous powers not delegated, may not only be usurped and executed by the other departments, but that the Judicial Department also may exercise or sanction dangerous powers beyond the grant of the Constitution; and consequently that the ultimate right of the parties to the Constitution, to judge whether the compact has been dangerously violated, must extend to violations by one delegated authority, as well as by another, by the judiciary, as well as by the executive, or the legislature.

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM

“Nullification was the legal doctrine by which the Southern states defended slavery.”

This statement is as wrong as wrong can be. Nullification was never used on behalf of slavery. Why would it have been? What anti-slavery laws were there that the South would have needed to nullify?

To the contrary, nullification was used against slavery, as when northern states did everything in their power to obstruct the enforcement of the fugitive-slave laws, with the Supreme Court of Wisconsin going so far as to declare the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 unconstitutional and void. In Ableman v. Booth (1859), the U.S. Supreme Court scolded it for doing so. In other words, modern anti-nullification jurisprudence has its roots in the Supreme Court’s declarations in support of the Fugitive Slave Act. Who’s defending slavery here?

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM

“Nullification was the legal doctrine by which the Southern states defended slavery.”

This statement is as wrong as wrong can be. Nullification was never used on behalf of slavery. Why would it have been? What anti-slavery laws were there that the South would have needed to nullify?

To the contrary, nullification was used against slavery, as when northern states did everything in their power to obstruct the enforcement of the fugitive-slave laws, with the Supreme Court of Wisconsin going so far as to declare the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 unconstitutional and void. In Ableman v. Booth (1859), the U.S. Supreme Court scolded it for doing so. In other words, modern anti-nullification jurisprudence has its roots in the Supreme Court’s declarations in support of the Fugitive Slave Act. Who’s defending slavery here?

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Nullification had nothing to do with either. It had to do with tariffs.

ddrintn on January 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Nullification had nothing to do with either. It had to do with tariffs.

ddrintn on January 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Partly correct. States used nullification over the Fugitive Slave Act, and other acts as well, but Woods is answering the false criticisms and objections to nullification. That is what I am posting.

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Nullification is not ignoring any and every federal law; it is refusing to follow and abide by unconstitutional law.

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 10:57 AM

That’s a distinction without a difference. Nullification is the belief that a State can unilaterally determine a law in unconstitutional and therefore decide not to abide by it.

If a State has that ability, they can choose to ignore any and every federal law by claiming that the law is unconstitutional. There is no higher authority to overrule their decision.

And that’s why the States don’t have the power to do this. The Supreme Court has taken up cases regarding nullification, including the one you mentioned earlier regarding the slavery laws and ruled against the States wanting to use it each time.

Constitutionally, Supreme Court rulings become the interpretation of the Constitution. Therefore, nullification cannot be used by states to ignore federal laws.

Is that the way the original framers wanted it? I don’t know. And it kind of doesn’t matter.

segasagez on January 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Blue Buddha!

Bmore on January 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Lourdes on January 17, 2013 at 9:59 AM

No Script gets the job done. I used it on my last computer, but hadn’t installed it on this one until now, as it can be a nuisance. But it sure beats hearing the video every time you refresh the page.

petefrt on January 17, 2013 at 11:10 AM

That’s a distinction without a difference. Nullification is the belief that a State can unilaterally determine a law in unconstitutional and therefore decide not to abide by it.

If a State has that ability, they can choose to ignore any and every federal law by claiming that the law is unconstitutional. There is no higher authority to overrule their decision.

And that’s why the States don’t have the power to do this. The Supreme Court has taken up cases regarding nullification, including the one you mentioned earlier regarding the slavery laws and ruled against the States wanting to use it each time.

Constitutionally, Supreme Court rulings become the interpretation of the Constitution. Therefore, nullification cannot be used by states to ignore federal laws.

Is that the way the original framers wanted it? I don’t know. And it kind of doesn’t matter.

segasagez on January 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM

You are free to continue embracing your ignorance. I provided links and information for you. I can’t force you to read, listen to, or understand them.

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM

That’s a distinction without a difference. Nullification is the belief that a State can unilaterally determine a law in unconstitutional and therefore decide not to abide by it.

If a State has that ability, they can choose to ignore any and every federal law by claiming that the law is unconstitutional. There is no higher authority to overrule their decision.

And that’s why the States don’t have the power to do this. The Supreme Court has taken up cases regarding nullification, including the one you mentioned earlier regarding the slavery laws and ruled against the States wanting to use it each time.

segasagez on January 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Exactly. And that’s what Dumb-te doesn’t get: his pet fantasy is a complete mockery of the entire concept of a United States of America.

Even ignoring the fact that he’s a pro-slavery liberal, if every single state in the union could stamp their feet and say “I won’t follow this law” not just if it WAS actually unconstitutional or unfair, but even just because they didn’t like it, we may as well go back to the Articles of Confederation. Which as one person noted, held the US together like “a rope of sand”.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM

You are free to continue schooling my ignorant Democrat heinie. I provided propaganda and bullsh!t for you. I can’t force you to read, listen to, or understand them.

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Fixed.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Rand Paul is predictably selectively oh so concerned about EOs.
He says he wants to run for prez – so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him…with red meat offerings like this for the base.
But to be fair…let’s see how he handles Hannity’s tough questioning.

verbaluce on January 17, 2013 at 11:15 AM

He says he wants to run for prez – so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him…with red meat offerings like this for the base.

verbaluce on January 17, 2013 at 11:15 AM

As opposed to your god-king who uses EO’s like they’re going out of style? I’m sure he’ll be exactly like him…not.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Too bad 0 doesn’t have the balls to go on Hannity.

Bmore on January 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM

“Nullification would be chaotic.”

It is far more likely that states will be too timid to employ nullification. But the more significant point is this: if the various states should have different policies, so what? That is precisely what the United States was supposed to look like. As usual, alleged supporters of “diversity” are the ones who most insist on national uniformity. It says quite a bit about what people are learning in school that they are terrified at the prospect that their country might actually be organized the way Americans were originally assured it would be. Local self-government was what the American Revolution was fought over, yet we’re told this very principle, and the defense mechanisms necessary to preserve it, are unthinkable.

Part of the reason the idea of nullification elicits such a visceral response from establishment opinion is that most people have unthinkingly absorbed the logic of the modern state, whereby a single, irresistible authority issuing infallible commands is the only way society can be organized. Most people do not subject their unstated assumptions to close scrutiny, particularly since the more deeply embedded the assumption, the less people are aware it exists. And it is this modern assumption, dating back to Thomas Hobbes, that – whether people realize it or not – lies at the root of nearly everyone’s political thought. Not only is this assumption false, but (as I discuss in the book) the modern state to which it gave rise has been the most irresponsible and even lethal institution in history, racking up debts and carrying out atrocities that the decentralized polities that preceded them could scarcely have imagined. Why it should be given the moral benefit of the doubt, to the point that all skeptics are to be viciously denounced, is unclear.

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

As opposed to your god-king who uses EO’s like they’re going out of style? I’m sure he’ll be exactly like him…not.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Obama (and a few followers) do think he is the Messiah.

And he does act like a king.

But mostly he acts and wishes he was a two bit banana republic DICTATOR

Elisa on January 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

So the constitution doesn’t apply to Obama.

He is above it and we are all too stupid to realize how lucky we are to have him.

Elisa on January 17, 2013 at 11:29 AM

It’s been a couple months, but

I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE THIS MAN WAS REELECTED.

Even with the propaganda media we have.

Pravda was probably more objective than our media.

To sit back and support him using the constitution for toilet paper and abusing his powers day after day. Still is amazing to me.

Obviously the media has not breaking point or line they will not cross.

Elisa on January 17, 2013 at 11:32 AM

* no

Elisa on January 17, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Rand Paul is predictably selectively oh so concerned about EOs.
He says he wants to run for prez – so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him…with red meat offerings like this for the base.
But to be fair…let’s see how he handles Hannity’s tough questioning.

verbaluce on January 17, 2013 at 11:15 AM

He’s one of the very few guys right now in the GOP with any balls – if he’s only half as nutty as his daddy the Good Dokterr, we may have something to look forward to in ’16.

As for your Messiah, he’ll be on Hannity any day now, right?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on January 17, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Too bad 0 doesn’t have the balls to go on Hannity.

Bmore on January 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM

0 doesn’t have the balls God gave a hamster.

Imagine, for instance, Dumbte going on public TV and spouting the wanna-be ‘massa’ bilge that he does here. Afterwards he’d be a national pariah who couldn’t find a job cleaning toilets, but he really would believe everything he said, and he’d keep on repeating his racist history revisionism until security dragged him offstage.

But just IMAGINE Ozero on stage without his fawning journalists. He still wouldn’t believe most of what he said. He’d still be dumb as a doornail. But with no million-dollar media complex, his biggest popularity surge would be when Rush Limbleaugh mentioned him by name and said he was a walking argument against universal suffrage.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:37 AM

But mostly he acts and wishes he was a two bit banana republic DICTATOR

Elisa on January 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

I STILL say that’s partly genetic. But we have nobody to blame but ourselves. We elected the son of a booga-booga barbarian twice, and the first time literally started worshiping him to the degree people had real fears about him being the Antichrist.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM

As opposed to your god-king who uses EO’s like they’re going out of style? I’m sure he’ll be exactly like him…not.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Sure..

Obama 144 of ‘em.
Bush 290
Reagan over 350

On EOs, it is indeed selective concern/outrage here.

verbaluce on January 17, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Obama 144 of ‘em.
Bush 290
Reagan over 350

On EOs, it is indeed selective concern/outrage here.

flatulence on January 17, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Congratulations, your god-king has done 1000 times the destruction to freedom with half the EO’s Reagan did.

Only in your shrunken liberal mind could that qualify as a plus.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

The Limits of Presidential Power: Executive Orders

It was TR who pioneered rule by executive order as a governing style among American presidents. Many Americans rightly howled during the 1990s when Bill Clinton’s aide Paul Begala famously said of executive orders, “Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool.” But Clinton, who once called Theodore Roosevelt his favorite Republican president, was only exercising a power that TR had made a major feature of the presidential office early in the century.

There are uses of executive orders that are unobjectionable from any standpoint. Thus it was by means of an executive order that George Washington, upon taking office as the first U.S. president, requested that the outgoing government prepare for him a report on the state of the country. A better-known example involves the presidential pardons that President Andrew Johnson issued by means of executive order to ex-Confederates following the Civil War.

There are plenty of examples of the abuse of executive orders as well. As early as 1793, the subject had already led to confrontation between Congress and the president when George Washington declared the United States neutral in the wars of the French Revolution. Congress later ratified the president’s decision, but in the absence of statutory authority or constitutional prerogative, Washington’s action, however innocuous it seems now, was viewed by some early Americans as an abuse of presidential power.

To appreciate the transformation that occurred in American government under TR, consider the number of executive orders issued by the presidents of the late 19th century. Presidents Hayes and Garfield each issued none. Arthur issued three, Grover Cleveland (first term) six, Benjamin Harrison four, Cleveland (second term) 71, and McKinley 51. TR issued 1,006.

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Obama 144 of ‘em.
Bush 290
Reagan over 350

On EOs, it is indeed selective concern/outrage here.

flatulence on January 17, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I don’t think anyone here is concerned with the number of EOs.

It’s the type of EOs (some unprecedented) that is the abuse of executive power.

Elisa on January 17, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Obama 144 of ‘em.
Bush 290
Reagan over 350

On EOs, it is indeed selective concern/outrage here.

flatulence on January 17, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I don’t think anyone here is concerned with the number of EOs.

It’s the type of EOs (some unprecedented) that is the abuse of executive power.

Elisa on January 17, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Cheap attempt at sewing confusion into the issue.

EO’s are like bullets. it’s not how many you use–but what your target is. Freedom is his transparent target and as such, freedom is unacceptable to the left. That’s what happens when a man thinks the constitution limits his power so he’ll just “go around congress.”

Don L on January 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

It’s been a couple months, but

I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE THIS MAN WAS REELECTED.

Even with the propaganda media we have.

Pravda was probably more objective than our media.

To sit back and support him using the constitution for toilet paper and abusing his powers day after day. Still is amazing to me.

Obviously the media has not breaking point or line they will not cross.

Elisa on January 17, 2013 at 11:32 AM

I’m not surprised he won with the swing states averaging 140% voter turnout in precincts that Owebama got 100% of the vote in. That’s what amazes me. No other dictator gets results like that in any election!!!

DanaSmiles on January 17, 2013 at 12:53 PM

I STILL say that’s partly genetic. But we have nobody to blame but ourselves. We elected the son of a booga-booga barbarian twice, and the first time literally started worshiping him to the degree people had real fears about him being the Antichrist.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Hey, I admit I had considered it, but then decided he wasn’t nearly smart enough to be the AC. Now, I admit a second look at it, after his re-election in light of the lousy way he’s managed things thus far. And I’m only halfway joking. I’m keeping an open mind.

Particularly to the non-believers…Just be aware that if the SHTF as it seems to be ready to do across the globe, and he comes to the rescue and settles it all down, that’s not a good sign and you might want to give belief (but not in him) a second look, and do it in a big hurry. ;)

pannw on January 17, 2013 at 1:03 PM

As opposed to your god-king who uses EO’s like they’re going out of style?

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM

I point out the fact that he has comparatively used them less –
so now your qualified objection is:

Congratulations, your god-king has done 1000 times the destruction to freedom with half the EO’s Reagan did.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Ha. Well at least you came up with a creative way to forge on with your ‘objection’ to EOs (sometimes).

verbaluce on January 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM

I point out the fact that he has comparatively used them less –

verbaluce on January 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Obama: 1 term so far
Bush: 2 terms
Reagan: 2 terms

Selective use of the word ‘less,’ yes?

James on January 17, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Selective use of the word ‘less,’ yes?

James on January 17, 2013 at 1:18 PM

More like selective use of intelligence and facts…he selects not to use either.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Selective use of the word ‘less,’ yes?

James on January 17, 2013 at 1:18 PM

More like selective use of intelligence and facts…he selects not to use either.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

A fair point, James.
And nice of you to help out MelonCollie.

At this same point in his 2 terms that Obama is now…Reagan issued 256 EOs.

I don’t share this outrage about EOs that seems to be (suddenly) reflected here. Just pointing out some facts.
Frustrating ones, it seems.

verbaluce on January 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM

At this same point in his 2 terms that Obama is now…Reagan issued 256 EOs.

I don’t share this outrage about EOs that seems to be (suddenly) reflected here. Just pointing out some facts.
Frustrating ones, it seems.

verbaluce on January 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Frustrating fact: your god-king has used his EO’s to destroy freedom in a manner that makes Blowjob Clintoon look like a piker.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 4:36 PM

What you’re intentionally missing in order to push the deception that EO’s aren’t so bad is that the content of said EO is what matters.

Or in other words, Obama’s trying to rule like a king by misusing EO’s. THAT is what everyone with a brain is angry about, fool. You, on the other hand, wouldn’t get a clue about the danger unless Obama issued an EO declaring you an unperson.

MelonCollie on January 17, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Red State docs know something about guns. They like a good venison stew too!

southernms on January 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM

It is far more likely that states will be too timid to employ nullification. But the more significant point is this: if the various states should have different policies, so what? That is precisely what the United States was supposed to look like. As usual, alleged supporters of “diversity” are the ones who most insist on national uniformity. It says quite a bit about what people are learning in school that they are terrified at the prospect that their country might actually be organized the way Americans were originally assured it would be. Local self-government was what the American Revolution was fought over, yet we’re told this very principle, and the defense mechanisms necessary to preserve it, are unthinkable.

Part of the reason the idea of nullification elicits such a visceral response from establishment opinion is that most people have unthinkingly absorbed the logic of the modern state, whereby a single, irresistible authority issuing infallible commands is the only way society can be organized. Most people do not subject their unstated assumptions to close scrutiny, particularly since the more deeply embedded the assumption, the less people are aware it exists. And it is this modern assumption, dating back to Thomas Hobbes, that – whether people realize it or not – lies at the root of nearly everyone’s political thought. Not only is this assumption false, but (as I discuss in the book) the modern state to which it gave rise has been the most irresponsible and even lethal institution in history, racking up debts and carrying out atrocities that the decentralized polities that preceded them could scarcely have imagined. Why it should be given the moral benefit of the doubt, to the point that all skeptics are to be viciously denounced, is unclear.

Dante on January 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

I can’t believe I am agreeing with Dante, but he is right. Let’s take mandatory Federal Busing, or the larger issue of “integration or the Modern evil, “Diversity”. All horrible failures which the White people resisted by first force, then by the only avenue left to them, White flight. This abandonment of the cities and the creation of the Suburbs (something Obama and the left hate) simply outlines the failure of the State, either through Courts or the Administration) in its ability to enforce unjust laws. This nullification by simply using the freedoms that are left drives the Liberals nuts. Detroit is the perfect example of the outcome. Chicago is next.

Bulletchaser on January 18, 2013 at 1:39 PM

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