Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nullification, Not Just Dope

Those who opposed the effort by Missouri state legislators to pass a law that would have resulted in the arrest of federal agents attempting to enforce firearms restrictions against Missourians often mentioned nullification as being a dead-end.  Now, I don't suppose the legalization of weed in Colorado will result in federal DEA officials being jailed, but the law is a form of nullification just the same. 

This year Missouri will once again try to protect its citizens from federal government overreach.  This time there is a slightly modified approach that uses essentially the same logic that has been applied to marijuana legalization:

Missouri's latest proposal, introduced this past week, would attempt to nullify certain federal gun control regulations from being enforced in the state and subject law enforcement officers to criminal and civil penalties for carrying out such policies.

The state's Republican-led Legislature came one vote shy of overriding Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of such a measure last year. This year's bill adds a new twist, delaying the effective date for several years to allow time for other states to join the cause.
I'm not sure how that will work in practice, but I like the concept.  If several states take the same approach, as was the case with marijuana, they may be, as a group, able to push back against intrusions by the feds.  Courts struck down Montana's attempt to prevent federal regulation of firearms manufactured and sold within the state's borders -- flexing the all-powerful "Commerce Clause", I suppose. 

The question is, why would the feds choose to enforce a firearms statute but not a drug statute?  There is certainly no explicit mention of pot in the Bill of Rights.  I think we have grounds for an ultimate success.  You have to start somewhere.

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