Reader's View: We have to obey laws we don't like, too
In his June 3 "Local View" commentary, "Defeat divisiveness with less federal, more state, control," Ken Lindberg argued that, "Each state is perfectly capable of nullifying, within its own borders, almost any federal law."...
In his June 3 "Local View" commentary, " Defeat divisiveness with less federal, more state, control ," Ken Lindberg argued that, "Each state is perfectly capable of nullifying, within its own borders, almost any federal law."
The commentary failed to mention John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, who served as vice president of the United States under Presidents John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and Andrew Jackson (1829-1832). Calhoun denounced the tariff of 1828 as unconstitutional and a threat to the freedom and well-being of the country. The solution he recommended was nullification of this federal law by the states. His home state did so in response to the tariff of 1832. President Jackson and his allies responded with a "force bill," which authorized the president to use force to uphold federal law. Calhoun resigned the vice presidency as a result.
Lindberg wondered if anyone read the 10th Amendment to the Constitution anymore. I wonder if he ever read Article VI, Section 2: "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."
If we disapprove of certain federal laws, we should either persuade our representatives and senators to change or repeal them, or elect new members of Congress who will do so. But as long as such laws are on the books, it is our duty as citizens to obey them, even if we disagree with them.
Timothy G. Maloney