Virginia lawmakers recently agreed to not abide by the indefinite detention provision in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 signed into law by Obama four months ago. This rejection of just one provision in what is otherwise an atrocious piece of legislation, was “accomplished” by Virginia House Bill 1160. The governor, Bob McDonnell, has yet to sign this bill, but after softening the language, it is expected to become law on July 1st.
So in reality, nothing is fully accomplished, but even if signed into law in July, still nothing in my opinion will have been accomplished. This particular Virginia state bill is not even a real nullification bill. All it says is that any state agency, employee, or military member does not have to aid an agency of the U.S. Armed Forces “in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.” It doesn’t even stop the locals from assisting the feds. Obviously, the state of Virginia and its cowardly governor have no plans whatsoever to even attempt to stop the feds if they enter the state to harm Virginia citizens. This is pathetic!
I do not take pleasure in being negative here, but there are two major matters that need to be discussed.
First, the entire NDAA legislation is horrendous, but this bill only addresses the indefinite detention without due process aspect of the original law. Even if this so-called nullification were to become law, little will change. The entire NDAA less this one provision would have effectively been legitimized. But there is a bigger problem facing all of us.
There have been many attempts to legislatively nullify the feds by the states. All have been political, and none to my knowledge have been actionably defended. This is a major problem, that I think this problem inherent, because most have been done due to political pressure, or due to political posturing.
Consider all the states, 16 of them, that have nullified federal law (politically) concerning the use of medical marijuana. Yes, they all passed legislation, much stronger than the current situation in Virginia, to nullify the feds, but the problem is that not one single state has defended its nullification when tested by the feds. Not one!
It is my expressed opinion that the nullification process by the states has to be two fold. First, the state in question has to declare, whether this is legislative or not, that it will in no way allow bad federal law to be prosecuted inside state borders. Secondly, and much more important, is that any state that chooses to disobey bad federal law, has to be willing to actionably defend that nullification if necessary. Without that defense at the state level, any and all nullification efforts will have been rendered moot!
The feds have raided, and with heavily armed government agents, state after state after state, and not one nullification has been actionably defended to date. Sure, the Tenth Amendment Center, and others who properly support the nullification process, have crowed loudly when these efforts to nullify have been passed into law legislatively. But they are all silent when the obvious failure occurs when the feds cross state lines to prosecute these bad laws, and by force.
No governor, or state attorneys general has called out the local and state police to stop the fed’s assault on its citizens. This includes my state of Montana, where many multiple raids by heavily armed federal agents against legal marijuana outlets were allowed to take place without any resistance by the state. This has happed across the country, and continues regularly.
The only way for the nullification of NDAA to be effective and valid, is for the state in question to defend its position in any manner necessary. Without that defense, all nullification efforts will have been worthless, and this has been the pattern nationwide so far.
If the feds come into the state of Virginia to capture and indefinitely detain a Virginia citizen, the state must send its agents, whether local or state police, or the militia members, to stop and/or arrest any federal agent unwilling to leave the state immediately. If the state fails to do this, and the governor has already stated that he would not, then no real nullification has taken place.
I am anxiously waiting to see just one state stand up to the feds with state force when invaded. When that happens, I will applaud nullification, but not before!