This article (click) in the LA Times puts an interesting historical light on Rep. Rob Bishop’s proposal to give the states the right to nullify rulings of the federal government.
Bishop’s proposal is grounded in his belief that the federal government — of which he is a part — has too much power. Rather than work within the government to fix that or, as the article suggests, gain a legislative majority in Congress and then cut federal power, he wants to go back to attempts that other states did in the early 19th Century, attempts that were discredited then and ought to be discredited now.
Interestingly, the GOP has only been on this “The federal government has too much power” kick since the Democrats won a majority in Congress. For the six years that they were in the majority during the Bush administration they seemed to be just fine with the state of federal power, even expanding it massively with the so-called Patriot Act.
The Utah State Constitution says that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. For Utah to think it has power to override the federal government is asking for some real historical and constitutional trouble.
It’s interesting that Rob, a former History teacher, doesn’t know the fate of similar attempts such as his in the past, nor the potential trouble if they should succeed.
Such as? Well, you’d think he’d have at least heard of the Civil War.