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One sub-theme of the “popular constitutionalism” movement is state nullification. This is the idea that a state should be able to declare a federal law inoperative within its borders, if the state believes that the law exceeds constitutional boundaries. Libertarian professor Thomas E. Woods is on a national “Nullify Now” tour, and the idea has been gaining some respectability.
I’m not persuaded. Presumably nullification only becomes necessary when court challenges don’t do the trick, e.g., if the Supremes won’t strike down Obamacare, then the States will do it. But the idea of states openly ignoring Supreme Court decisions (however wrongheaded) just seems like a disaster for the rule of law.
Am I missing something or is nullification just a really bad idea?