Magazine February 21, 2011, Issue

Nullification Temptation

Let’s stop Obamacare without blowing up the constitutional order

The House may have passed a bill that would repeal Obamacare, but a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democratic president who has hung his legacy on the survival of the new law remain formidable obstacles. That is why some conservatives have begun looking for a “nuclear option” to end Obamacare, in the form of state nullification. Libertarian Thomas E. Woods wowed CPAC attendees last February with a passionate call for nullification, declaring that “we need the institutional ability to say no to the federal government.” Let the states nullify “a law they believe violates the Constitution” and “the

Allen C. GuelzoMr. Guelzo is the senior research scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University and the director of the James Madison Program’s Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Arab Agony

Upheaval is shaking the Arab world. Countries there are alike in being under one-man rule, and this authoritarianism is being tested to destruction. The outcome might be political reform and ...
Politics & Policy

Palin vs. Romney

Two potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have been described as “frontrunners”: former governors Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, they’re the candidates with the ...
Politics & Policy

Lost in Space

Almost half a century after the first man went into orbit, and at a time when the federal government is so deeply in debt that no expenditure can be allowed ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Australian Model

Think of him as the Tea Partier from Down Under. John Howard, the second-longest-serving prime minister in Australian history and leader of the Liberal (in American terms, read Conservative) party ...
The Straggler

Morpheme Addiction

Until very recently the only thing I knew how to say in Turkish was the proverb Nerede çokluk, orada bokluk, which means (I shall bowdlerize slightly) “Where there are people, ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Marital Goods Jason Lee Steorts misses the boat when he argues that monogamous same-sex unions and heterosexual infertile unions possess the same kind of value, and that therefore we should have ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ It looks like Egypt has discovered term limits. ‐ The House vote to repeal Obamacare is being treated by the media as a political stunt, since the bill is unlikely ...
The Long View

Tweets from @youthcaptain

Tweets from @youthcaptain, the next leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: Was supposed to have some Dad-and-me time today. He’s “too busy” watching stuff in Egypt and Jordan etc. ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

OMEGA All day long my watch has been stopping On me, every few hours, a good Omega Automatic chronometer, certified, Gold face and bezel, circa 1970, Self-winding. My father left it to me When he died, ...
Athwart

Exit, Stage Left

The chairman of the NEA recently said we might have too much theater in this country. Rocco Landesman was quoted by the New York Times thus: “You can either increase ...

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