By Kay B. Day
The new book ‘Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century’ by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. was technically released on Monday, but it’s already climbed to the top of amazon.com listings, sitting happily at #37. The book apparently has tapped into the national psyche, touching a nerve with centrists, conservatives and libertarians who believe the federal government has exceeded limits established by the US Constitution.
The New American explains the thesis in an excellent review: “Nullification is an indispensable book about what could become the most effective means of stopping an out-of-control federal government: nullification. ‘Nullification’ is simply an act by states (and occasionally individuals) to resist unconstitutional federal laws. The term ‘nullification’ was coined by Thomas Jefferson in his 1798 Kentucky Resolutions that protested the Alien and Sedition Acts' unconstitutional criminal ban on criticism of the President.”
Woods undertakes a careful exploration of the process for nullifying unconstitutional laws via the Tenth Amendment.
That amendment has also been seized with enthusiasm by groups like The Tenth Amendment Center.
Woods is a New York Times bestselling author who is a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard and his master's, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Thus far Woods’ new book published by Regnery isn’t the darling of national media allied with government messaging, but it is being propelled throughout the blogosphere and alternative media because it provides a foundation that can be used to mount a legal, peaceful approach to government reform.
Woods’ book tour will take him across the nation, to cities like Las Vegas, Nashville, King of Prussia and Orlando. In Florida, he will speak at the Tenth Amendment Summit in Orlando in October. Mike Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, will also speak.
A supporting website Nullify Now sums up efforts by a number of states opposing current federal legislation: “Virginia, Utah, Idaho, and other states are fighting the federal healthcare law. Arizona is protecting its borders. Washington State, Oklahoma, and Tennessee are fighting cap-and-trade legislation. Eight states are standing up for gun rights. Twenty-five states have effectively blocked the 2005 Real ID Act…”
Big government proponents tend to view nullification and states’ rights as racist issues. Ironically, nullification was also a process used to benefit slaves. The New American said, “Contrary to claims that nullification is only a tool of racists, nullification of the Fugitive Slave Act from the Compromise of 1850 was also widespread and highly effective, Woods points out. In fact, nearly every state that later seceded (primarily in reaction to Lincoln's election to the presidency) mentioned it in their resolution of secession.”
As states grapple with budget crippling federal mandates and as issues like border security escalate, nullification may well become the most viable tool to deal with central government malfeasance. Woods’ latest book ‘Nullification’ appears to be headed for bestselling status regardless of whether political class media gives it a nod.
Main Street is obviously giving Woods' 'Nullification' a blessing that should take it to the top in sales online and in retail outlets and bookstores.