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Ohio Secessionists & Nullificationists

By The Reverend Published: March 1, 2010

Listen to the first few minutes of these two Ohioans, as they
very casually talk about state resolutions of sovereignty, nullification....and even secession....

The site hosting these casual-about-secession Ohio talkers is the Ohio Freedom Alliance. OFA was founded on March 8, 2008 in Columbus. It's interesting to note that national Tea Party protests against the newly elected President Obama began in the middle of March, 2008...less than 8 weeks after Obama took office.

The stated principals of Ohio Freedom Alliance are to Educate, Activate, and Delegate......focusing on....

"...legislation that promotes decision making at the state and local level, such as state sovereignty legislation."

"State sovereignty" is understood by the Ohio Freedom Alliance as the independence of each individual state of the United States FROM decisions made by the federal government of the United States. This alleged sovereignty, according to these folks, can, and should be exercised against decisions made by the federal government that individual states disagree with, or reject entirely.

Currently in the Ohio legislature, the Ohio Senate has passed a "state sovereignty" bill and one is pending in the House.

Here's a quick overview of Ohio State Senator, Bill Seitz's talk to an Ohio Tea Party gathering very recently....

".....the issue of whether Ohio would be enforcing its 10th amendment right in the event that the healthcare bill should pass or cap and trade should pass was on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Though a resolution has passed in the Ohio Senate, it has not passed in the house, and Seitz stated that Ohio Governor Ted Strickland would not be signing it even if it did. Not what the crowd wanted to hear, but the good news is that Strickland, a Democrat, is up for reelection in November. It will be interesting to see if there are as many Ohio voters who are angry at the Democrats as there were Massachusetts voters."

The plan, by Ohio Tea Partiers, Ohio State Sovereignists, Ohio Nullificationists, and, apparently, Ohio to defeat Gov. Strickland, replacing him with the Republican, John Kasich, and then put these state sovereignty laws into effect.

As the speakers mention, and as the OFA site reinforces......"state sovereignty" legislation is an indirect way of attacking any Democratically-passed national health care reform. The Reverend would call it an extension of the Bushies pre-emptive war doctrines. OFA, and likeminded groups, think that by passing "state sovereignty" legislation, they can pre-empt the implementation of Democratically- passed health care law. The thinking is if Ohio has a sovereignty law in place, it can then be exercised to prevent Obamacare from being implemented in our state.

This state sovereignty, 10th Amendment, nullification, secessionist stuff has been a hot topic for many conservatives ever since Obama was elected.

I have some questions for all to consider.

First: Why would "state sovereignty" advocates speak so casually about secession from the Union, when secession is clearly illegal and unconstitutional?

In 1869....that's 1869, the secession issue was settled....

"....the court further held that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were "absolutely null".

Seems clear and unambiguous, right?

Second: What about "state nullification"? Can states simply pick and choose which federal laws they will follow and simply "nullify" any they don't like?

In 1833, South Carolina began.....

"Military preparations to resist anticipated federal enforcement were initiated by the state.[6] In late February both a Force Bill, authorizing the President to use military force against South Carolina, and a new negotiated tariff satisfactory to South Carolina were passed by Congress. The South Carolina convention reconvened and repealed its Nullification Ordinance on March 11, 1833.


The crisis was over, and both sides could find reasons to claim victory. The tariff rates were reduced, but the states’ rights doctrine of nullification had been rejected by the nation.

So far, the Ohio Freedom Alliance is 0 for 2.

Permit The Reverend to toss the strikeout pitch.

Medicare was passed in 1965. Medicare is a comprehensive health care program which affects ALL Americans 65 and older from all 50 states. Medicaid is also a federal government program which affects poor Americans from ALL 50 states.

Are Ohio Freedom Alliancers telling us that those wildly popular, 50 state, comprehensive health care programs should be nullified (an illegal act) by state legislatures?

If not.....then what the hell argument do these Ohio Freedom Alliancers have?

Or is all this secessionist, nullificationist bluster just more evidence that today's conservative movement no longer accepts the authority of a majority of democratically elected officials, if those elected officials are Democrats?



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