I’ve talked about jury nullification several times on this blog but I don’t believe I’m talked about the ability of states of nullify federal laws. Through state legislation federal laws can be rendered unenforceable, or nullified. This has been done numerous times throughout American history with my favorite example of Wisconsin’s nullification of the Fugitive Slaves Act. Various states also nullified the REAL ID Act by passing legislation prohibiting the act from being implemented in those states.
The passed of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was not a happy moment in American history as it granted the United States government the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial. While Ron Paul introduced legislation to repeal the erroneous provision Virginia has decided to simply nullify the provision:
On Tuesday, February 14th, the Virginia House of Delegates voted in favor of House Bill 1160 (HB1160). The final vote was 96-4.
The legislative goal of HB1160 is to codify in Virginia law noncompliance with what many are referring to as the “kidnapping provisions” of section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). The official summary of 1160:
“A BILL to prevent any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”
I hope other states will follow Virginia’s fine example.