Win, Lose, or Draw: The New Nullification

Source: Abby Johnston, Dissent, Vol. 61 no. 2, Spring 2014
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…The acceleration in nullification efforts in recent years has been fueled in part by organized groups like the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC), which has been at the forefront of state-level campaigns ranging from legalizing industrial hemp to banning “material support” for Obamacare since 2006. … While gun-related nullification bills like Second Amendment Preservation Act may lead the charge, with at least 141 nullification measures against federal legislation introduced in 2013, the nullification trend cannot be reduced to armed conservatives. … Even those whose campaigns fall outside of the TAC’s nullification framework, such as anti-abortion activists and gay marriage advocates, have increasingly pursued stat-by-state strategies (often out of frustration with inaction or hostility at the national level) that sometimes put state and federal law into tension. …

…The gun scholar attributes Missouri’s fervent pro-gun stance to its thriving grassroots community rather than to national lobbying groups like the NRA, of which he is a member. Members of such groups as the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance and the Missouri Sport Shooting Association take to the streets for candidates in exchange for their support on gun issues. … The approach has proved effective. Even without the help of the NRA’s deep pockets, the first iteration of the Second Amendment Preservation Act flew through the senate and house. …