I’ve Got Georgia on My Mind

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

With apologies to the famous song of the same title, the State of Georgia has produced some interesting legislation and proposed legislation these days.  The latest in that long list of specious legislation is the proposal pushed by five Georgia State Senators that would set up a commission to review Federal laws.  Any laws not approved by that commission would be nullified and would not be upheld in their state.  If I understand the proposed legislation correctly, the State of Georgia, if this law is passed, would claim supremacy over Federal law. I realize that in some Tea Party view of the Constitution this makes sense, but not in the real world where the Constitution and court precedent makes it very clear that Federal law supersedes any and all conflicting State laws.

“The Constitution provides that acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land” which is why states do not have the power to ignore federal law. Nevertheless, five Georgia state senators — including Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R) and senate President Pro Tempore Tommie Williams (R) — apparently do not believe that the Constitution applies to them. All five lawmakers introduced a wildly unconstitutional plan to have Georgia and its citizens simply ignore laws that its conservative leadership doesn’t want to follow:

(1) There is created the Joint Commission on Recommendation, which shall be charged with recommending and proposing for a vote by a constitutional majority the nullification in its entirety of a specific federal law or regulation which is deemed to be outside the scope of the powers delegated by the people to the federal government in the United States Constitution or at odds with the Georgia Constitution . . .

(4) Upon recommendation for nullification, the General Assembly may vote to nullify following such recommendation. The appropriate documentation reflecting the vote shall be documented in legislative journals of the House and Senate. In the event the General Assembly votes by a constitutional majority to nullify any federal statute, mandate, or executive order on the grounds of constitutionality, neither the state nor its citizens shall recognize or be obligated to live under such statute, mandate, or executive order.”  Truthout

Our friends in Georgia are taking the same path as Gov. Rick Perry chose in Texas when he pushed through a bill that would nullify a Federal law concerning light bulbs.  Light Bulb  It is amazing to me that in the year 2012, we are even having this discussion.  The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, Article 6, Clause 2, makes it very clear that Federal law is the “law of the land”.

“This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” U.S. Constitution  The Supreme Court has upheld and confirmed the supremacy of Federal law over conflicting State legislation. But this idea of States nullifying Federal legislation continues to fester.

I question whether these State attempts to nullify Federal law is actually an attempt to discredit the current administration in the eyes of the supporters of these State officials rather than an effort to stop what they consider to be unjust laws. Are politics involved in these decisions to attempt to nullify Federal law?

Are these Georgia legislators trying to re-fight the Civil War with these claims of States superiority over Federal law?  Are these nullification efforts related to the Tenther movement?  Even our old friend, Ron Paul has come out as a supporter of this alleged power of States nullification of Federal law.  Ron Paul   Does it surprise you that a sitting U.S. Congressman would have these views?

Finally, while the attempts by States to nullify Federal laws isn’t new, the calls for nullification seem to have increased since President Obama came into office.  Will the nullification movement die out if Obama is not re-elected?  Let’s hear what you think!

Additional Sources:


James Madison letter to Edward Everett

Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council

Cooper v. Aaron

219 thoughts on “I’ve Got Georgia on My Mind”

  1. id707,

    Idiots v. Liars: It is my estimation that both have issues with the truth. The former because they either cannot understand it or the truth in some way causes irreconcilable (to them) dissonance with their preconceptions or other boxes they’ve built to force the world into. The later because the truth foils their often nefarious and usually selfish agenda. In the case of Marbury, both groups have trouble with the truth of holding and their respective reasons for ignoring or distorting said truth. In deciding which is the problem, I apply what I originally heard called “Heinlein’s Razor” although I’ve heard the quote attributed to Einstein too:

    “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice.”

  2. For the Academy Award watchers after your parties (SwM),

    Here’s another award someone is nominated for; not on the Academy list.
    Is it our President in 2016? Florida’s answer to Huey Long?, Or the self-proclaimed Congressman with Guts? The last is true. Speculate on the rest.


    Look at the latest post under Zeitgeist Award. I follow him enthusiastically since he told the Republicans off on the House floor for their “health plan”—-
    roughly paraphrased: “Don’t get sick, if you do die quickly”.

    Any other cheers here? Do we need more or less of this sort of straight shooters. His achievements are pretty good. See Zeitgeist.

    I live in Sweden (or was it Ireland. AY???) so don’t know squat about your politics.
    Please enlighten me. And who got best picture award? Actor? Actress?

    It’s 12:30 AM here, bedtime. Was up until 3am yesterday and today was a bummer. Although the support was nice to hear. Bows in all directions.

  3. Mike A.,
    I think these state senators know about Marbury. They just prefer to ignore it. At least in the last few years.

  4. id, I have seen most of them even the last one Saraband. Going to a little Academy Award watching party. Talk to you later.

  5. SwM
    do I detect a tinge of remorse that you invited me up to dance around the humor tree. apologies in which case.
    one stumbles so atrociously poorly.

    Yes, women do enjoy being women in Sweden.
    Infinite number of examples. See Fanny and Alexander by Ingmar Bergman.
    even the cat fights are great fun.
    My friend Bruce,bettter endowed and more knowledgable said: let’s go to the nurses’ home. Said and done. pressing on several floor buttons, he got many answers. a floor number and the door opened. Up the elevator to be greeted by many eager faces, and willing arms. Dream? Reality.

    The Trobriand island reality is even better.

  6. It has been up about eight weeks I would guess. I think her face is not readable both because of the make up and that she is supposed to be emotionally shut down to the point of frozen.

  7. The above was written before seeing the trailer. guess it still is valid for me.
    to say i’m dumb would be repetitive.
    the trailer is intriguing, but many questions deep. her face is not readable to me. wonder why.
    won’t ask your take, that would be asking you to take off your emotional clothes.
    thanks. maybe it’ll come here. up long?

  8. Mike S.:

    LOL. Don’t forget. I was in 7th grade about the same time you were. And my youngest child is 31. I really don’t know what they’re teaching, but I do know that many schools have eliminated civics courses entirely. I do remember my high school football coach/history teacher, however. He was a Goldwater man and a fierce anti-Communist. I still have my copies of “None Dare Call It Treason” and “You Can Trust the Communists (To Be Communists)” which he distributed to everyone in his class for “extra” reading.

    But it does appear that they’re not teaching Marbury v. Madison in Georgia, probably in favor of the collected works of John C. Calhoun.

  9. idealist, It was just a joke. It is the same way my son tells me. If you are a good looking successful young man you do pretty well.

  10. SwM,
    I bring you greetings from my land of ignorance. At least I think I understand now. Still not sure. Yes, as a real woman I would not need to hide it here.
    comment: men in sweden are the chased not the chasers. ugly me has once sat on a sofa in an open party, with two huffers and puffers on each side. and i did not know the system. the guys raised here just cool it.
    In spite of that the women enjoy plying their skills, and they are considerable.
    On the other hand, the guys know they’ll get laid if they are interested. how is it in the states?
    I mean that’s a fair not too intimate question, as we’re not out there anymore.

  11. You’d better be better at taxes than golf…..Your mulligan shot is not very good….

  12. idealist, I will pay you a clip. Glenn Close tried to get this movie produced for twenty years. Some people in Dallas finally put up the money.

  13. As for Buddha,
    The interpretation is in the tense of the verb.
    In this case implying ETERNAL strife.
    And for me that was the eternal strife we face, on our level, and the national level.
    So few words, so much meaning.

  14. Mike S,

    Yes….if it is a thought longer than a fundamentalist preachers sermon…then no….

  15. idealist, It is a movie about a woman that pretends to be a man in order to work and survive. It is a period piece set in Ireland at the turn of the century.

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