• (573) 427-7326

GOP Leaders in General Assembly Leaders Embrace Discredited Nullification Theories

Nullification, the theory that states may invalidate federal law they declare unconstitutional, was first proposed in 1798. Since that time, attempts by state to engage in Nullification have been declared unconstitutional in 1809, 1813, 1819, 1821, 1824, 1832, 1842, 1859, 1958, and 1960. So yeah, the Supreme Court is pretty sure Nullification isn’t constitutional.

The Kansas City Star summed it up nicely with their January 20th article about Nullification:

“The states can’t simply choose to defy and override a valid federal law,” said Allen Rostron, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The U.S. Constitution deems federal statutes “the supreme law of the land,” Rostron said, a fact that was tested and confirmed by the Civil War. Attempts to invoke state supremacy have been shot down over the years by generations of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. That legal view hasn’t quelled enthusiasm among conservatives. According to the National Conference of Legislatures, forms of nullification legislation have been introduced in two dozen states in recent years. In Missouri last year, the House approved legislation making it a crime for any government official in the state to enforce the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Another bill went further, attempting to amend the state’s constitution to prohibit Missouri from recognizing or enforcing any federal law. The fact that the Supreme Court refuses to recognize Nullification shouldn’t be surprising because, well, the constitution does not actually contain any clause providing that the states have the power to declare federal laws unconstitutional, like none at all.

The pesky little fact that Nullification is wholly and absolutely unconstitutional hasn’t deterred the Missouri General Assembly from, in their infinite wisdom, proposing over a dozen Nullification bills on a variety of topics. Despite the pressing economic issues in the state, the Missouri General Assembly is focusing its efforts on a legal theory that has never been upheld in any United States Supreme Court decision, ever.

We now present this list of Nullification bills filed in the 97th General Assembly as a gift to the people of the great state of Missouri.

Notable Nullification Bills of the 97th General Assembly

  • Rep. Casey Guernsey’s HB170
    “Any official, agent, or employee of the federal government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the federal government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in the state of Missouri and that remains exclusively within the borders of the state of Missouri shall be guilty of a class D felony.”

    Co-Sponsors: Paul Curtman, Delus Johnson, Dave Hinson, Glen Kolkmeyer, Jason Smith (120), Jim Neely, Galen Higdon, Charlie Davis, Kenneth Wilson, Noel Shull, Warren Love, Don Phillips, Lyle Rowland, Shawn Rhoads, Rocky Miller, Dennis Fowler, Bill Lant, Sandy Crawford, Wanda Brown, Craig Redmon, Diane Franklin, Shelley Keeney, Bill Reiboldt, Scott Fitzpatrick, Randy Pike, Mike Lair, Rick Brattin, Tony Dugger, Paul Fitzwater, Eric Burlison, Mark Parkinson, Kevin Elmer, John Mccaherty, Kathie Conway (104), Jay Houghton, Mike Bernskoetter, Donna Lichtenegger, Anne Zerr, Tom Flanigan, Sue Allen, Ronald Schieber, Mike Kelley (127), Ron Hicks, Jeanie Riddle, Nate Walker, Jim Hansen, Bill White, Myron Neth, Dave Muntzel, Tim Remole, Chuck Gatschenberger, Keith Frederick, Bryan Spencer, Chris Molendorp, Joe Don Mcgaugh, Thomas Hurst, Steve Cookson, Robert Ross, Jeff Pogue, Mike Leara And Mike Thomson

  • Sen. Chrissy Sommer’s HCR6

    “The sovereign State of Missouri reserves the right to declare any such Act void by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of America, or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America which assumes a power not delegated to the government of the United States of America by the Constitution of the United States of America and which serves to diminish the liberty of any of the several States or their citizens are unconstitutional under the Constitution of the United States of America by the government of the United States of America."
    Co-Sponsors: Mike Kelley (127)

  • Rep. Chrissy Sommer’s HB162
    “A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Missouri and that remains within the borders of Missouri is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce. “

    Co-Sponsors: Bryan Spencer, John Mccaherty, David Wood, T.J. Berry And Scott Fitzpatrick

  • Rep. Todd Richardson’s HB209
    “Any federal law, rule, regulation, or order created or effective on or after January 1, 2013 shall be unenforceable in the state of Missouri if the law, rule, regulation, or order attempts to: Ban or restrict ownership of a semi-automatic firearm or any magazine of a firearm; or Require any firearm, magazine, or other firearm accessory to be registered in any manner.”
  • Sen. Ed Emery’s SB119
    “There is hereby established the "State Sovereignty Commission", which shall: Identify proposed federal legislation that infringes on Missouri's state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; advise and make recommendations to the general assembly regarding any state legislation necessary to preserve the integrity and principles of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
  • Sen. Brian Munzlinger’s SB150
    “Any federal law or executive order, which is more restrictive than the law in effect on December 31, 2012, that bans or restricts the possession of a semiautomatic firearm or any ammunition feeding device or requires the registration of any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or firearm accessory shall be unenforceable in the state of Missouri.”
  • Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s SJR14
    “The rights guaranteed by this section shall be inalienable. The state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement.”
  • Rep. Chrissy Sommer’s HB181
    “Establishes the Intrastate Commerce Act which specifies that all goods produced or manufactured in Missouri and remain in Missouri are not subject to federal law or regulation.”
    Co-Sponsors: Bryan Spencer, Scott Fitzpatrick And Diane Franklin


The High Five: Stories We're Following

  1. “Today the house failed to get the 82 votes required for final passage of the controversial...
  2. “Democratic state Rep. Ellinger, who never lost the zeal that thrust him into activism, died...
  3. Voters approved a proposal to allow Nixa Public Schools to issue $9.5 million in capital...
  4. “In a public hearing about a bill in Missouri that would force women to wait three days...
  5. “The Republican-controlled Missouri House has passed a one-cent sales tax increase to fund...

Join the Conversation on Facebook