Thursday, August 01, 2013

Thayer's Bend Logic Skewered by the Daily Show

"We know what is best for us here in Kentucky, and we don't want to be dictated to by Washington D. C."

That is Kentucky State Senator Damon Thayer's (R) defense for advocating that Kentucky engage in the illegal practice of nullification - a practice historically associated with attempts to deny liberty, freedom and rights of citizenship to...well, you know who.

Between 1798 and the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, several states attempted nullification of various federal laws, including the Supreme Court of Wisconsin's ruling in 1854 that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was unconstitutional. None of these efforts were legally upheld. The Supreme Court rejected nullification attempts in a series of decisions in the 19th century. The Civil War ended most nullification efforts.

But in the 1950s, southern states resurrected the use of nullification in an attempt to prevent the integration of their public schools. These attempts failed when the Supreme Court again rejected nullification in Cooper v. Aaron, explicitly holding that the states may not nullify federal law.

The courts have consistently found that under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, federal law is superior to state law, and that under Article III of the Constitution, the federal judiciary has the final power to interpret the Constitution. Therefore, the power to make final decisions about the constitutionality of federal laws lies with the federal courts, not the states, and the states do not have the power to nullify federal laws.

But that means nothing to Thayer who stands ready to waste resources and energy overturning the rule of law.

"Barack Obama lost Kentukcy in a landslide, in 2008 and 2012. So if we disagree with those policies - as we've stated twice - why should our governor have the right to go ahead, and by unilateral fiat, implement the most unpopular laws that this president passed?

Here's Jason Jones illustrates on the Daily Show above. (05:42)

Hat tip to Susan Weston.


Anonymous said...

Another example of why our legislators are more to blame for the problems in education than educators.

It is an interesting position though if you bring it down a federalist hierarch notch and say that educators did not vote in support of Senate Bill 1 so they inturn are not going to abide by it. Doubt Thayer would be too keen on that parrellel application of his logic.

Richard Day said...

That's what the judge in the story was trying to say...and no...Thayer didn't buy it. He was too busy telling the Daily Show that we are law-abiding citizens here in Kentucky, while trying to justify NOT following the law.

Too bad the judge didn't know what a gander was. : )