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Huckleberries Online

Mon., March 17, 2014, 9:26 a.m.

SR: You Can’t Wish Nullification Away

The Idaho Office of Attorney General is apparently going to have to write opinions regarding the futility of state efforts to nullify federal law until its lawyers run out of ink. Nullification – the assertion that state law can supersede federal – has been around almost since final state ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1790. No one has successfully argued its validity in law or, in the case of the Confederacy, by force of arms. But those aggrieved by an overbearing federal government never give up on the notion. Certainly not in Boise. Last month, Assistant Chief Deputy Brian Kane briefed Rep. Paul Shepherd on the several laws, constitutional provisions and U.S. Supreme Court rulings that support the regulatory authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Idaho. He went through a similar exercise in January 2011 in response to a question from Rep. William Killen about theories that might support nullification/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Can any legislator who supports nullification of a federal law be taken seriously?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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