Rand Paul Resurrects the Nullifiers
Kentucky GOP U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s recent vow that Congress should “nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation” in his executive orders on gun control brings to mind a minor political party which was founded on perceived federal overreach. The Nullifier Party of the 1830s was a state’s rights party founded by former Vice-President John Calhoun and was rooted in the principles outlined in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, which held in part that states can nullify federal laws they deemed unconstitutional or laws that adversely affected one state or part of the country over another. Based in South Carolina, the Nullifiers seated two members in the Senate in the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th Congresses (1831-1837) with four U.S. Representatives in the 22nd, nine in the 23rd, eight in the 24th, and six in the 25th. For the time being, Senator Paul remains a Republican.
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