This may come as news to some Red state lawmakers, but there's more to the Constitution than the Second and the Tenth Amendments. The background check bill failed the Senate, but that didn't stop several Republican states from passing bills to exempt themselves from federal gun laws.
Earlier this week, the Alabama state senate passed legislation to nullify all federal laws they deem “a violation of the Second Amendment.” They weren't the first though, as Mississippi attempted to nullify federal laws back in January, and Kansas passed similar legislation last month. But, the nullification measures in these states are meaningless, as they violate the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, which states that federal laws, “shall be the supreme law of the land.” Apparently, these states think they can violate one part of the Constitution to uphold another.
Thankfully, Attorney General Eric Holder is helpfully reminding these states that our Union doesn't operate that way. In a letter to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Holder wrote, “In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, [the law] directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional.”
These Red states can't pick and choose the parts of the Constitution they want to follow. They can't decide they like the Second and Tenth Amendments and act as if the rest doesn't apply to them. And the Supremacy Clause is one of the Constitution's most important tenants. James Madison himself warned that nullification of federal law would, “speedily put an end to the Union itself.”
Republicans constantly tout the importance of our founding fathers, and the Constitution they drafted to form our Union. So, it's about time that those on the Right start respecting all of it.
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