Letter to the Editor: Issue settled
BY John Owen, Tulsa
Sunday, February 03, 2013
2/03/13 at 8:15 AM
State Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, and Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, have introduced legislation to "nullify" federal laws they don't like.
Don't these legislators know their history? States have tried to nullify federal laws before. In 1828, South Carolina attempted to nullify federal laws regarding an onerous tariff bill. President Andrew Jackson responded that "if a single drop of blood shall be shed there in opposition to the laws of the United States, I will hang the first man I can lay my hand on engaged in such treasonable conduct, upon the first tree I can reach."
The battle over nullification was fought in the courts and in Congress for another 20 years resulting in secession by the Southern states.
The nullification battle was then fought and decided by the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln and Congress declared war on those states "to preserve the Union." Slavery was not the main issue; the fear was that "states' rights" to nullify federal laws would lead to the disuniting of the states. The fact that the United States is still here is testimony to the outcome of that conflict.
The Oklahoma Legislature has many important issues to address. Our state needs more funding for education, prisons, roads and other infrastructure, help for the uninsured, workers comp reform, unfunded pension liabilities and much more.
When thinking of priorities for this legislative session, these should be at the top of the list. "Start another Civil War" should not be on the list at all.
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