It was Mark Levin who kicked off this Convention of States idea last year in his bestseller The Liberty Amendments. He then joined with Meckler and Farris to launch the Convention of States national crusade. To pad his cachet, Levin then did a curious thing, he made the argument that James Madison was against Nullification, which he most decidedly was not. (Nullification is where a state can declare a federal law unconstitutional, and refuse to abide by it.)
For taking that stance, Levin took a series of tongue-lashings from several constitutional scholars and forums, including Publius Huldah, whose public sliming by Mark Meckler was a major reason why this site was established. (see our Why We’re Here mission statement at the top of the page.) They all cited direct quotes from Madison himself. Levin’s only defense was from some letters Madison wrote in the 1830s against South Carolina’s attempted nullification of a federal tariff, which was directed at an unconstitutional (illegal) nullification.
The tariff as legal, the nullification was not, so why would Levin use such a rookie mistake, and why would he continue to double down on that same argument, when even a Philly lawyer would know better.
It has always bothered me why Levin would stand rigid on a fact about which he is clearly wrong, and probably even knows he is. Then I compared the financial benefits and status of a Convention of States platform compared to the local backyard barbeque of Nullification.
Always follow the money.
The Convention of States crusade requires a national campaign, coordination and coordinators, floor walkers, palm-grippers, and does all this on a national stage, while basking in the reflected glory of DC A-teamers,. They have done quite well in the cash register department in moving this crusade at the necessary glacier pace toward an unknown end, while the dollars keep rolling in.
On the other, Nullification requires only the act of a single state, or several states acting individually. Any state can do it, all by themselves, if they have the gumption. They don’t need any other state, certainly not 33 of them, certainly not a national campaign to move them along. With Nullification, in Georgia they can go from A-to-Z over a few beers, and actually have the whole state cheering them on..
Lately, Nullification murmurs have been growing, and they’re not costing donors a penny, just a few 3-minute PSA’s like this at Real Revo; sweet and simple.
We don’t debate constitutional issues here, but we do follow the money, and it seems the entire Convention of States national campaign is structured the way it is just so it can raise loads of money. Georgia legislators don’t need a lot of money to get their legislature to say ‘NO’ to Washington.