EmergencyInterpositionLocal economyPeacemakingPolitical figuresRemonstrance

Bill sees nullification power in hands of people, counties to block TN evils

Rep. Bud Hulsey, unashamed to be a constitutionalist, runs the keyboard as homeschool girls sing at the constitution dinner in Dayton, Tenn., an annual event organized by June Griffin, matron of the constitution. (Photo David Tulis)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023 — A bill recognizing the duty of citizenry to nullify wicked laws and oppressive acts by remote authorities gives fresh means to resist gains by Washington agencies and global organizations.

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio Network

The bill is grandly titled “Restoring State Sovereignty Through Nullification Act” and is rests on the biblical doctrine of the lesser magistrate, developed most recently by Matt Trewhella in his 2013 book The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates; a Proper Resistance to Tyranny and a Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government (115pp).

The bill codifies as positive statute the pre-existing right of the people to perform acts of interposition as against lawless acts of remote parties under pretended color of law. It lays out the means whereby individuals, counties or groups can obtain legislative approval in nullifying constitution-abrogating acts, whether originating in Nashville, Washington, New York, Brussels or other centers of ostensible legal or political power.

The sponsor is Rep. Bud Hulsey, from the Kingsport area. He traces his authorities to the founding, including the works of Thomas Jefferson: “Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the remedy. That every state has a natural right and duty in cases not within [the authority of the Constitution]… to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of powers by others within their own states boundaries.” Such power, Rep. Hulsey says, is recognized in the first lines of the Tennessee bill of rights. (1)

Top down, bottom up options to nullify

The bill creates a nullification power vis a vis the national government in Washington and tells how an act to zero out and delete claims of a federal law, project or activity.

➤A governor issues an executive order of nullification.

➤ A general assembly member proposes a bill of nullification “not subject to debate or passage in committees” that goes directly to the floor of house or senate for a yes or no vote within five days.

➤ A court finds or renders a nullification in a case before it.

➤ Ten counties or cities, through their mayors, unite on a petition for nullification for immediate hearing in the general assembly.

➤ Voters gather 2,000 signatures on a demand for nullification of a federal law or action, with a minimum of 25 registered voters in any given county. 

If the people or their representatives see federal activity exceeds prescribed authority, that action, “being ultra vires, will not be recognized as valid within the bounds of this state; that said action, as being ultra vires, is null and void in this state.” No person is allowed after nullification to enforce or administer the blighted law, rule or project. The GA will have authority to “prescribe the crimes, penalties, fines, or other consequences of the violation of a bill of nullification.”

Lesson in federated government

The bill is a lesson suitable for a high school student on how a federated government, as that created by the constitution for the United States, is supposed to work.

Nothing in the Constitution of the United States permits congress to delegate or confer any lawmaking power to any other branch of government, because it has no enumerated powers to create lawmakers. When the president and federal courts are vested, respectively, with the executive and judicial powers, neither of those branches are granted general powers of lawmaking. Therefore, no person, agency, or department of any other branch of the federal government, not even the supreme court or the president of the United States, has any lawmaking power under the Constitution of the United States;

Presidents don’t make laws, and administrative agencies (ATF, EPA, HHS) don’t make laws. “It is not uncommon for congress and the federal executive branch to erroneously elevate federal court opinions to the status of ‘law,’” the bill says, “sometimes even regarding court opinions as having amended the language of the Constitution of the United States.” 

The bill says the U.S. “vertical ‘separation of powers’ was generally well-known by the people and the states, and was known and respected by the federal government, for over 100 years of our nation’s history, but the principle has in more recent decades been first disregarded, and subsequently even disbelieved, as if the federal government was supreme in all areas and was unlimited in its jurisdiction. Whether this shift in jurisprudence was intentional or accidental, active or passive, the shift is nevertheless not supported by the Constitution of the United States, by the laws of the United States, or by the constitutions of any of the sovereign states.”

This shift is “an illegal usurpation” against the people the bill highlights by citing three court cases.

“An unconstitutional law is void and is as no law. An offense created by it is not crime. A conviction under it is not merely erroneous but is illegal and void and cannot be used as a legal cause of imprisonment.” Ex parte Siebold, 100 U.S. 371 (1879); (18) “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.” Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425 (1886); (19) “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule-making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966);

The bill intends to “aid the people and the government of this state” to implement and enforce the U.S. constitution limiting federal power.


  1. Section 1. That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; for the advancement of those ends they have at all times, an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper. Section 2. That government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

History lesson in 1 bill

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.