‘Misrule of Law’ Blog Creator Mark Pulliam Gives a Historical Perspective, Defines Nullification

‘Misrule of Law’ Blog Creator Mark Pulliam Gives a Historical Perspective, Defines Nullification

 

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed retired attorney and blog creator of Misrule of Law Mark Pulliam to the newsmakers line to outline some aspects of his recent essay regarding nullification in dealing with the Biden-Harris administration.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmakers line now by our good friend, California refugee, retired attorney, and blogger at Lawliberty.org from East Tennessee, Mark Pulliam, Good morning, Mark.

Pulliam: Good morning Michael.

Leahy: Mark, first, before we jump into the topic at hand, which is, I think, an excellent essay that you’ve written about nullification, which some people are talking about as an option in dealing with the legal but not legitimate Biden-Harris maladministration. I just want to get your reaction to the big story over the weekend. Major League Baseball decides to punish the state of Georgia for passing a common-sense election law that will make it easy to vote but hard to cheat. They’ve moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Georgia. What do you make of that?

Pulliam: It’s bewildering and very concerning to see what’s happening. And I think that Major League Baseball is basically acting as the surrogate for the corporate sponsors that have gotten woke. Corporate America is a result of chasing after a consumer base that they view as having been indoctrinated and therefore susceptible to a social justice message.

And also the leadership of these corporations as a result of a generation or more of affirmative action. And then the top ranks have been infiltrated by woke social justice warriors, and corporate America is no longer concerned about making a profit for shareholders or providing a quality product for consumers. They are like a lot of other echelons of the ruling class pushing an agenda. So not even baseball is free of politics. It used to be. People would go to the ballpark to escape reality. And now it is just one more aspect of this all politics all the time.

Leahy: Yes. It’s utterly detestable to me as a baseball fan my entire life to see this ignorant politicization of the exercise of the constitutional privilege of the state of Georgia to determine their own election processes.

Pulliam: And based on a false narrative. The Georgia law, even after these changes, is no worse than the law of many other states. And then the hypocrisy of it where you have these NBA and baseball and nobody says a word about China. And China is off the charts in terms of human rights violations, lack of democracy, freedom, etc. On top of everything else, it’s cowardly and hypocritical.

Leahy: So I saw this funny meme late Friday night that said, Major League Baseball has announced they’re moving the site of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2021 from Atlanta, Georgia to Wuhan, China. And I thought that’s a funny meme. Then there was an article late that night at Breitbart: “MLB Expanding Presence in China While Pulling Out of Atlanta.” It’s incredible.

Pulliam: Well, you’ve got billions of consumers in China thanks to American trade policy that now are wealthy and in a position to purchase American goods. And corporate America shows where its loyalties are when it is chasing after profits in China over the interest of the American public.

Leahy: You know, back in the early 1690s Nikita Khrushchev, who at the time was the head of the Communist Party in the old Soviet Union said, capitalists, will sell us the rope with which we hang them. I’m paraphrasing that. And we thought, oh, my goodness, that might be the Soviet Union. It’s not so much the Soviet Union now. It’s Communist China.

Pulliam: Well, and he took his shoe and pounded it on the table and said, we will bury you! And that is, in fact, what China is doing. And at least back in the Cold War, Americans became concerned with Sputnik and realized that we were falling behind and we needed to catch up. Right now, people are so complacent about what’s going on with China, they still don’t care. There’s just very little in the way of public awareness or concern about this military and economic regression by the world’s largest, most populous, and increasingly dominant country.

Leahy: See, I’m not sure if I agree with that, Mark. I think people do care. But the way it manifests itself is perhaps not as productive as many of us would like. I think to some extent the lack of participation by Republicans and Conservatives in the Georgia Senate special election races because they were so upset about all of the electoral procedures that were not lawful in that state and we’re so upset with the way that the Republican establishment didn’t stand up for the rights of the average voter.

That led to anger which led to non-participation. But you’ve actually written a very interesting article for those of us who have a bit of a history bent about a concept that some states are looking into called nullification. First, tell us what nullification is and what the historical use of the term nullification has been.

Pulliam: Well, nullification is a term that has many meanings. At first, it recently got onto my radar screen because some of the conservative circles I travel in and it’s being offered up as a panacea solution that no matter what happens in Washington at the end of the day, the states and can simply refuse to go along with it and declare whatever happens in Washington to be invalid under the Tenth Amendment on the grounds that the states have the ability to determine what’s constitutional and what’s unconstitutional and we’re not handmaidens of the federal government.

Now that’s the most extreme use of the term. It’s been used and liberals have been using it for a long time to offer sanctuary to illegal aliens and to legalize certain drugs like marijuana that are prohibited at the federal level. And if you go back far enough all the way back to the late 1700s it was used as a way for the states to express opposition to federal laws like the Alien and Sedition Acts.

And the more recent advocates of nullification are using the earlier precedents, the 1798 precedent, and then also in the 1830s when South Carolina was objecting to federal tariff laws and was threatening to refuse to comply with these federal tariff laws. They are using those precedents to show that, yes, the states can defy federal law. The problem with those arguments is that never before in American history have states actually defied federal authority with the Alien and Sedition Acts.

It was basically an elaborate protest that ultimately led to, among other things, Thomas Jefferson who became President in 1800 and who contributed to Congress repealing this objectionable Alien and Sedition Act. And in the 1830s, South Carolina ultimately rescinded its nullification ordinance where they were threatening to defy federal law, in part because President Andrew Jackson was saying that if you try that, we will use military force to crush you. And then also, some of the more recent proponents look back and find comforting words in the Federalist Papers to show that the framers agreed that the states could thumb their nose at the federal government if they disagreed with policies.

(Commercial break)

Leahy: We’ve been talking about the concept of nullification. So, Mark, we’ve talked about the history of it. Where is it now? And why do some people think this is a good idea?

Pulliam: I think people always look for easy, simple solutions, and we are facing unprecedented challenges with what’s going on in Washington. But people should focus on the long run, not the short run. There are no easy solutions. Politics is hard work, and it takes a sustained effort to turn things around. When we’ve seen the Tenth Amendment tried to be used as a magical solution, it didn’t work.

The massive resistance to integration in the 50s. The Tenth Amendment didn’t work for the South when they tried to secede. So people, instead of getting all wrapped up in nullification efforts and passing laws that somehow there will be a magical defense against federal overreaching. They need to be on the phone pushing their representatives in Congress to oppose the Biden-Harris agenda tooth and nail and to use every procedural device to obstruct and delay, just like Chuck Schumer did during four years of the Trump presidency.

And we need to exhort our state attorney’s general to challenge each and every one of these unconstitutional laws if Congress lacks the will to oppose it. And we can’t lose focus that in the long run, people need to devote their energies where they can make a difference. And that’s at the state and local level. And so citizens need to be more vigilant than ever in becoming engaged in their communities and make sure that we are electing the right people to the City Councils, to the school boards, and partisan and non-partisan offices.

People need to be getting involved in their local Republican parties and become citizen activists. And that is how we’re going to turn the ship around. Not by passing magical laws as somehow if we pass them will immunize us from the effects of what’s going on in Washington. That has historically proven to be an illusory solution.

Leahy: So let me play devil’s advocate here. Okay, so step one is to tell your representatives to oppose the agenda of Biden-Harris. Well, they are opposing it right now, but they’re not succeeding, at least in the House of Representatives, because there’s a slight majority, and every single Democrat walks in lockstep with anything Nancy Pelosi wants to do.

There’s not a single constitutionalist among any elected federal Democrat that I can see. And then in the Senate, it’s 50/50 and any tie can be broken by Kamala Harris. Look, you know what’s going to happen. The big deal right now is this Corrupt Politicians Act, otherwise called by the Democrats the Fair Practices Act, something like that. HR1, S1, which is basically going to nationalize federal elections and make it impossible if it were to pass and be implemented to elect Republicans because they’re going to codify the cheating that was done in 2020 and make it even worse.

So when we play Devil’s advocate here, I don’t think that the House is very effective at stopping the unconstitutional laws being passed by the Pelosi-led House. I think Schumer is going to pull every trick in his bag of tricks to jam through this unconstitutional HR1 and then it will be the law of the land. So when that happens, what’s your response to that?

Pulliam: Well, the House has always been a simple majority wins body. Democrats have the majority there and they can pass anything they want, and they have passed virtually anything they want. And this stuff is always stacked up where the log jam occurs in the Senate. And the Senate is not a simple majority-run institution.

We have a very powerful impediment to the majority, imposing its will in the minority with the filibuster rule where it takes 60 votes to invoke cloture to stop debate so effectively at the present time and this has been the rule for 100 years that it takes 60 votes to make anything happen in the Senate. And what we have to do is make sure that our Republican senators do not lose the resolve to vote no on all of these bills.

And there’s a whole list of them. HR1, the ProAct, the Quality Act, the statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. All these trillion-dollar stimulus bills. There’s a long laundry list of bills that would be disastrous if they were passed. In addition to the filibuster rule, there are all kinds of other procedural rules where you can extend debate. You can delay votes, et cetera. And this is why President Trump, even though he got a lot of federal judges confirmed, a lot of them weren’t confirmed because it took so long to get a vote on each one of these judges.

And we need to use those rules to our advantage, just like the Democrats did when they were in the minority. And so we need not only Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty because I think they’re pretty solid but the entire cadre of conservative Republican Senators Rand Paul, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, Mike Lee, and the whole cast of characters know that basically, they are the line between us and progressive hegemony in Washington, and we expect them to fight and to fight hard to keep this agenda from being enacted.

Leahy: But, Mark, they’re going to fight. All 50 Republicans are going to oppose this Corrupt Politician Act that makes it easy for Democrats to cheat and nationalize the elections and gives them extra money from the federal government to cheat. That’s basically what that law does. They’re going to oppose it. I promise you that you’re gonna see some shenanigans going on on the Democratic side. They’re going to do a filibuster carve out. They’re going to do reconciliation. That bill is better than 50/50 that it’s gonna pass using those shenanigans.

Pulliam: Well, I certainly hope you’re wrong, because if the filibuster is breached, then we do have a serious problem. But in that case, these nullification arguments, some of them boil down to simple civil disobedience. How did civil disobedience work out at Ruby Ridge? How did civil disobedience work out at Waco?

It’s not a viable strategy. Look at what happened at the capital on January sixth. We cannot expect that simply by resisting this agenda, that somehow we’re going to prevail and some of these other things that are being proposed, that would pass a law that would create a sanctuary. All of the sanctuary states can up to a point, refuse to cooperate with the federal government, but you cannot prevent the federal government from enforcing federal law.

So I think patriots need to work harder than ever to fight this through legitimate means, through the political process, and through the courts. And I think that a lot of these bills that are being proposed by Biden-Harris that even if they pass, they’re going to be vulnerable to constitutional challenges. And this is why litigation will be important.

I know a lot of people have lost their confidence in the Supreme Court as a result of the election, but I think that we still have a sound originalist majority on the Supreme Court. And if some of these bills pass, they will be vulnerable to challenge. And we have to rely on our state attorney general to fight those battles in court, and in the long run, I think they will prevail.

Leahy: Yeah, but I understand what you’re arguing. I understand your nullification. I understand all of your arguments. I’m just looking at the reality. I would say the odds that the Senate will pass this Corrupt Politicians Act that federalizes all elections throughout the states, which is unconstitutional in itself.

But I think the odds that the Senate actually passes it on 50 to 50 with Kamala Harris providing the tiebreaker by some carve out of the filibuster. The odds that happens in the next 30 days, I think are better than 50/50. So let me pose this question to you. Okay, this law passes. They begin to codify the federalization of state laws.

You start filing challenges in court. That’s a bit of a toss-up it seems to me. Why don’t you think about that a little bit Mark over the break because I think that this is where we’re headed, and I don’t think that just asking senators to pretty please work hard against it is going to be sufficient. So think about that.

Listen to the full first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Reviews the Emergency Powers Granted to Governor Lee by Statute but Limited by The Tennessee Constitution

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Reviews the Emergency Powers Granted to Governor Lee by Statute but Limited by The Tennessee Constitution

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio who reviewed the Tennessee Constitution by articulating the specific guard rails of which the governor may exercise emergency powers.

Leahy: We are having an anti-lockdown party with California Refugee Mark Pulliam in the studio and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio. Andy, you were talking a little bit about what emergency powers the governor of Tennessee really has under the Constitution and we were talking about the language of the Constitution. I wonder if you could read what the Constitution says again about those powers.

Ogles: Yeah. So before we get to the Emergency Powers Act, Article 7 Section 1  Tennessee’s Constitution states and this paragraph is talking about your constitutional officers. I as the county mayor the CEO of Maury County, I am the chief constitutional officer for the county.

And it says, “Their qualifications and duties shall be prescribed by the General Assembly.”

Period. And that’s it.

There’s a period.

And Mark Pulliam, you’re an attorney you can talk about the importance of where the period are where the comma is in a sentence. But if you any question or doubt as to who has domain over your constitutional officers in the counties the next sentence, the last sentence of the paragraph states any officer shall be removed from malfeasance or neglect of duty as prescribed by the General Assembly.

Period.

Leahy: Another period not a comma. Not a “but,” not an “and,” and not an “if.”

Ogles: The governor has the powers or it’s the voters during an election or it’s the general assembly. Period. That’s who gives me or takes authority as county mayor. Now when you go to 58 – 2107 that’s the Emergency Powers Act. It states very clearly that an executive order as prescribed by the governor has an effect of the law period. It just says it and it says such executive orders proclamations and rules have the force and effect of law. However, under 58 – 2107 there’s some caveats.

And they are lettered and numbered. And when you get down to H, it talks about those dang constitutional officers again. I’m a subdivision of the state of Tennessee. And it says the governor can delegate new authority to me. And again the words matter. And again Mark you’re an attorney so you can speak to this. But prior to an emergency or threat of an emergency. In other words before. I can’t be given a new authority during a state of emergency.

Why? Because the General Assembly has the final say. And so one would presume that under a state of an emergency your General Assembly could not meet and could not affect their duties there go any new authority granted to me must fall under their domain, not during a time where the governor has assumed total authority. And so it’s nuanced. It’s nerdy. It’s convoluted. I get it. But it is in black and white. And if you take the time to read it, you’re like, holy crap.

Leahy: So how then does the governor have the legal authority to give county mayors the right to determine whether or not masks will be mandated or not.

Ogles: He doesn’t.

Leahy: I don’t think he does either.

Ogles: A mask is by definition by our federal government is now considered a medical device. As a county mayor have no authority under the law of the state of Tennessee to prescribe a medical device.

Leahy: We have to now turn to counselor Mark Pulliam. What’s your take on that? You spent 30 years as an attorney in California. What’s your take on that?

Pulliam: Well, we have constitutions for a reason. They are the rule book of how elected officials interact with each other, what powers they have, and which powers they don’t have. And we have to take these rules seriously because if we don’t take them seriously, then elected officials can do whatever they want.

And a lot of people and this was probably the worst thing that came out of this COVID crisis is people sort of saying well, this is different. This is an emergency. We don’t really have to pay attention to the rules. Well, it’s exactly when you have a so-called emergency that the rule book becomes especially important because in normal times we can trust the government. But not an emergency.

Listen to the full second hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Pulliam Says State Legislature and Governor Lee Should Take More Than ‘Illusory Action’ to Rein in Woke Taxpayer Funded Universities in Tennessee

Mark Pulliam Says State Legislature and Governor Lee Should Take More Than ‘Illusory Action’ to Rein in Woke Taxpayer Funded Universities in Tennessee

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed retired attorney and blog creator of Misrule of Law Mark Pulliam to the studio to discuss the inconsistencies between Tennessee universities and their conservative legislators.

Leahy: And that’s governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem. A rising star in the Republican firmament. And she’s talking about Joe Biden’s reckless decision to cancel this Keystone pipeline. We are talking with Mark Pulliam in studio who is a blogger and a refugee from California. And then later a refugee from the People’s Republic of Austin Texas who’s come to East Tennessee and is sending out warning signs about the complacency of conservatives which needs to be addressed here.

But we’re talking a little bit about how the country will survive the next two years of the Biden administration between now and the midterm elections. One of my theories Mark is that we need in those 35 states where freedom is still possible, by the way, California is not on the list of those 35 States. You’re shaking your head. you agree with that.

But in those 35 states, we need to return to federalism. We need those states, the state legislators, and the governor’s states to be strong proponents of state sovereignty and push back against the usurpations of the national federal government. Kristi Noem in South Dakota I think it’s done a very good job of that. She didn’t do any lockdowns.

And is a great rising star. At CPAC I think she was in the top four-five of potential presidential candidates. My question to you you’ve lived in California recently. You’ve lived in, Texas and now you live in Tennessee. How would you rate the governors of those states in terms of their exercise of authority pushing back against the usurpations of the national federal government?

Pulliam: Well federalism is important. And in Washington, we have gridlock. We’ve got Chuck Schumer. We got Nancy Pelosi. We got a lot of complicated problems and it’s hard to get things done there. But in states like Tennessee where you have an overwhelmingly Republican electorate, where you have a Republican super-majority in the legislature, and where you have statewide elected officials who are all Republicans, we should be able to chart a different direction to run things differently.

And just because the federal government is in bad shape doesn’t mean that we cannot enact good policies at the state level. But we have to have the will and the resolve to do so. And what is disappointing and this was disappointing in Texas and I’m beginning to feel becoming disappointed about in Tennessee is that even though you have this Republican establishment that is in charge at the state level they don’t govern like Republicans should be governing.

Leahy: So when we talk about that, I think one of the areas that we’re talking about of air during the break has to do with how higher education here in Tennessee is being subjected to the kind of left-wing, critical race theory indoctrination that you are seeing in California, New York, and these other states. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Pulliam: Well, the legislature has plenary power over the state universities because they fund them. And the governor has a great deal of authority over state universities because he points to most of the members of the boards of trustees that oversee them. Nevertheless notwithstanding the fact that we’re paying for it, and we’re overseeing it across Tennessee at the flagship campus and at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, but at the other campuses, we see critical race theory.

We see the whole diversity agenda. LGBTQ. All of the elements of wokeness being woven into the curriculum. And our children are being indoctrinated right here in Nashville. At Tennessee State, Al Sharpton this semester is being paid $48,000 to be a lecturer and an adjunct professor in social justice. . . Why are the taxpayers and Tennessee paying him $48,000? He’s a despicable character and by bringing him in we are legitimizing him. But it’s not just Tennessee State. Its athletes taking a knee and being praised by University administrators.

Leahy: This is East Tennessee?

Pulliam: Well, not just East Tennessee the women basketball players at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. And at the men’s basketball players. In fact, all of the athletes at the University of Tennessee marched during the George Floyd protest, and this was during a COVID shutdown at the time. And the university administrators applauded it.

Leahy: That was back in the summer. But the one in the news now is the East Tennessee State University men’s basketball team took a knee recently to protest the national anthem.

Pulliam: And the coaches are defending them. And when the GOP legislators senators wrote a letter criticizing it the university administrators are pushing back and saying oh you’re violating these athletes’ First Amendment rights even though most of them are on taxpayer-paid scholarships. They’re wearing taxpayer-provided uniforms. They are representing the state of Tennessee.

Leahy: So is it a first amendment right? You are an attorney.

Pulliam: No. I think that what student-athletes do on their own time. That’s a First Amendment Right. What you do on the court while you are literally representing the state is rules can be set.

Leahy: So let me just stop. I think that’s a very good point. So the First Amendment basically gives freedom of speech but doesn’t require that people have an opportunity to hear you necessarily and you can go on a soapbox and say whatever you want. But if you’re working for an employer or if you’re representing an employer or an institution there are rules and regulations that bind your conduct at that time. Is that right?

Pulliam: Yes. And for all intents and purposes, they are employees performing a job when they are athletes playing basketball. And so what they do in their capacity as basketball players is subject to management and regulation by the state. and making people stand respectfully during the national anthem I think is part of that. The NFL is making people do that. If you want to take a knee stay in the locker room etc. There’s no reason why the University of Tennessee can’t do it or others.

Leahy: So let’s talk about that a little bit. And this is kind of one of the things that I find interesting. So in theory, it’s the state legislature that sets the law in the state?

Pulliam: Right.

Leahy: Signed by the governor.

Pulliam: And appropriates all the money.

Leahy: So here’s what I find. So the state . . . when we talk to the state legislators, it’s about two-thirds Republican in the House. It’s more than that in the Senate like I think 27 Republicans and six Democrats in the state senate. But if you talk to them they all are very conservative and very supportive of the Constitution. As an example, there’s a law that says the Constitution will be part of the curriculum.

But if you go in and you try and find that curriculum and find teachers telling teaching it, you don’t really find it in the way that the state legislature intended. We know this because as you know, we’ve done this Constitution Bee for four years now going on five written a book about it. Complimentary text Guide to the Constitution the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students.

We are not getting a lot of teachers in public schools that really care to use that content, even though it hits all of the elements that the state legislature says should be hit in teaching the Constitution. So we see a lot of times the state legislature will say this is what should be done. But the implementation of it doesn’t seem to happen that much.

Pulliam: Well speaking of how a conservative legislature should manage taxpayer-funded universities. So five years ago there was a controversy at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville regarding gender-neutral pronouns and sex week activities.

Leahy: The sex week, we did a lot of stories on it. But they were really kind of bizarre.

Pulliam: Well it’s no more bizarre than a lot of other stuff that’s part of this curriculum. Well, so it got controversial the legislature defunded the diversity office. It got a lot of attention $400,000 taken out of the budget. What people didn’t realize it was only for one year. So after one year that the vice-chancellor of diversity is back.

All of the money is back. And in fact, it’s gotten a lot worse. Now, they have diversity officers in every academic department. Every department has to have a diversity plan. Critical race theory is being promoted throughout the school. And so they sort of pushed away a lot of this controversy by taking some action, but it was illusory action.

Leahy: We’ll have more with Mark Pulliam blogger at the Misrule of Law and Refugee from California here on The Tennessee Star Report.

Listen to the full first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Mark Pulliam” by Mark Pulliam.