California: Nullification now – Secession later?


Nullification as a constitutional theory rests on the belief that the United States is an artifact of an agreement among the states as to a form of government agreeable to them collectively and individually and that this agreement does not oblige the states to accept laws enacted by the US Congress that the states find unconstitutional.

The ability of the states to secede from the Union is thought to rest on the language of the Declaration of Independence which states the right of a people to determine the form of their government.  In addition to that, the US Constitution contains no language that requires states to accept that the union is indissoluble.  It may be argued that this issue was settle 150 years ago, but, in fact it was not.  Force majeure decided that test of the right of the states to secede, and that settled nothing.

California is now embarked on a course of nullification of federal law and regulations.  Becerra, the new AG of the state seems to see himself as a 21st Century  Joaquin Murietta, the mythic 19th Century leader of Hispanic resistance to US government authority.

The state is refusing to cooperate with federal authorities on a variety of immigration issues.  The state legislature has now passed a law that declares the state to be a sanctuary for people illegally resident in the United States.  Governor Brown is expected to sign this into law.  To my mind that signature will put California in a state of rebellion against the federal government.

From this to secession from the Union is a plausible step if the nullification of federal law is successful.  pl

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81 Responses to California: Nullification now – Secession later?

  1. kgw says:

    Calhoun’s reply to Jackson’s toast at a Jefferson dinner:
    “The Union, next to our liberty, most dear,” put it rather well.

  2. Laura says:

    …an we all thought Texas would be the one.

  3. Mikee says:

    If secession should occur, does than mean we can detain Kamela Harris as an enemy combatant?

  4. Is this really a nullification effort? I don’t think California is denying the legality of federal immigration laws and regulations or denying federal authorities the right to enforce those laws themselves, just refusing to allow Californian authorities and assets to be used to help federal authorities enforce those laws. The effect may be damned near the same, but it’s hard to legally call it nullification.

  5. Lars says:

    I think there are several differences between what was tried in the mid 1800’s and what is tried today in California. For one, we do not know whether California will succeed. Secondly, we live in a totally different nation today.
    Sorry, Col. Lang, but your premise is a very long stretch.

  6. Lemur says:

    My brother was in Cali recently and described it as a ‘post-American society.’ What Huntington described as the Anglo-WASP ‘backbone’ of America has snapped.

  7. TV says:

    Let ’em go.
    Every time I’ve been in California, It felt like I was dealing with children.
    “Have a nice day” and “I’m sorry” are the two most common phrases in the California lexicon.

  8. Jose says:

    Don’t let the door hit California in the….

  9. mike says:

    California is the home of many (but not all) of our fruitcakes and nutjobs. But still, Cal produces over 14 percent of our national GDP. So their secession would bring the US below the GDP of the EU, with Cbina not far behind a closing fast.
    Plus their is no way any US President would relinquish the 30 military installations in Cal. Especially the crown jewels of Vandenburgh AFB, Fort Irwin NTC, Naval Bases in San Diego & Coronado, and Camp Pendleton. Trump, or anyone else, would not give those up any more than Putin would have given up the home of the Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea. Or no more than Lincoln would have consented to give up Fort Sumter without a fight, or Pensacola or any other Federal forts.

  10. scott s. says:

    It seems to me very much designed to mimic the “personal liberty” laws enacted in the North in the 1850’s. These laws were designed to avoid compliance with the Fugitive Slave Act. The Wisconsin act resulted in a celebrated case, Ableman v. Booth which eventually resulted in the Wisconsin Supreme Court opining that the U.S. Supreme Court did not have appellate review jurisdiction over an opinion of that court.

  11. blowback says:

    Where is Mike when you need him? I’m surprised that he hasn’t blamed this nonsense in California on Russia yet, after all there was a Russian colony in northern California, Fort Ross, and I’m sure the Russians left ostavat’sja za spinoj in California to worm their way into positions of power after they evacuated? Perhaps the Clintonists Trotskyists running California should be purged.
    Ostavat’sja za spinoj very loosely translates to stay behinds, a term used to describe Winston Churchill’s Auxiliary Units in World War II.

  12. LondonBob says:

    Demographically California checked out a while ago. Interesting to watch how that plays out.

  13. Ted Burke says:

    With the continuing dissolution of the national border (and language and culture from rapidly changing demographics) by the ruling class, this seems to be less significant than it would’ve been even 10 years. This ain’t your father’s country anymore. It ain’t your country anymore. This last election and the subsequent subversion and coup by the ruling class (the coup didn’t need to be complete to be successful in neutering and redirecting Trump) has made me realize the whole political system and voting is a sham. Even in local elections your vote, and the votes of all citizens, is reviewed by a judge who will decide if your vote is “correct”. And if it’s not, they will simply overturn it. Soon the U.S. will be going to war to destroy Iran. And if your don’t support our military attacking and destroying Iran in a pre-emptive war than you’re unpatriotic. Maybe you should be unmasked and be harassed by the praetorian guard?!

  14. turcopolier says:

    scott s
    what happened after that? Did Wisconsin stop enforcing federal law? pl

  15. turcopolier says:

    IMO Canada would not use force to prevent the secession of a province. You imply that the US WOULD use force to prevent California’s secession? pl

  16. rjj says:

    Where would the wildfire, drought, flood, landslide, dam failure, earthquake prone Peoples Republic of California get their disaster relief funding?

  17. turcopolier says:

    I suppose you meant “secede” rather than “succeed.” You should tell us how US society is “totally different today?” pl

  18. turcopolier says:

    IMO it is very easy to judge California’s policy and law to be nullification. They are using California government to thwart federal law. They are doing it by enacting law designed to thwart federal law. They are seeking to nullify the effect of federal law within California’s borders. pl

  19. Is not California and two dozen other states already engaged in nullification with their marijuana legalization laws? That Wikipedia entry on nullification specifically points out that these laws are not nullification, although that’s just the opinion of one Wikipedia editor. I agree that the practical effect of these state laws on immigration enforcement and marijuana legalization are to nullify the Federal laws. I wonder if California will seek to hamper the actions of the Border Patrol along its border with Mexico or its long coastline.

  20. Bill H says:

    There seems to be a deterioration of the concept of democracy as majority rule, and a substitution that democracy is some sort of semi-organized anarchy. Voters are urged that they should not vote for what is in the nation’s best interest, but should vote for what is in their own personal best interest. Federal legislators state emphatically that their duty is to act in the best interest, not of the nation as a whole, but rather in the best interest of their locality, be it state or local district. And now, increasingly, anyone who does not like a law that gets passed resorts to the courts to have that law overturned.
    Who, if anyone, acts in service to the nation as a whole? Well, there’s one outfit that’s pretty good about keeping its mouth shut and serving the nation, although some of its upper ranks are…

  21. turcopolier says:

    Yes. The state laws legalizing marijuana are nullification of federal law. They are products of the Obama era and were not acted against because Barry was a pothead himself in his youth and favors free access to the weed. This was a grave mistake in precedent. I presjme that the available redress is for the federal government to sue the state in such a case. California has already acted to penalize companies bidding on or constructing portions of the barrier system on the southern border. pl

  22. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, and when and if they seceed from the Inited States they will plunge into civil war. At that time, when the civil war is raging, the United States will send in her troops to save lives and property. That eould be the end of at least 2 or 3 fantasied in the United States.

  23. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang & TTG
    These are complex issues. How do states push back what they believe are increasing interference by the federal government in what they consider are matters they should decide? And how does the federal government enforce the supremacy of their law over the states other than through military force?
    Marijuana legalization have mostly been enacted by voters in states through ballot measures and not by state legislatures. States and counties view marijuana primarily as a revenue opportunity and secondarily as reducing the criminal element in the illicit trade.

  24. mike says:

    bb –
    You speak the language pretty good. hmmm? Just joking! I have a couple of words & phrases also. There is a small group of Russians here in SW Washington and NW Oregon. The ‘old’ religion I think. Good people, as are all Russians.

  25. Lars says:

    No, that is not what I meant. The courts have not ruled on any of these matters and until they do, we don’t know whether this will work or not.
    As has been pointed out, this is not nullification, just not assisting the feds in their enforcement.

  26. mike says:

    Colonel –
    I did not mean to imply that. But it will certainly be interesting times to see what would happen. We for sure would not give up those 30 military bases in Cal. Why should we? So would they become US islands within a separate country? Serviced by a civil service made up of those foreign California aliens? Resupplied by a modern day Berlin Airlift?
    Perhaps a few of those 30 are National Guard bases. But would even those be given up without some type of compensation.

  27. jld says:

    OT, but… speaking of secession…
    Federal Republic of Northern Syria
    Hmmm… what about “Feral republic”?

  28. turcopolier says:

    California and these other sates are nullifying federal law. you are spliiting hairs. pl

  29. turcopolier says:

    Sam Peralta
    It does not matter if state laws are enacted by referendum if they violate federal law. pl

  30. ISL says:

    lets not forget California produces a lot of oil, and its fields will keep on producing long after Texas fields are dead memories.

  31. ISL says:

    Dear Colonel,
    I think what transpires in Spain re:Catalonia, will define acceptable federal action to prevent secession in an “accepted” Western democracy. The West has defined that this only applies to the club – anything is fair game for the rest of the planet (this last statement was not a value judgement, just a statement).
    So far, Madrid has locked up Catalonia leaders on sedition charges for proposing a non-binding referendum (facing 10-15 years), shut off all cash flows, and apparently is considering freezing Catalonian banks, plus moving tens of thousands of police into the area. I expect, with the full EU backing, Madrid will increase their pressure, though it seems to be backfiring.

  32. Fred says:

    The courts have ruled that laws don’t apply to those who violate them to come her and bring or have their children here.

  33. Laura says:

    Where is your brother from? What a silly statement. California is more American than apple pie — and we have a lock on the avocados also!
    Seriously, though…was it the traffic? (horrible in urban areas); the road conditions (horrible all over the state); the restaurants (amazing and varied!); or the complexion of our population (its a continuum, folks!); or just our politics that made us “post-American?”
    If it is the politics — time travel might be in order because this isn’t anything compared to past American eras. Might we all just relax a minute…and what if the German states had refused to let the SS take their Jews? (I really hate to ask this but sometimes push back is required by moral law? And, in the case of the Jews, they WERE citizens. The all-powerful state is somewhat problematic in modern history.)
    I really wish people would stop bagging on California! Every state has “issues” with the federal government…it’s baked into the system on purpose. You want 100% compliance? Try a monarchy or a one-party state. Historically, these push-backs either end up convincing the entire nation or just die out or are contained to one or a few states.

  34. turcopolier says:

    “and what if the German states had refused to let the SS take their Jews?” You think that is a valid comparison? If California believes it should act “morally” against the supremacy doctrine regarding federal law then it SHOULD secede. pl

  35. AK says:

    The question of California secession must take into consideration the character of the state as a political entity. It’s such a vast and kaleidoscopic place in terms of culture and economy that it’s inherently unmanageable in its current iteration. There has been much discussion in recent years of breaking the state up into as many as six new states. This is reflective of the glaring disparity between the economic realities and political and cultural identities between the coastal cosmopolitan centers and the agricultural, desert, and mountain populations in the center, east, and north of the state.
    I’ve lived in Los Angeles for the past five years, and I spend a fair amount of time in the Sierra Nevada backpacking and fly fishing. Getting there means traveling through two of the dirt-poorest counties in the state, Tulare and Kern, and I can assure you, the people in these counties and numerous others throughout the San Joaquin and Owens Valleys view the coastal cosmopolitans with as much disdain and mistrust as would your average person in Dubuque, IA. These people have little to no faith in Golden Age of the Golden State, and little to no identification or common cause with the coastal elites. The metropolitan centers are cauldrons of fantasy (after all it’s their main economic contribution), which is why they can foment such nonsense, but the poor and rural folks are much more keenly aware of the the state’s dependence on the federal government. These are also the people typically making the hardest, costliest sacrifices on its behalf.
    I can’t say for certain, but I think Babak is correct in saying that a secession initiated and backed almost exclusively by the coastal elites would likely be messy and disastrous beyond their wildest fantasies. Further dissolution of the state would almost inevitably follow, as the non-coastals would hardly willingly submit to the socialist, multi-culti paradise that the coastals are seeking to implement, but for the impediments of US federal law. Whenever one of my blue-in-the-face friends or relatives starts up with this BS, I ask them if they or their sons or daughters will be getting in line to serve in the National Defense Forces of their beloved, newly minted Golden Republic. The notion either goes right over their heads or they change the subject.

  36. Looks like the Californians are taking the steps necessary to talk with DC about these issues. A ballot initiative, the California Sovereign and Autonomous Nation Initiative, may be on the ballot in 2018. “The measure would instruct the governor to negotiate with the federal government over changes to the state’s political status. A referendum of the state’s voters would be required before a final settlement between the state and federal government would receive approval.” This would be a healthy discussion for the concept of states’ rights even if it avoids the unknown territory of secession.

  37. Eric Newhill says:

    I argue that CA and NY are effectively nullifying federal law (2A) with their gun laws too. They seem proud of it too. Very antagonistic to the 2A.
    CA appears to be moving in the direction of nullifying the 1A as well.

  38. Alaric says:

    Californians are much like the Catalan (children). They want all the benefits of being part of a larger whole without any responsibility or any of the shortcomings. Like Catalonia, California has a large economy that is intricately linked and reliant on the larger entity. Both will suffer economically if they separate and the calculus (prosperity) on which their succession is pinned upon will cease to be true.
    This is especially true for CA. Silicon Valley relies on Wall Street money, hype and on going public (fleecing investors mainly) in the US (large) stock exchanges. Silicon valley’s deep R&D comes almost entirely from the US defense dept. Hollywood exists to sells its films in the broader US. It is a vehicle of US cultural imperialism that is pushed by US foreign policy abroad. How much does CA get from the US for bases and to defense contractors? CA is not succeeding.

  39. turcopolier says:

    “to negotiate with the federal government over changes to the state’s political status” You don’t understand that to be a negotiation over secession? “the state’s political status?” Perhaps they coupd have the status of Guam or Puerto Rico? pl

  40. turcopolier says:

    “succeeding?” surely someone who chooses Alaric as a handle understands that secession and succeeding are different. pl

  41. alaric says:

    ” Alaric as a handle understands that secession and succeeding are different. pl ”
    Yes i know the difference between secession and success. No my iphone does not. And yes my fingers are entirely to large to be typing on an iphone.

  42. Sam Peralta says:

    …if they or their sons or daughters will be getting in line to serve in the National Defense Forces of their beloved, newly minted Golden Republic.
    It will be next to impossible to get the largely self-serving coastal liberals in the two major metropolises to consider such a sacrifice. They’ll want all those east of the 5 to fight for them!
    The surest way to end thoughts of secession is to note that there would have to be a draft of young Californians.

  43. Seward says:

    Couple of minor points, likely well known:
    (1) All 13 colonies solely swore a “perpetual union” in the Articles of Confederation they jointly agreed to. Then the Preamble of Constitution, made under the Articles of Confederation, explicitly states that it was ordained and established “to form a more perfect union,” and was ratified by the same 13 entities (by then “states”). “More perfect” seems to imply an even more perpetual union.
    (2) While not a lawyer (thank God), attempted state nullification of a valid federal law seems to me to be prima facie obstruction of justice, which I assume must be against the common law (or no government could exist), which is explicitly incorporated in the Constitution by the 7th Amendment, and implicit in Anglo-American jurisprudence.

  44. steve says:

    Some of this is fishing for Hispanic votes, but there is some that also seems like it is continuation of the old Feds vs states argument. For example, the Feds want cities to hold illegals in jail until they can take them even if there are no other criminal charges are pending. The cities say that is expensive, and if the federal govt is not going to pay for that, they aren’t holding them. That hardly seems like nullification.

  45. jdledell says:

    Two weeks ago I spent 10 days in Dallas,Texas visiting relatives. I sure heard a lot of people talk about Texas dropping out of the U.S. and establishing the Republic of Texas. This kind of talk was prevalent even though the Texas Governor was asking for $150 billion in U.S.aid from Harvey. Is the case for Texas secession any different from California, other than Democrats in California being in favor while Republicans in Texas are in favor?

  46. Oilman2 says:

    What in the world do you base that statement on? Please, enlighten me as to how what you wrote remotely resembles a fact…

  47. turcopolier says:

    You know, of course, that the expense argument is just an excuse for ignoring federal law. pl

  48. r whitman says:

    If we Texans were to declare a republic, we would have 10 million Mexicans cross the river and colonize us. The Reconquista would be real.

  49. turcopolier says:

    The US Constitution superseded and replaced tha Articles of Confederation. The US constution was thought of as a different country with a completely different set of rules. That is why ratification of the constitution was necessary. It says nothing in the constitution about perpetual union. pl

  50. Oilman2 says:

    I agree with the Colonel that these state laws are acts of nullification. However, there are two edges to this. All the congress has to do is deny federal funding of (insert painful thing here), based on these same nullification attempts. There are very few states that have the finances to exist independent of others taxes in the national pool we all pay into.
    The other thing is that federal enforcement of these laws is impossible just based on available manpower of field officers and courts – without the states helping to prosecute their laws, the feds have insufficient people to enforce them across the country. It has always been this way. I’ll just toss out Prohibition as the exercise in futility it was.
    Personally, I think that if enough states push for this, then it will force some issues regarding centralization that are have plagued the country for generations. If that gets rolling, then there may be some loosening of the claws from DC, which would be a good thing for our country.
    Because one size simply does not fit all, and a completely uniform business and cultural environment is stifling and stagnant. Forget racial diversity – I want business and cultural diversity. I’m tired of going to another city and having it look exactly like the one I just left. And it is centralization of government and monopolies in business which are government supported that have caused this.

  51. Laura says:

    pl–I know, I know. Sorry. I think, however, that knowing WHEN to draw lines is a messy process. Democracy is a messy thing but we all must make an honest effort to square our allegiance and our ethics and our morality. It’s a process that should not have to lead to secession.

  52. Laura says:

    pl–I think most of the state consider a federal law that is not back-up with funding to be “an unfunded mandate” and NO state budget likes that! It may be an excuse, but it is at least a fiscally responsible one.

  53. Laura says:

    I think the two cases are pretty similar…Americans of either stripe like to be “in control” and do not love the Feds telling them what to do when it runs counter to their perceived “states rights.” It’s a cultural thing.

  54. turcopolier says:

    As someone noted here, the South thought it was exercising its right to limit the scope of federal government in 1861. what you are advocating is a much looser confederation of the states on the bases argued in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions written by Jefferson and Madison. pl

  55. Laura says:

    No doubt.

  56. Fred says:

    As an elderly Hispanic gentleman in San Antonio told my wife and me a few years ago: “Dallas no es Texas”.

  57. Eric Newhill says:

    Uh Huh. So if a state decided that segregation is good thing and to re-implemented it, you’d understand that and be okie dokie with it? Would Californians?

  58. Tim B. says:

    Exactly right. Concerning pot laws, there is a federal law forbidding the federal government from spending any money to enforce federal marijuana laws when the person violating the federal marijuana law is in full compliance with the state’s laws. This means the feds won’t arrest pot shop owners in states allowing pot shops. That’s not nullification.
    Without that federal law limiting spending, pot shop owners in compliance with state law would be subject to arrest by federal agents and prosecution in federal court for violating federal law. Under no circumstances would state law “nullify” federal law.
    Concerning California’s “sanctuary” laws, if those become effective, federal agents will still detain and deport those people in California without permission from the federal government. The federal government can hire 10,000 more federal agents and send them to California to enforce federal immigration law if it wants. Thus, there is no “nullification” there either. Federal agents will still enforce federal law. All the so-called “sanctuary laws” mean is that state law enforcement and other state employees will not assist those federal agents. There will be no effort to stop deportations and detentions by the federal government. Thus, there is no nullification.

  59. Fernando L says:

    California may deny assistance to federal authorities but it can’t stop them from enforcing federal law. This means the federal government can build a hyper barrier at the USA border and use federal agents to expel all illegal aliens in California. Any state employees who interferes with enforcement of federal law can be prosecuted.

  60. turcopolier says:

    Tim B
    So, a passive-aggressive approach to thwarting federal law is all right with you so long as the the state, any state, does not block execution of the federal law. I find that interesting because i personally favor a looser Union and always have. pl

  61. Bill H says:

    In asserting that “the vast majority of Californians know nothing about any efforts to secede” you are sort of proving my assertion that San Francisco is not really part of California, something that Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi have been illustrating for many years.
    It may well be that the vast majority of San Franciscans know nothing about any efforts to secede, but the vast majority of Californians certainly do. Most uf us would like to see San Francisco secede from California.

  62. Bill H says:

    You beat me to it. To complete the point, the preamble of the constitution has no legal position, it merely explains why the document is being prepared.

  63. Bill H says:

    That’s how the federal government enforced the 55mph speed limit. They threatened to withhold highway funding from any state which refused to comply. First one state and then another eventually raised their limit and dared the feds to make good on their threat. The feds knew they could not do so, and now almost all states have higher speed limits.

  64. LeaNder says:

    This last election and the subsequent subversion and coup by the ruling class (the coup didn’t need to be complete to be successful in neutering and redirecting Trump)
    Soon the U.S. will be going to war to destroy Iran.
    Well, yes, all the self-declared Burke’s of the world. Trump subverted by the Borg or some type of evil elite/ruling class? Seriously?
    Quotes from his foreign policy speech. He also promised to rip up the treaty and indirectly more sanctions. After all that was what worked? Which for me is the first step on the path to war:
    Iran was being choked off by economic sanctions.

    Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, is now flush with $150 billion in cash released by the United States – plus another $400 million in ransom. Worst of all, the Nuclear deal puts Iran, the number one state sponsor of Radical Islamic Terrorism, on a path to nuclear weapons.
    In short, the Obama-Clinton foreign policy has unleashed ISIS, destabilized the Middle East, and put the nation of Iran – which chants ‘Death to America’ – in a dominant position of regional power and, in fact, aspiring to be a dominant world power.

    The fight will not be limited to ISIS. We will decimate Al Qaeda, and we will seek to starve funding for Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah. We can use existing UN Security Council resolutions to apply new sanctions.

  65. Tim B. says:

    I’m a lawyer who is merely providing the current state of US law. The issue being discussed, “federal preemption” is ever changing and complex. The Constitution gives Congress the sole power to make laws in certain areas, such as declaring war, foreign relations and immigration policy. In most other areas, such as drug and other criminal laws, both the states and federal government are free to act. For example, a pound of cocaine can get you both a federal and a state prison sentence.
    Concerning immigration laws, remember that federal courts have also ruled that states’ laws impacting immigration, such as those clamping down on those here without US permission, are unconstitutional because those laws conflict with Congress’ power to make immigration laws. Seems all states can do about immigration is either chose to help the federal government enforce federal immigration law, or not. Congress could pass a law giving states the power to make their own immigration laws and crack down on the undocumented, but they haven’t yet and I doubt they will.
    I do agree with your looser Union. Frankly, I want power to be as widely dispersed as possible. Centralized power has a long history of not working out to well. Our founders knew this, and for that reason created our different branches of government and reserved much power for the states. I also think the Executive branch has taken too much power from Congress, and want Congress to reclaim this power, especially its power over US military action.

  66. SmoothieX12 says:

    As Long as Northern Cali. from Redding up to Oregon’s border remains, in my very humble opinion, that should be fine. Mount Shasta and its surroundings are gorgeous. The only real issue is, of course, San Diego’s naval base. As far as the Southern California, especially its coast, is concerned–there is very little culturally American left in it. It increasingly becomes more bizarre with each passing year. Just a thought.

  67. Oilman2 says:

    Bill H –
    So, would you say that it is the States failure to resist federal stupidity that causes many of our ills?

  68. Croesus says:

    I don’t know much about California. What I really wish is that Hollywood history of ‘Germany & the Jews’ not be the example raised under every conceivable pretext, since that history has been dominated by one side and alternate information has been censored out of mind and out of serious examination by scholars as well as by the People.
    IF that history were permitted to be more equitably examined, it would become well known that:
    a. Removal of GERMAN Jews from German was directed by Louis Brandeis in Feb. 1933 NOT because of anything NSDAP had done (although that was the pretext) — the 3rd Reich had not yet had time to aggregate power, and when they did, the safety & security of Jews was actually enhanced — but because Jewish settlement in Palestine was on the edge of insolvency & only GERMAN Jews had the wherewithal to pass the financial requirements for migration imposed by British mandate authorities.
    In a conversation w/ Rabbi Stephen Wise, recorded in Wise’s autobiography, it is made perfectly clear that Brandeis’s directive applied to GERMAN Jews — “587,000” of them.
    b. HOWEVER, Germany was the stopover place for tens of thousands — perhaps a hundred or more thousand of Russian and Polish Jews fleeing turmoil in their states, consequent to the revolutions, Stalin’s imposed famine, Bolshevik activity, intent to spread International communism, etc. In earlier decades Eastern European Jewry had reproduced by an extraordinarily large number. Many of these — likely inbred — and certainly impoverished and uneducated persons, were as undesirable to the Jewish colonizers of Palestine as they were to the Polish, the British, and also the Germans (Arthur Ruppin, the ‘creator of Hebrew culture in Palestine,” considered E European Jews ” less desirable human material” in the project to create “the new Jew” in Palestine (see Etan Bloom’s work on Arthur Ruppin.)
    Vladimir Jabotinsky himself was dismayed when first he encountered the masses of Jewish migrants in Prague. The British were extremely reluctant to admit Jews even as Poles were eager for their removal: Polish authorities warned the British that unless they voluntarily admitted Jews from Poland, that country would adopt policies similar to those being implemented by Germany. Herschel Grynszpan’s backstory/claimed motivation for shooting the German foreign officer in Paris (that set off Kristallnacht) recites this tension between Polish Jews seeking harbor in Germany and Germans seeking to exclude or repatriate Polish Jews (while simultaneously seeking to ensure the safety of German-speaking Germans who found themselves in Poland by virtue of Versailles treaty drawing new borders).
    In a 1933 item in Jewish Telegraph Agency, German ambassador to US Hans Luther is quoted as saying that Germany’s policies are not “antisemitic;” that Germany does not seek to remove the old-line Jews who have always been part of German society, but that the many foreign Jewish immigrants were taxing Germany’s schools, universities, and employment situation, particularly in a period of world-wide economic crisis. Nobody wanted these Jewish migrants — not Palestine, not Britain, not Germany.
    In other words, Brandeis wanted the cream of German Jewry to leave and the impoverished, illiterate Jewish migrants to remain, while NSDAP sought the reverse.

  69. NancyK says:

    Rjj, they would probably use the billions they send to the federal government in taxes.

  70. iowa steve says:

    I think yours is the correct legal position. California has not argued that the federal immigration laws are null nor that the US immigration authorities are without legal basis to enforce them, only that the state agencies of California choose not to cooperate with those authorities.
    Your reference to marijuana laws are similar. No state has taken the position that the federal government’s statutes against marijuana are null and cannot be enforced by the federal government. The particular states have only legalized it insofar as it is no longer a crime against state law. For that matter, no federal agency has stated that any individual state lacks the authority to legalize it under state law. Certainly, if it was in the state’s jurisdiction to criminalize marijuana, it is in the state’s jurisdiction to decriminalize it.

  71. Mark Logan says:

    You speak the truth about that Shasta area. There is a special magic at work there. I’ve seen vastly more spectacular vistas but I always find a way to leave late to justify spending the night in Medford whenever I drive to CA in the summertime..and set the alarm to 0400 to be up there in that high country at dawn. No other place has earned this respect from me from me, at least not yet.
    States were imagined to be gatherings of like minded people…and for the first thirteen that wasn’t at all wrong…but the western states were drawn up largely by a few tycoons divvying up the resources between themselves. Not quite the same thing.

  72. TonyL says:

    Then you can assert that Southern California is not part of California. Southern Californians know nothing about any efforts to secede.
    It is amusing to read posts about California 🙂 Please don’t just get information from inside the echo chamber that you are in, wherever that is. Live in California and see how wonderful it is. Politics matters the least.

  73. Richard says:

    I admit to being confused here.
    Clearly the original 13 states had a right to secede since they were independently ruled entities before joining the union.
    But later states were US owned territory before joining. It’s not clear to me that they have the same right.
    For these latter states where does the right derive from? And is it the same for all of them?
    Were the terms and conditions of their contracts even uniform for all of them?

  74. turcopolier says:

    Admission to the Union makes all states equal constitutionally. There is no question of “contracts. Th is not a business deal. pl

  75. Jeannie Catherine says:

    There is California, and then there is California. Probably the most succinct division lies in the urban vs rural areas. SF, LA and its Hollyweird are _not_ the heartbeat of this state, though I imagine their politics and secular passion are what most might imagine are “California.”
    I am a 4th generation Northern Californian. My great-grandparents immigrated legally, and were deeply proud to be “Americans.” Having lived in Berkeley for the past 30 years, I recently have learned to keep my lips zipped, head down, and speak in whispers only to dear friends about what feels like the utter insanity of the hard left. I am tired of the whump-whump of helicopters overhead because SomeOne-Not-PC is trying to “speak” at Cal.
    May Peace be with us all.

  76. Dr.Puck says:

    Reminding me of 1979. And, later, (reminding me of) various evil empires.

  77. Dr.Puck says:

    Time to coin a term? Soft nullification.

  78. iowa says:

    No state that has legalized marijuana has advanced any legal theory that the state legalization renders federal law null. No attorney general of any state has formulated that as a legal principle.
    As a corollary, the federal government has never denied the legal principle that individual states may choose to have marijuana legalized under state law, just as no federal legal principle was ever advanced that states did not have the right to criminalize marijuana. The state policy to legalize or not is within the states’ jurisdiction.
    As a practical matter, as discussed in this thread, the federal government’s enforcement of marijuana in legalized states has become problematic, yet this is a matter of choice on the part of the feds, not a lack of legal authority.

  79. Dr.Puck says:

    Do you have any data that would concretely back up your assertion,
    “Silicon valley’s deep R&D comes almost entirely from the US defense dept.”

  80. turcopolier says:

    Yup Soft nullification. pl

  81. Eric Newhill says:

    There is an interesting (I think) issue involved with secession, especially in the Western states where large swaths of land within the state are federally owned.
    If a state left the union, how is the federal land handled? Up to 1/2 of some of the Western states territory is federal. Does the land stay with the feds as part of the USA? How would the borders of the former state/new country be formed given the geographic hodge podge and diversity of the federal portions?
    What of the Native American tribes that live on what is a combination of federal reservations and sovereign nation status?
    Would a state that left the union have to honor the tribes’ reservation? That was a contract between the tribes and the federal government; not the state.
    Lot of horse trading and wrangling to be done in the event of secession. I can foresee much heated conflict.

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