The selection of Wisconsin’s next U.S. senator reveals the Republican Party’s deep state-sovereignty roots. The caucus put two resolutions to the candidates. The first endorsed Jeffersonian constitutionalism as expressed in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, which nullified the Alien and Sedition Acts. The second asserted that Republicans had a duty to stand by the state Supreme Court to “pronounce final judgment” in all matters regarding the reserved powers of the states and to shield residents from unconstitutional federal acts. Early front-runner Timothy Howe heartily endorsed the first resolution but equivocated on the second. He ultimately lost to James Doolittle, who pledged his full support for both resolutions.
The Republican Party grew from the soil of state sovereignty and nullification. Now is the time for Republicans to rediscover those roots and support state nullification of the federal health care act.
Mike Maharrey serves as the national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, a think tank promoting constitutional fidelity and working to restore a proper balance of power between the state and federal governments. You may contact Mike at: michael.maharrey@