Call for Nullification

Nullification is a constitutional theory that gives an individual state the right to declare null and void any law passed by the United States Congress which the state deems unacceptable and unconstitutional. The concept is most well-known in the context of the sectionalist crisis that plagued the Union in the 40 years preceding the Civil War.

The origins of nullification are found in the Federalist-Republican debate of the late 1700s. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (1798) declared that the states had the right to nullify laws by which the federal government overstepped its limits of jurisprudence.

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