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How to Deal with Unconstitutional Federal Acts?

By Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center

A lot of people want you to believe that there are only 3 ways to deal with a federal government that violates the Constitution:

  1. Go to a federal court in the hope that federal judges will stop federal programs.
  2. Lobby federal politicians in the hope that they’ll limit federal power.
  3. Vote the bums out in the hope that the new bums will turn down all the federal power handed to them by the previous bums.

Simple logic tells me this approach isn’t going to get good results. And leading Founders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison certainly agreed.  They told us that if we allowed the federal government to determine the extent of its own power, we shouldn’t be surprised if that power grows…and grows.

But they weren’t alone.

During the ratification debates, Archibald Maclaine of North Carolina not only said that we “should disregard” unconstitutional acts, but that we should “punish them for the attempt.”

That’s some pretty serious stuff, IMO. I made a short video on this little-known fact, and I think it makes for a good educational piece to share with others. Check it out at the link below, and if you agree – please share it widely!

[ot-video type=”youtube” url=””]

Read more at the Tenth Amendment Center

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against all enemies,  foreign and domestic, please consider making a donation to support our work.   You can donate HERE.





  1. What about when states and governors ignore the constitution and claim to use emergency powers anytime they can’t get what they want like we have here in NY State?

    1. The US Constitution and all that is in Pursuance thereof it is the supreme Law of our land that requires that all types of legislation – in order to be binding on the American people – stay within its written boundaries.

      Remember that the US Constitution is LIMITED, and has all federal powers spelled out in writing within it. The states are bound to create legislation that supports it also. But beyond those powers delegated and listed within the US Constitution, the states AND THE PEOPLE have retained that authority for themselves to decide.

      Then read your state’s Constitution as that is the contract that those who serve within your state’s government is bound by. Notice that in each election – small or large – the states try to amend the state Constitution pretty much every time. That/those amendments change your state Constitution so do not calmly ignore what they are changing.

      Remember that the US Constitution is a compact made between the states. There is no such thing here in the USA as “emergency powers”. The US Constitution does not allow for them. That is different from a “state of emergency” which is supposed to be a call for assistance from other areas/states.

      Neither adds to the power those in government have – that power is in writing within the state Constitution – and even if amended, it would be going against the supreme Law of our nation, which they cannot Lawfully do.

      But hey, so many that serve within our governments have committed First Degree Murder, Treason, *Terrorism, Perjury, felony or three, etc and nothing is done.

      “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine involving more pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism.” The Supreme Court of the United States, 1866 c31

      “Emergency does not create power. Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the Federal Government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency and they are not altered by emergency.” Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 425 (1934)

      Daniel Webster: “We may be tossed upon an ocean where we can see no land – nor, perhaps, the sun or stars. But there is a chart and a compass for us to study, to consult, and to obey. That chart is the Constitution.”

      Dr. Edwin Vieira: “This has nothing to do with personalities or subjective ideas. It’s a matter of what the Constitution provides…

      The government of the United States has never violated anyone’s constitutional rights…
      The government of the United States will never violate anyone constitutional rights, because it cannot violate anyone’s constitutional rights. The reason for that is: The government of the United States is that set of actions by public officials that are consistent with the Constitution. Outside of its constitutional powers, the government of the United States has no legitimacy. It has no authority; and, it really even has no existence. It is what lawyers call a legal fiction.”

      What we have is a legal fiction. We have those who SERVE WITHIN our government behave as if they are kings. They even act against our nation and nothing is done.

      “The Declaration of Independence says that the American colonies of Great Britain had become “free and independent states” — separate states. The U.S. Constitution refers constantly to the states, but never to a “nation”; and this is a fact we should ponder.” KrisAnne Hall

      *28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

      1. I am not sure what you mean by “constitutional rights”. If you are talking about those listed within the Bill of Rights – self defense, etc – those are NOT constitutional rights, they are Natural Rights pre-existing governments, and not all are listed, but all are required to be PROTECTED by those who serve within our governments (and from them).

        The Bill of Rights was created to list those things that were NOT DELEGATED, or only delegated if certain things occurred, and then the ONLY lawful governmental responsive action(s) is also listed there. All else is retained by the PEOPLE, not the states, nor the federal.

        Not sure if that is the answer you were looking for.

      2. Correct, Natural Rights. I guess my Q was the factual legality, not fictitious, of state laws regulating these rights. You did answer the question, thanks.

      3. They are Unalienable rights in the Bill of Rights – cannot be sold, traded, transferred of given away.

        In Article 1 of the constitution it says we have Inalienable rights – which means those rights cannot be sold, transferred, traded or given away WITHOUT consent.

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