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David Sullivan, Cando, N.D., Published November 24 2012

Letter: ND should nullify federal authority

Our Constitution allows the government certain powers over U.S. citizens and the states in which they reside. However, North Dakota is a sovereign entity. The federal government does not have the right to perform any functions that are not allowed them by the Constitution.

State’s rights were the major reason behind the Civil War, and secession by a number of states would be equally disastrous in these contemporary times. The Supreme Court has also ruled it unconstitutional. Our current interstate infrastructure and ties would also make secession difficult.

However, the federal government is currently overstepping all reasonable bounds. Congress and the executive branch have ceased respecting their duties, responsibilities and limits on their powers. Their actions and inactions will soon cause the state of North Dakota great harm (examine the new Environmental Protection Agency and Internal Revenue Service expansion).

Fortunately, it does not have to be that way. Some federal agencies may be barred from any activities within North Dakota. Their functions may be replaced by a state agency with similar duties. These agencies could include the IRS, the EPA and the Food and Drug Administration. I believe that the United States government at the federal level is essentially an inept, inefficient and bloated bureaucracy. North Dakota can do a much better job with the same or less money.

The federal government does have a constitutional authority to collect taxes. There are legitimate duties it must fulfill. However, there is no reason why our state government could not pay only its share. North Dakota could levy its own taxes in a manner it sees fitting. The state government may then send monies to cover costs incurred by the federal government as allowed by the Constitution. So, military, border security and similar authorities may still operate. Other agencies may continue their work, the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture under the authority of the state of North Dakota. However, those taxes slated for unconstitutional purposes may be reassigned at the state level. These purposes may include everything from road repair to paying for Social Security and Medicare.

Federal laws, tax codes and bills would have to pass review by our elected state officials. According to the Constitution of the United States, states have rights that supersede many of the federal government’s assumed powers.

If North Dakotans choose to step up to the plate, we do not have to subscribe to the disastrous policies the current elected president or a dysfunctional Congress. So, as a U.S. citizen and a North Dakotan, I call on our state’s elected officials to declare nullification.