Wisconsin GOP Aims For Secession And Nullification Powers

The Wisconsin Republican Party will be voting this weekend on whether it endorses the right to secede from the rest of the country and nullify any federal law, a clear departure from the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

Daniel Bice at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that delegates at the state Republican convention will consider a measure on Saturday "that directs lawmakers to push through legislation nullifying Obamacare, Common Core educational standards and 'drone usage in the state of Wisconsin.'"

It also asserts the right, "under extreme circumstances," to secede from the United States of America.

Secession and nullification are not new ideas. In fact, they're what Lincoln was fighting against as he tried to preserve the union. In the 1830s, South Carolina created a national crisis when it tried to nullify a federal tariff with which it disagreed and threatened to secede. The doctrine of nullification was no good after the Civil War, but some Southern states advocated a similar philosophy after the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools.

The Wisconsin resolution is opposed by many Republicans in the state, including Gov. Scott Walker (R). Walker is often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, and it would be tough to run for president if your state isn't even part of the country.

Conservative Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes has called the resolution "crackpotism on steroids."

"We fought a war over this, didn't we?" Sykes added. "It didn't work out well for the supporters of nullification and secession."

Bice also points out that it would be impossible for state legislators to accomplish some of what is proposed in the measure.

The Common Core education standards, for instance, aren't federal law; Wisconsin voluntarily went along with them.

But for some, the Civil War did nothing to settle these issues. Mike Murphy, a member of the Wisconsin GOP's executive committee, argued that "secession is as American as apple pie."



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