Just because the federal government issues regulations, it is not necessary for states to abide by them, as noted both by Thomas Jefferson and, later, James Madison. A few months ago, Kansas effectively nullified some federal gun control regulations, which naturally got racist AG Eric Holder’s panties in a twist:
Earlier in 2014, the Kansas state legislature enacted a law stating that some federal gun control regulations would not be obeyed in Kansas. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder immediately notified Governor Sam Brownback that this new state law was unconstitutional. He cited Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, specifically its “Supremacy Clause,” to support his stand.
As is customary among federal officials, Holder relied on only a portion of this clause, the part stating that laws of the United States “shall be the supreme law of
the land” binding all the states. But a more complete look at this clause shows that federal laws are legitimate only if “made in pursuance thereof” of the Constitution. In other words, if a federal law is not in keeping with, or exceeds, the powers granted in the Constitution, it can rightly be declared illegitimate and not obeyed.
Holder’s thus far not taken any legal action, which in itself is surprising. But he seems to be waiting to see what happens, as the Brady Bunch has filed suit, seeking to overturn the Kansas law.
Assuming that the law stands, as seems likely given the clear federal overreach, the implications could well be immense: out-of-control agencies such as the IRS and the EPA may well find that many of their rules and regulations fail to meet the Constitutional standard as well, and thus may be ignored by states who choose to overrule them. For proponents of Big Government, this possibility may not be a fatal blow, but will surely stagger them.