‘Nullification’ Conference Attracts Far-Right Extremists
We were there when Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes warned that the federal government was laying the groundwork to freely kill American citizens. We were there when John Bush, who runs the Foundation for a Free Society in Austin, Texas, stoked the audience’s already inflamed fears that a one-world government was coming in the form of a U.N. plan for sustainable growth. We were there when Doug Tjaden, director of the Sound Money Center, called for the nullification of the Federal Reserve. “Nullification of any federal law will only have long lasting effect if we take away the bankers’ ability to buy back our liberty,” he said with a thump of his fist on the podium.
Roughly 100 people attended the conference organized by the Los Angeles-based Tenth Amendment Center, a group focused on how to weaken the reach of the federal government through nullification. Their central idea—that each state has the constitutional right to invalidate and disregard virtually any federal law—relies on a spurious interpretation of the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states and the people any power not explicitly given to the federal government, and flies in the face of more than two centuries of jurisprudence.
Much of the conference seemed to be focused on distancing the movement from those members of the extreme right that tend to be the most attracted to the nullification concept.
That’s hard to do when the League of the South (LOS) has a table at the event, which it did. It was attended by Michael Tubbs, a former Green Beret demolitions expert who, in 1987, robbed two fellow soldiers of their M-16 rifles during a routine exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C., in the name of the Ku Klux Klan. Tubbs is president of the Florida chapter of the LOS, which envisions a second Southern secession and holds to a distinctly white supremacist ideology.