Is NH Republican Jack Kimball Jumping On The Nullification Bandwagon?

Jack Kimball, who is running for Governor in the Republican primary in New Hampshire, is hosting an event this weekend with special guest Michael Boldin, founder of America’s Tenth Amendment Center. This “tenther” group touts state sovereignty and nullification — the idea that a state can override a federal law it deems unconstitutional (a notion that has been consistently rejected in federal courts).The event, taking place this Saturday, is advertised on Kimball’s site as “America’s top ‘Tenther’ jets into New Hampshire.” Kimball, who has called himself “the candidate that comes out of the tea parties,” wrote of the event on his site:

Everyone who knows me understands that I am passionate about upholding the entire Constitution. But it has never been more important for States to stand their ground and face up to the gradual erosion of our State Sovereignty by the Federal Government.

Boldin, for his part, praised the people of New Hampshire for their “fine reputation as keen Constitutionalists.” He also wrote a blog post Wednesday titled “Nullification Movement Gains Steam: Missouri Rejects Healthcare Mandates,” referring to this week’s vote in Missouri to try and change state statutes so the federal health insurance mandate will not apply. (As we’ve written, the vote was purely symbolic and will have little substantive impact).

The American’s Tenth Amendment Center describes how “adherence to the Tenth Amendment is the first step towards ensuring liberty in the United States. Liberty through decentralization.”

The notion of nullification seems to be coming back en vogue these days. Minnesota state Rep. Tom Emmer, the presumptive Republican nominee for governor, for instance, has argued that “the state certainly does have the right” to overturn federal laws.

A recent PPP poll shows Kimball in second in a four-way Republican primary matchup in New Hampshire. John Stephen is leading Kimball 26%-15% ahead of the September 14 primary. The winner will face Democratic incumbent John Lynch in the general election.

Late Update: Kimball said today that Boldin will be unable to make it to New Hampshire for the event, so will instead speak to the crowd via a live video link-up. Or, as Kimball’s site describes it: “Hi-Tech history to be made in Hollis, NH Problem-solver Jack saves the day!”

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