Can Federal Courts Intervene in State Elections?

Yes, and for several reasons, including but not limited to the type of case(s) filed, to a Constitutional breach (e.g., of the state’s own Constitution, of the Guarantee Clause or Fourteenth Amendment, if you are of that mindset). 

I wrote the following post several years ago for an education blog, to explain that Constitutional jurisdiction [obviously] matters when determining and dealing with the question of government overreach. 

State activities that affect the national government, can seem to muddy the waters a bit, and indeed many encroachments via the [inconsistently-applied] Fourteenth Amendment have weakened state sovereignty, but the recent, laughable cries from the left, that all of a sudden cares about “states rights,” when it comes to elections and COVID lockdowns, warrant the repost…  

Nullification and the Big Con…

Knowing the topic is of some interest to me, a friend who is otherwise ambivalent toward the Nullification vs. Convention of States (Article V) debate, suggested that the “sanctuary city” situation may seal the fate of nullification as a means of dealing with federal power grabs, meaning Mayors have been unsuccessful at rejecting -or “nullifying’ – federal orders, because the feds have been successful using federal funds to ensure compliance.

Ever the #ProudContrarian, I respectfully disagreed.

What has sealed the fate of effective nullification is improper understanding of Constitutional jurisdiction, and of course lack of #PoliticalTestosterone to call the foul on federal encroachment…

While the act of defiance by mayors who want to keep their “sanctuary city” status without losing federal funds, shows how easily nullification can/should function when legitimately triggered, it also shows its ineffectiveness when illegitimately triggered, hence the brilliance of it.

A legitimate trigger for nullification is one guided by Constitutional jurisdiction.
An illegitimate trigger for nullification is one guided by political agendas.

The U.S. Constitution unambiguously authorizes the federal government to set immigration policy (as long as it doesn’t contradict the Constitution), ergo, any federal funds tied to said policy can be legitimately threatened or withheld should a state desire to deviate from it.

Conversely, where the Constitution is silent…like on matters of education, marriage, a 55 mph speed limit, or forcing a 3 year old baby girl to pee next to a 30 year old man (all of which have been used to threaten funding), the Tenth Amendment is triggered, and when the Tenth Amendment is triggered, well here, you read it…

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” ~Tenth Amendment

Ergo, when the national Constitution is silent on a matter, states have the absolute right, authority, and I’ll add the big, fat flipping duty, to give the big, fat middle finger to the big, fat federal government if it tries to encroach upon that jurisdiction, and as such, implement any policy that fits within the [state] jurisdiction, any way they damn well please, and without repercussions.

(We’ll save for another time, the very important discussion about the Incorporation Doctrine and states not becoming dependent upon federal funds in the first place).

Point in fact: Both the George Soros Empire (“left”) and the Koch Dynasty (“right”) fund any and all legislators who will vote to bring about a Convention of States (ironically and aptly nicknamed a “Con-Con”).

Let that marinate a while…

Progressives on both sides of the aisle, want a “living, breathing Constitution…” They want control, and they know which process will deliver that power more quickly (a Convention of States), and which one won’t (Nullification).

Unlike the Con-Con, the goal of nullification isn’t power to change or rewrite the Constitution, rather to honor it by making sure the federal government stays in its own freaking lane.

“Nothing bad will  happen, rules must be followed at the Con-Con!” proponents scream.  Be very leery of anyone who uses that argument because they are either incredibly naive or incredibly evil.

A thinking person doesn’t need to be politically engaged for more than five minutes, to see the ignorance of and disregard for any Constitutional restraints when elected employees consider legislation that may undermine our inalienable rights…and we’re supposed to trust them to follow similar if not the same restraints at a Con-Con?  Don’t make me laugh…

At the end of the day, while the elected employees who are trying to protect their sanctuary city status are demonstrating the idea of nullification, they illegitimately employ it because the authority to determine immigration policy does not fall within their jurisdiction.  As such, any federal funding tied to federal immigration is justifiably at risk, hence the old adage about fools and their money being parted…

…whensoever the federal government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative,
void, and of no force.” ~Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

Update: SanFran Sanctuary City Sheriff defeated in a landslide.