The “Nullification” of law
I wrote as part of a recent post titled “Is Barack Obama a Megalomaniac?” about Obama’s inflammatory remarks directed at the Supreme Court over their review of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, AKA “Obamacare”. I touched briefly on his idiotic contention that to overturn an act of congress would be “unprecedented” and why that’s the case.
It got me thinking about another way that unjust laws may be nullified that I don’t believe most people are aware of. Have you ever heard of the concept of Jury Nullification? This is a basic right of the jury that is older than our republic itself. The basic idea is that even if the jury agrees that the evidence shows a defendant has broken a law, the jury has the right to disagree with that law and therefore find the defendant not-guilty based on the belief that the law itself is unjust or illegal.
I remember the last time I sat on a Jury, after the trial was complete and the judge was giving us his instructions, in addition to explaining the law and how it applied to the case he also told us that we had to follow the law whether we agreed with it or not. Having been previously aware of the jury’s right to nullification, I was both perplexed and upset by this instruction. Although it wasn’t an issue in that case, I was instantly struck by that instruction, and wondered when the jury lost its right of nullification.
Well later research showed that it hasn’t. You see once again this is an example of the government overstepping it’s preceived authority over “We the people” and trying to prevent us from exercising our rights, when those rights go against the will of the government. You see the modern court system doesn’t approve of this right and thus attempts to prevent juries from using nullification to ignore unpopular laws.
In order to get their way, they make up rules to slant things in their favor. Most courts today prohibit the defense from even telling the jury it has the right to nullification. Therefore when the judge instructs the jury that it must apply the law as it is explained, if they are unaware that the very instruction is a lie, then they can only act in this limited manner.
I am convinced Obama, as a former “senior lecturer of constitutional law” (not a “professor”, as he often claims), would be aware of this precept of law every bit as much as he would have known that his statement on April 2nd was as empty as his suit. So, the next time you are called to sit on a jury, remember that you as a citizen of these United States have the same power as the Supreme Court to nullify an unjust law.
If you’re interested you can read more about it here.