Twin Pillars of Liberty: Jury Nullification and Resistance

May 12, 2016—Michael Boldin, founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center, reveals a bit of history on jury nullification and resistance you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else.

“During the Massachusetts ratifying convention,” Boldin says, “a little known founder made the case that the ultimate power resides with the people and the combined tools of resistance and jury nullification can protect liberty even in the face of a government that won’t follow the Constitution.”

Here’s how Theophilus Parsons put it when he rose to speak on January 23, 1788:

“The people themselves have it in their power effectually to resist usurpation, without being driven to an appeal to arms.”

“An act of usurpation is not obligatory; it is not law; and any man may be justified in his resistance.”

“Let him be considered as a criminal by the general government, yet only his fellow citizens can convict him.”

“They are his jury, and if they pronounce him innocent, not all the powers of Congress can hurt him.”

“Innocent they certainly will pronounce him, if the supposed law he resisted was an act of usurpation.”

Would you use jury nullification if liberty was at stake? Comment below!

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