You are here


State Repeal of Federal Laws and Removal of Federal Judges


Two-thirds of the state legislatures have the power to repeal a federal law and remove federal judges and Justices.

State Repeal of Federal Laws and Removal of Federal Judges: Proposed Language

The legislatures of two-thirds of the several States shall have the power to repeal any law or part thereof or regulation of the United States or remove any federal judge or justice of the Supreme Court by a resolution describing the law or part thereof or regulation to be repealed or judge or justice to be removed with the effective date of such action being as stated in the resolution or upon obtaining the required approval, whichever date is later. Upon the required approval, the resolution shall be signed by the governors of the States having the approving legislatures, shall contain a certification of approval, and shall be delivered to the President and Congress by the governor last to sign and shall take effect as provided therein.


Some scholars believe that States should have a right to repeal federal laws. The Constitution was ratified on the premise that the federal government would have limited powers and that the States and the People would have all other powers. Notwithstanding this intent, over the years the States have been limited largely to the exercise of police powers with no say or very little in the management of the federal government.

This management was indirectly provided for in the Constitution as originally adopted, which provided that the state legislatures would elect U.S. Senators. However, fraud and corruption in state legislatures at the turn of the twentieth century gave rise to the progressive era, which presumed that the People were better qualified to decide who their U.S. Senators should be than their legislatures. The result was the Seventeenth Amendment, which was passed in 1913. 

Over the years, persons elected to the U.S. Senate came to envision themselves as future presidents and rarely consulted their State legislatures with respect to material legislation.

While the Seventeenth Amendment is proposed for repeal by our proposed Amendment 36.5, in an effort to increase the power of State legislatures and the accountability of the federal government and to improve the quality of leaders in the United States Senate, we have also deemed it important to enlarge the power of the states to allow their leaders to contribute to national policy by having veto authority over federal legislation.

Benefits of diversity within the States and the experimentation they can undertake cannot be overestimated. They are a valuable resource in the management of government and are largely unused in the management of the federal government. In order to give States a greater influence in the formulation of national policy, we believe it important to increase their powers and to provide a sort of in terrorem effect on any Congress that chooses to ignore them.

In order to give the States the necessary influence they deserve, we have suggested that they have the power to repeal federal law or remove federal judges by resolutions passed by two thirds of the States. In order to do this, the States need a vehicle whereby their governors can convene to develop uniform issues and proposals and present them to their state legislatures. Currently, no such system is available, with the effect that the nation generally is denied the benefits of many knowledgeable, intelligent, and serious leaders.

Voice Your Vote

Do you support the proposed State Repeal of Federal Laws and Removal of Federal Judges amendment?

How much "Importance" does this proposal hold for you?