The Massachusetts Libertarian Party has adopted several resolutions over the past two months designed to establish both a position and series of strategies for the party moving forward on relevant issues of liberty.
While resolutions by a political party — like platform positions — are often overlooked, or even ignored, by party members going forward, these are divergent from past party resolutions in an important way. First, it should be stressed that establishing a case against undeclared wars themselves is not new nor on the surface do resolutions by party leaders actually do anything to make the wars less likely.
What’s unique about these resolutions which we’ll be publishing in on this blog over the next couple of days is the call for citizen resistance and direct citizen action against these unconstitutional and invalid laws using Jeffersonian nullification, Madisonian interposition, and civil disobedience in the style of Massachusetts’ own Henry David Thoreau. For the first time in party history, the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts is not limiting itself to purely electoral and ballot measure means toward securing liberty; we’re seeking out full-spectrum peaceful resistance to government overreach. And we’re asking our members to take non-violent action directly, by themselves, and in concert with others who are willing.
The form of the resolutions is pretty simple: They cite a series of constitutional texts as supports for our position defending peace and natural liberty of all people, followed by a recommended course (or courses) of action against immoral and illegal actions by government.
Here’s the full text of the resolution on “Defend the Guard” against undeclared wars that the state committee adopted:
Whereas, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States vests in the United States
Congress the exclusive power to declare war;
Whereas, In spite of the clear language of the U.S. Constitution, vesting the power to declare
war exclusively in the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Executive Branch has unconstitutionally
assumed that power while the Congress has abdicated its constitutional duty;
Whereas, The Father of the Constitution, James Madison, wrote, “The Constitution supposes,
what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power
most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the
question of war to the Legislature.”;
Whereas, Although the U.S. Congress has not declared war since 1942, the nation has since
gone to war repeatedly at the whim of the Executive Branch; and
Whereas, When such unconstitutional actions are taken by the federal government, it is the
proper role of the states themselves to take action to remedy such situations, as outlined in the
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts:
- Calls upon the General Court of Massachusetts to enact legislation to prohibit the
Massachusetts National Guard and any member thereof to be released from the state
into active duty combat unless the U.S. Congress has declared war pursuant to Article I,
§ 8, Clause 15 of the U.S. Constitution, and only for the express and explicit purposes
enumerated in the Constitution: to “execute the Laws of the Union,” repel an invasion, or
suppress an insurrection;
- Calls upon the Governor of Massachusetts not to comply with any order from the federal
government to release the Massachusetts National Guard into federal service unless the
U.S. Congress has declared war pursuant to Article I, §8, Clause 15 of the U.S.
Constitution, and only for the express and explicit purposes enumerated in the
Constitution: to “execute the Laws of the Union,” repel an invasion, or suppress an
- Further, calls upon Massachusetts to bring home said National Guard troops already so
deployed to foreign conflicts immediately.
Adopted unanimously (9-0 vote) by the state committee of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts on June 8, 2022.