First, key SC lawmakers were dead serious about nullification; now, they’re taking testimony from a secessionist. And yes, it’s 2013

We are really on a roll in South Carolina this week. On a rapid downhill roll, as on the proverbial handcart to hell.

SC Democrats put out this release today:

Well-known Secessionist invited by GOP lawmaker to give testimony in support of Nullification

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Laws held a hearing on H3101, otherwise known as the “Nullification” bill that seeks to nullify the Affordable Care Act, heard testimony from dozens of Tea Party activists on Wednesday. One of the speakers, Dr. Donald Livingston of Georgia, separated himself from the other speakers when he publicly advocated for secession during his testimony.

Dr. Livingston, a retired philosophy professor testifying in support of nullification, was invited to give the lead testimony by the bill’s chief sponsor, Representative Bill Chumley. Dr. Livingston later admitted in his testimony that he had not actually read Rep. Chumley’s bill.

Dr. Donald Livingston is the former director of the League of the South, a neo-confederate group that actively supports southern nationalism as well as secession from the United States. (Source) The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified the League of the South as a “racist hate group.” (Source) Dr. Livingston has been dubbed the “Intellectual Godfather of the secession movement” by New York Times journalist Chris Hedges. Dr. Livingston has written extensively in support of secession and southern heritage. (Source)

In 2001, he told the Intelligence Report that “the North created segregation” and that Southerners fought during the Civil War only “because they were invaded.” The next year, he established the Abbeville Institute, based in Atlanta, along the lines of the League of the South. (Source)

At a 2003 “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference he said that “evil is habit-forming” and no habit is as evil as believing that Lincoln acted out of good motives. (Source)

Representative James Smith, a member of the subcommittee, released the following statement in response:

“I was surprised and extremely disappointed Rep. Bill Chumley would invite Dr. Livingston to serve as his chief advocate in front of the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee. His extreme views on secession and his association with a known racist hate group insults the institution we serve and reveals the motives behind many who support this legislation. I fundamentally reject his vision for our country and I call on my colleagues to do the same.”


It’s really been weird lately. At home in the evenings, I read Team of Rivals, and just started rewatching Ken Burns’ classic “The Civil War” on Netflix. Reading and watching at night, I think that what I’m doing is studying history.

But then I get up in the morning, and day after day, this insane nonsense turns out to be current events over at our State House.

10 thoughts on “First, key SC lawmakers were dead serious about nullification; now, they’re taking testimony from a secessionist. And yes, it’s 2013

    1. Steven Davis II

      I believe you have the freedom to leave at any point. The only thing holding you back in your unwillingness.

  1. Mark Stewart

    H 3101 General Bill, By Chumley, Taylor, G.R. Smith, Huggins, Wells, Henderson, Crosby, Atwater, Long, Wood, Toole, Willis, Clemmons, Hardwick, Hardee, Goldfinch, Bedingfield, D.C. Moss, Loftis, Nanney, Pitts, Putnam, V.S. Moss, Owens, Barfield and H.A. Crawford

    What is really interesting is that among this group of 26 sponsors, there are only 2.5 attorneys (one a full time State House lobbyist and one a 2010 graduate of the Charleston College of Law). Sometimes it isn’t a bad thing for legislators to have a considered exposure to constitutional law issues. Then, we might not get so many of these circuses.

    The many “evangelicals” among this group do that impulse no favors, either.

    1. Juan Caruso

      “What is really interesting is that among this group of 26 sponsors, there are only 2.5 attorneys …” -MS

      I will counter that that the fact there are any sponsoring attorneys nullifies any unstated presumption of a need in politics for any attorneys at all. Just as frequent 5:4 Supreme Court decisions dispute the paradigm that justices need to be attorneys despite constitutional guidance to the contrary.

      Yes, you should worry, however, because not only do declared lobbyist outnumber members of our U.S. Congress by more than 25 to one, out of state campaign contributions comprise over 70% (national averages) of what candidates receive.

      Are you glad that at least 85% of registered lobbyists who attorneys, Mark? Or that the income they receive annually increased over 20% in 2009 after Obama was elected? Be afraid, very afraid.

      Don’t take it from me, take it from the mouths of Democratich and Republicanich attorneys:
      “The Best Government Money Can Buy?”

  2. die deutsche Flußgabelung

    I am just shocked to think that the fine men and few women in the GOP dominated General Assembly would invite a known neo-confederate to speak in favor of their bill (read this sentence in the most sarcastic voice imaginable). I mean when you just had a former, senior GOP apparatchik spouting off the most offensive bile on Twitter about a murdered boy, how can you be surprised when the GOP invites a white supremacist to speak in favor of their bill.

    I am sure that this will help the GOP to attract some of the “colored” vote in 2016. They just keep painting themselves into a corner.

  3. Michael Rodgers

    My state legislature does not have the power to stop the federal government from collecting federal taxes and penalties from me when I file my federal income tax. It’s not a state issue.
    Yes, Congress passed a federal tax without calling it a tax, and yes, President Obama said it wasn’t a tax when he signed the federal tax into law. But it obviously is a federal tax, and the U.S. Supreme Court said so. The IRS is going to collect the federal tax. Any person who tries to stop the federal government from collecting federal taxes will be violating federal law. Again, it’s not a state issue.

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