Cynthia Dunbar’s ‘Parting Gift’

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On Thursday outgoing Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, offered what she called a “parting gift” to fellow board members. Her “gift”: a proposed board resolution attacking federal involvement in education as unconstitutional and calling for state “nullification” of “unconstitutional directives” from the federal government.

Not surprisingly, the resolution reads like a long anti-federal government screed. One section, for example, warns about “the establishment of tyranny” by the federal government. Other examples:

“[A]ny federal legislation that attempts to impact the direction of educational policy is made in excess of Congress’ authority and devoid of any merit.”

“[T]he Department of Education is an unconstitutional bureaucracy…”

“(The) Department of Education shall be put on notice that any such unconstitutional directives given by it to the Texas State Board of Education will be met with the principle of nullification and the clear admonition of ‘Don’t Mess with Texas!'”

Austin American-Statesman reporter Kate Alexander explains:

Nullification is the legal theory that a state may deem invalid any federal law that the state finds unacceptable or unconstitutional. Most legal scholars maintain that nullification is unconstitutional.

Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has in a number of cases ruled that determining the constitutionality of laws is the purview of federal courts, not the states or state courts. A few examples: Ableman v. Booth (1858),  Cooper v. Aaron (1958), Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board (1960). [UPDATE: As one of our readers notes, “nullification” is a philosophy that was frequently promoted by southern opponents of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution — the so-called “Reconstruction amendments” that ended slavery and extended constitutional rights to freed slaves. Opponents of school integration and civil rights in the 1950s an 1960s similarly promoted “nullification” as a right of states.]

Dunbar asked that the state board consider her resolution in January. This month’s meeting was the last for Dunbar and four board members.

You can read Dunbar’s proposed resolution here.

9 Responses to “Cynthia Dunbar’s ‘Parting Gift’”

  1. Gordon Fowkes Says:

    The most interesting part of SBOE related propaganda of this nature is a clear statement of the former Confederate states to nullify the effects of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution that the Union’s Radical Republicans deemed necessary to prevent the South from rising and restoring status ante bellum.

    Nullification was a major underlying justification for secession, as the court cases were going against nullification as a way to preserve the South’s “peculiar institution:.

    This also serves a a lesson in determining how much crow the defeated can eat withut explosive regurgitaion at a later date.

  2. David Says:

    Dumb and Dunbar.
    So the idea is…”You have prevented me from forcing my religion on you, so I will burn your barn, poison your well, and shut down your public schools.”
    No class.
    No class whatsoever.

  3. Jon Says:

    Texas already fought a civil war over nullification. You lost.

  4. Brian Rutledge Says:

    I am to mad to comment

  5. Doc Bill Says:

    I wish Cindy Nutbar all the best (and don’t let the door hit you in t the butt on the way out) in her new role as “professor” at Liberty “University.” May she teach an entire generation of morons to be ever so moronic. Seriously, have you watched TV lately? If it weren’t for the likes of Nutbar we’d have no entertainment at all! Pity citizens of states with normal school boards. How do they cope???

  6. David Says:

    Doc, that’s “perfessor”. She’s going to be a “lady perfessor” at Libuhteh Univuhseteh.

  7. Charles Says:

    The content of that resolution is rivaled only by gray alien abductions, gods from outer space, the lost continent of Atlantis, the lost continent of Mu, the plaster footprints of bigfoot, and dark rum fruitcakes with talking maraschino cherries.

    If she is at home reading any of this, she is probably comforting herself with John 15:18. The thing she does not understand—apparently—is that most of the people who criticize her did not hate Jesus before they did her or her political activities. Many of the people who are not supportive of either love Jesus or, even if they are not Christians per se, they are often in wholehearted sympathy and resonance with much that Jesus had to say. She does not realize that she has been poisoned all of her life by ignorant backwoods theology—and that she is in reality a Romans 14 weak Christian trapped in a spiral of political and religious goofiness.

  8. skinner city cyclist Says:

    The part I like is the total absence of any kind of knowledge about US history or the Constitution from people who so loudly and obnoxiously proclaim their patriotism. Nullification was a dead letter by 1828 and continues as a dead letter. Cindy Dunbar, have Christine O’Donnell show you where it says “nullification” in the Constitution…or where it could possibly be construed.

  9. Gordon Fowkes Says:

    The concern one should have is that the South and the post-bellum Southern diaspora has left a statistically significant political population that is “Confederate”. Other countries have similar populations such as Royalists in France, able to raise a minor pollitical party. The resurgence of disparate Croat, Slovenian, Serbian, and other Balkan populations since the Yugoslavian state broke apart, shows the brutality of buriedn humiliations from centuries past.

    Given the resurgences of formerly defeated nations and populations throughout history, snide remarks will not prevent the “Soutth to rise again”. Wars and revolutions won and lost have a way of recycling, and the resurgence of the same political and social baggage of the Confederacy is not to be dismissed lightly.

    On the bright side, the current pro-Confederate rhetoric has opted not to revive the racist rhetoric, and focuses on religious sentiment and economic plight. The fears of the ante-bellum South of expanded Federal political power is also related to the Scot-Irish sentifiment imported from Ireland during the latter years of the Colonies and early Republic.

    In this regard, the Dimwit Dunbar factions revels in such curses as a welcome affirmation of their historic victim status, and justificaiton for belligerancy.

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