Article VI Not V: What Is Article VI?

What Is Article VI?

Article VI is the Founders’ solution to big government. It refers to the sixth article of the Constitution, which states that only laws made in pursuance of the Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land (Clause 2) and that all executive, legislative, and judicial officers of both the federal and state governments shall be bound by oath to support the Constitution (Clause 3).


Therefore Article VI plays a key role in The John Birch Society’s educational program to enforce the Constitution. If the federal and state governments were to adhere strictly to the Constitution’s provisions, the federal government would be reduced to 20% its current size and cost.


Rein In Big Government

Two-thirds of Americans named big government as the biggest threat (as compared to big business and big labor) in a recent poll. About 80 percent of all federal spending is unconstitutional.


America’s Founders fought a war for independence from out-of-control big government. Then they wrote a new Constitution that created a government limited to its proper role of protecting the God-given rights of the people. However, over the past century Americans have increasingly neglected the Constitution’s limitations, leading to the modern-day problem of big government.


Big government can be reined in by creating an informed electorate that holds its state and federal officials accountable to the Constitution for rejecting (by nullification, etc.) all unconstitutional federal laws, orders, and decisions.


Why Article VI Not V

Many people are clamoring for the calling of an Article V convention to rein in big government. However, such a convention would result in changing the Constitution. But, is our problem with big government due to a flaw in the Constitution, or a flaw in the politicians?


A little reflection leads to the answer that our problem with big government is due to a lack of enforcement of the Constitution’s limitations on government, especially those in Article I, Section 8, which grants only certain very specific powers to Congress. Therefore, we need to rein in big government by enforcing the Constitution using clauses 2 and 3 of Article VI, not changing it using Article V.


Nullification: the Article VI Solution

Nullification is the Article VI solution! 



Nullification is where the states refuse to implement unconstitutional laws. Founding Father James Madison generally supported nullification throughout his life, except in cases of misuse of the nullification process, such as occurred before the Civil War when South Carolina’s leaders mistakenly thought they could nullify a federal tariff, which had resulted from a constitutional act of Congress.


Nullification vs. Con-Con

With nullification the Constitution is left intact as individual states refuse to implement or enforce unconstitutional laws within their states. While with a constitutional convention delegates from all states are brought together to consider making changes in the Constitution that will apply to the entire nation. While nullification upholds, preserves, and enforces the Constitution, an Article V convention poses a high risk of extensively revising or possibly completely rewriting the Constitution.


Rein In Big Government

For far too long, Big Government has operated outside of the limitations of the Constitution. As with any rule book, the limitations are only as good as those that are enforced. The Founding Fathers knew this and brilliantly included provisions in Article VI that we can use to rein in an out-of-control federal government.


The Constitution is the Solution

Please consider educating yourself with The Constitution is the Solution Lecture Series.


Click here to watch online.

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