The nullification doctrine is a political and legal concept in the United States that emerged during the early 19th century. It asserts that individual states have the right to declare federal laws unconstitutional and thus, void within their borders. The doctrine is rooted in the idea that the U.S. [[Constitution]] is a compact among the states, and each state has the authority to interpret the Constitution and judge the validity of federal laws. The nullification doctrine can be traced back to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, which were written by [[James Madison]] and [[Thomas Jefferson]], respectively. These resolutions were a response to the [[Alien and Sedition Acts]], which the authors viewed as unconstitutional. The resolutions argued that the states could nullify federal laws that exceeded the federal government's delegated powers. ## Nullification Crisis The most notable application of the nullification doctrine occurred during the Nullification Crisis of the early 1830s. South Carolina, led by then-Vice President [[John C. Calhoun]], attempted to nullify the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832, which were perceived to unfairly benefit Northern industries while harming the Southern economy. South Carolina's Ordinance of Nullification declared the tariffs null and void within the state. In response, President [[Andrew Jackson]] vehemently opposed the nullification doctrine and threatened to use military force to enforce the tariffs in South Carolina. The crisis was eventually resolved through a compromise tariff negotiated by Henry Clay in 1833, which lowered the tariffs gradually, and South Carolina rescinded its nullification ordinance. The nullification doctrine was never endorsed by [[The Supreme Court]], and it remains a highly controversial and largely discredited concept. The doctrine has been invoked occasionally in more recent times by various political groups, but it is not considered a valid interpretation of the [[Constitution]] by the mainstream legal community. The supremacy of federal law over state law has been consistently upheld by the Supreme Court, as established in cases like McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) and Cooper v. Aaron (1958).