I guess to be fair, it's not HIS idea. It belongs to the Speaker of the Virginia House. Virginia, as in Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions...
You may not remember the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, but they were introduced by Jefferson and Madison to rule the Alien and Sedition Acts unconstitutional. Basically, they asserted the right of states to nullify acts of the federal government on constitutional grounds. No one really took them seriously, and they probably would have drifted into obscurity except for John C. Calhoun, who revived the idea to combat a particular aggressive tariff, that he thought was a precursor to a federal assault on slavery.
So, South Carolina ("Too small to be a republic, too large to be an insane asylum.") nullified the "Tariff of Abominations" and set off a conflict with Andrew Jackson. Now, you start a conflict with Jackson, you better win, because he was a crazy, bloodthirsty insane person. Luckily, Henry Clay was around to negotiate a compromise and the issue more or less died away.
With the US victory in the Civil War, the idea of nullification pretty much drifted away until the Civil Rights era. Then it was resurrected by racists to justify obstructing integration and equal rights. It has since drifted away again. But it is apparently an idea that can not die as long as their are venal, short sighted idiots around to drag it from its shallow grave.
The thing is, when Jefferson and Madison wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolution, there was still a great deal of worry in the US that government would tend towards absolute tyranny, and nothing was more indicative of that lurch towards tyranny than the odious Alien and Sedition acts. Jefferson and Madison were right to oppose it.
But they were wrong in their methods.
The Constitution includes the supremacy clause, that basically says that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land and all other laws must bow before it. John Marshall, in Marbury v Madison, then gave the Courts - and the Courts alone - the right to decide whether an act of Congress was constitutional. Since then, that has been the role of the courts. In McCulloch vs Maryland, Marshall ruled that federal laws take precedent over local laws when the two are in conflict.
That was 1819.
Cantor and his cronies are endorsing dragging the US back to something more akin to the Articles of Confederation. He is trying to undermine the very essence of Constitutional and federal supremacy. A federal supremacy that was cemented 150 years ago during the Civil War.
I have always given conservatives credit for playing the long game in politics, but this is beyond belief.
Imagine, if you will, a United States where certain states could decide to nullify federal laws within their borders. Imagine a United States that is no longer a nation, but a confederation.
I have heard the modern GOP referred to as the Confederate party, but this really takes the prize. One of the most important GOP leaders in the House wants to turn the USA into the CSA.
Of course, Governor Perry of Texas wants to nullify social security and medicare in Texas, so Cantor may just be trying to play catch-up.
The thing is, we all sort of knew Perry was a few figs short of a fruitcake, but Cantor was supposed to be one of the sensible grown-ups of the GOP.
I think we can say that the "sensible grown-ups" applies pretty much to Dick Lugar and that's it.