One thing that surprised me, but shouldn’t have, is the amazing overreach in two significant legal cases, the Chicago gun law and the Arizona immigration law. In both cases the plaintiffs advanced legal theories that, if adopted, would resulted in massive changes with unpredictable. I suppose it’s just a sign of how desperate the MAL is getting to defend their ideological positions.
In the Chicago case, as best I can understand the city administration’s legal position, their view was that the Bill of Rights didn’t apply to states or cities if the latter thought it important to have a law. The legal reasoning used to justify the violation of the 2nd Amendment would just have easily justified disregarding the 1st or 5th.1
In the case of the Arizona law the first thing to note is that the actual filing doesn’t bring up any discrimination claims so apparently all that talk from the White House about such things was just propaganda, throwing out baseless accusations to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt. How Nixonian!
Again, as far as I can tell of the government’s complaint is that states are not permitted to aid in the enforcement of federal law. After all SB1070 re-iterates federal immigration policy, and the enforcement would involve sending such cases to the federal legal system to adjudication. Think of the implications of a federal win — just for a start, it would invalidate state enforcement of laws against recreational pharmaceuticals, or even laws against them, even if those exactly mimicked federal law. I would think the medical marijuana would find that very helpful. Or the enforcement of federal endangered species legislation. Couldn’t say, Wyoming, on the basis of a victory for the federal government, abandon all state level enabling legislation and cooperation on the basis that such was now illegal?
A few other notes on the federal lawsuit against Arizona —
Politically, of course, this looks like a very poor tactic — “it’s the privilege of the federal government to active not enforce its laws and states may not pick up the slack”. Given that President Obama already has a reputation for being rather cavalier about the rule of law, this can only re-enforce that view among a larger set of the American Street.
In the “tone deaf” files we must include the fact that the Obama Administration picked the defender of the “American Taliban” as its lead attorney — yes, there’s the kind of person you want at the front of fighting against enforcement of the law.
Let’s also note that Rhode Island has been engaged in very similar enforcement without any complaint by the federal government. Does the Obama Administration just hate Southwesterners?
And finally, for those of the “how is this different from previous waves of immigration”, I offer this post about how in Utah, the state government changed the law on welfare so that illegal immigrants would be subject to the same checks as actual citizens, rather than having preferential treatment. The illegal immigrants are upset, of course, and wonder if (gasp!) perhaps governments in America are favoring citizens over illegal immigrants. I would love to see any one point out where previous waves of immigration (1) got preferential treatment and (2) the immigrants would have been surprised or upset at favoritism toward citizens. Of course, it is our policies that have lead to this, and the solution is to dismantle the welfare state.
1 I must say, though, I thought the Supreme Courts reasoning was sub-par as well, if not as much. Avoiding the “privileges and immunity” clause of the 14th and using due process strikes me as coming to the right result through bogus means, which is never a good idea. I am becoming more impressed with Justice Thomas’ legal reasoning as he seemed to have the best argument of any of them on the issue.