arizona

This past week, Arizona’s House of Representatives boldly went where the U.S. Congress recently failed to go, and passed, by a vote of 36-24, a bill that, if enacted, would prohibit the state or “any of its political subdivisions” (meaning any municipality) from funding any executive orders issued by President Obama “that has not been affirmed by a vote of Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution. “

The bill goes on to specify that the same treatment shall apply to “any policy directive issued by the U.S. Department of Justice to law enforcement agencies in this state that has not been affirmed by a vote of Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.” The Arizona House found the bill so non-controversial that only one representative spoke against it on the floor, that being democrat Bruce Wheeler from Tucson.

One wonders what Representative Wheeler could have found to say against the proposed law. Did he argue that state resources should properly be spent to enforce executive orders and policy directives that purport to be laws, but that in fact have not been affirmed by Congress? In any event, one can admire Representative Wheeler for at least articulating his opposition, in contrast to the 23 other democrats who voted against the measure on a party-line vote without even getting up on their hind legs to explain why.

Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts attacked the measure, declaring that in passing it, Arizona’s leaders were marching ever closer to declaring the state’s independence from the United States of America.

Well, we are a nation that, in law, is composed of fifty sovereign states, subject to federal laws only in connection with the enumerated powers granted to the federal government under the Constitution.

And while the federal government does have exclusive authority over immigration laws, the Arizona bill does not cross the line in that area. The bill, if made law, would recognize the state’s obligation to comply with valid, enacted federal legislation governing immigration.

As we know, however, the executive orders issued recently by President Obama prohibit enforcement of already enacted federal legislation with respect to certain identified categories of illegal aliens. In the Alice-in-Wonderland world in which the President has thrust the nation, where executive orders dictate non-enforcement of the laws, the Arizona bill constitutes not a flight from sanity but an attempted return to sanity. If only such measures were sufficient.

 

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