Thursday, July 9, 2015

Gonzalez case ironically provides an example in favor of a strong central government

Quick recap of the history of "States' Rights"

In 1777, the Articles of Confederation were adopted, and ratified by 1781 by the original 13 States. Because of the revolutionaries' distrust of an autocratic dictator (seeing as they just fought a war to free themselves from King George's rule), they intentionally made the central government far weaker than the States.

This presented obvious problems to the cohesiveness of the union, as a collection of papers by James Madison outlines. (this was from another link off of the first).

For example, there was no Executive to enforce the acts passed by Congress. Each State began printing its own money, raising its own military, and engaging in international agreements independently of one another.

The States sent representatives to rectify this in the Constitutional Convention. Convening first in 1787, the Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1789. They gave the central government of the federal system more power. As a pushback to this, there was clamor for a Bill of Rights to be added to the Constitution, to guarantee protections for the People against a now much stronger central government, and this occurred later.

The point of a federal system where the central government is stronger than the states in certain regards, is to prevent chaos from arising out of the states passing contradictory laws, attempting to control other states, seceding from the union or going to war with each other.

That last part is significant. The test of the federal system came with the Civil War, when pro-slavery states attempted to use "states' rights" to justify seceding from the union. Many legal pundits today still think that this is a constitutional right. However, whereas a state seceding from a state (West Virginia seceded from Virginia to join the Union during the Civil War) is not unconstitutional, a state seceding from the union is. And via might-makes-right, Abraham Lincoln cemented the role of the federal government through his executive actions leading up to and during the Civil War. Whereas the most obvious effect of the Civil War in our society was to end slavery, that was not the initial reason for it. Here is an excerpt from Abraham Lincoln's letter to Horace Greeley:
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.
The whole thing is worth reading. It's short but makes it clear that Abraham Lincoln did hope to end slavery, but that that was not his primary goal in his executive capacity, early on. The primary goal was to do what was his Constitutional obligation as the Executive -- to preserve the Union.

Why am I spending so much time talking about the Federal government? Well, it's because --

if the Central government is stronger than the states in matters of foreign policy and commerce and trade and international agreements and military etc etc etc,

then some states won't, for example, take it into their own hands to deport illegal immigrants (such as Arizona), while others take it into their own hands to refuse to cooperate with Federal immigration enforcement in turning over known criminals (such as the 'sanctuary cities' in California, one of which is San Francisco).

San Francisco has a law that requires officials to ignore Federal requests for cooperation on the subject of illegal immigrants. Rather than turning them over for processing and possible deportation, they are released into the general public.

That is how a man who has been deported 5 times has now ended up in a Sanctuary City, where officials arrested him, ignored a Federal ICE detainment request, and released him back onto the street, where he then murdered a young woman.

It's both the city's fault and the federal government's fault. For one, the city has an unconstitutional law on the books. For two, the Obama administration has had an inconsistent, at best, approach to immigration. They deport some immigrants, but release others from prison onto the streets. They refuse to send personnel to the Arizona-Mexico border, or to in any way secure it, and then sue Arizona for attempting to do what the Constitution requires Washington to do but which Washington won't do. They allow sanctuary cities to operate without any such lawsuits.

If laws regarding immigration were applied evenly across the board, and actually enforced evenly as well, then none of this would be an issue in the first place.

We have a dysfunctional system where the central government won't do its job, and the States are acting more and more like they did in the 1780s and 1850s-60s, as a confederacy where everyone gets to have their own opinion about what laws are important and which ones aren't.

And it gets the people that the government is sworn to protect, killed.

That is injustice. Deportation is not injustice, it is law. When someone who has been deported 5 times and shouldn't be in the country in the first place murders an innocent pedestrian, THAT is injustice.

I'm just glad I don't live near the border. All I can do is watch and opine. I abhor the feeling of helplessness. But feeling helpless when your family and friends are becoming victims of government corruption that encourages lawlessness in your city and state, that is a deplorable feeling.

~ Rak Chazak

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