This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to - FOXNews.com, May 18, 2010
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted Monday that she has not read the controversial Arizona immigration law even though she's gone on television to criticize it, and continued to assert that it was "bad law enforcement law."
The admission comes after Attorney General Eric Holder, who earlier warned the law could create a "slippery slope" toward racial profiling, told a House committee last week that he had not read the bill either. On Tuesday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said he too had not read the bill, even as he defended diplomatic official Michael Posner for comparing the law to Chinese human rights violations.
The Arizona policy requires local law enforcement to verify the residency status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant and empowers them to turn anyone who doesn't check out over to federal custody.
The law prohibits officers from solely considering race or nationality in implementing the law, though critics say the law will lead to racial profiling.
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According to ABC News May 26, 2010— (full article available on-line)
A team of Justice Department attorneys has written a recommendation challenging the Arizona immigration law.
The draft recommendation, part of an ongoing Justice Department review, concludes the Arizona legislature exceeded its authority in crafting a law that could impede federal responsibility for enforcing immigration laws.
Some department lawyers are also concerned that the law could lead to abuses based on race.
The review, however, is not yet complete and there are some within the Justice Department who challenge the recommendation's legal analysis. Sources tell ABC News that the ongoing review may take weeks more and that no formal recommendation has been sent to the White House.
Federal vs. state enforcement of immigration violations
US Constitution, Article 1, Section 10
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
US Constitution, Article II Section 3
He(the president) shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
We the People:
What should a state do if the federal government refuses its constitutional responsibilities? It should do everything it legally can do. I see no phrase in the sections above which prohibit this law.
Remember, Obama was a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago law school; and apparently his administration is struggling to find legitimate grounds for a challenge. He is gambling on this Justice Department’s threat. In Saul Alinski’s “Rules for Radicals”, rule number 9 is “the threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself”. However if Obama’s bluff is called and he looses a constitutional suit, his credibility will surely suffer.