Thursday, December 9, 2010

Editorial: Feds butting in on Arizona law again

I have to say I'm getting awfully tired of the unnamed Courier editor's narcissistic childishness around immigration policy, exemplified in today's editorial.

The question of whether federal law trumps state law was decisively settled 145 years ago. But the kindergarten states'-rights argument in the headline is no more than clumsy agitprop.

If the Supreme Court were hearing a suit challenging the constitutional standing of state sanction of gay marriage in Massachusetts, the editor would be first to write in support of it. This happens to be a challenge to legislation he likes, and so out come the swords.

We have to accept that pretty much whenever the states try anything new, court challenge to establish that the new law works with older and higher law is an inevitable and necessary part of the process. Voters and legislators in the states can't just willy-nilly write any law they happen to like. In this way the courts test new laws to make sure they work in context, with the effect of giving them greater credibility when they pass the test.

Given the progress of the suit so far I expect the Supreme Court will uphold Arizona, but that's not nearly as interesting as watching the editor get his briefs in a bunch over nothing. It exposes an acute lack of understanding of the legal process and an emotional attachment to Arizona's anti-immigrant campaign that only confirms what he derides as "the assumption that Arizona is a racist and discriminatory state."

Arizona is people, editor, and a large number of us are indeed racist, including a majority of your legislature and your governor. That's just obvious fact. The courts are there to prevent the reflexive zeal that you exhibit here from running roughshod over our legal system. Where we fairly don't have the final say on a decision, adults deal with it. Children whine. Which are you?

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