Perhaps Arizona should get into the medical marijuana business.
The Obama administration claims that its legal challenge to Arizona’s new immigration-enforcement law is motivated entirely by the administration’s strict adherence to the Constitution. (Don’t laugh.)
Arizona’s law is an encroachment on the federal government’s rightful jurisdiction, the administration argues. As Attorney General Eric Holder said, “It is the responsibility of the federal government to decide immigration policy.”
Let’s ignore the obvious rebuttal that the Arizona law actually doesn’t supersede or even contradict federal law, but rather allows local and state law enforcement officers to assist the federal government in upholding its own policies. It isn’t an immigration law, it is an immigration-enforcement law. Let’s instead examine the claim that the Obama administration must act because it cannot tolerate a state asserting authority rightfully reserved for Washington.
In October, the Obama administration responded to the multiplication of medical marijuana laws throughout the fruited plain by abdicating its authority to enforce the federal law that criminalizes the use of marijuana.
“It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana,” Holder said at the time.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs refused to say “what states should do” about medical marijuana.
With multiple states defying Washington’s authority to regulate marijuana use, the Obama administration stepped back, allowing state laws on the medical use of marijuana to become the supreme laws governing that behavior in the country. The Supremacy Clause be damned; Obama was not going to assert Washington’s authority on that issue.
On June 30 of last year, the Obama administration granted California and 13 other states a waiver to set stricter greenhouse gas auto emissions standards than were allowed under federal law. The Bush administration had denied the waiver. Although the EPA press release announcing the decision asserted that it was based on “science,” it was clearly a political move.
Obama was in office less than a week when he ordered the EPA to reconsider the Bush administration’s waiver denial. As the New York Times put it at the time, “The directive makes good on an Obama campaign pledge and signifies a sharp reversal of Bush administration policy. Granting California and the other states the right to regulate tailpipe emissions would be one of the most emphatic actions Mr. Obama could take to quickly put his stamp on environmental policy.”
The Times went on:
While it stops short of flatly ordering the Bush decision reversed, the agency’s regulators are now widely expected to do so after completing a formal review process.
Once they act, automobile manufacturers will quickly have to retool to begin producing and selling cars and trucks that get higher mileage than the national standard, and on a faster phase-in schedule. The auto companies have lobbied hard against the regulations and challenged them in court.
One of the automakers’ arguments against granting the waiver was that it could result in 50 different emissions policies with which manufacturers would have to comply.
“William L. Kovacs, a vice president for environmental and regulatory issues at the United States Chamber of Commerce, said free-for-all federalism was bad for business and would lead to a ‘patchwork of laws impacting a troubled industry,’” the New York Times reported in January of 2009.
That is the same argument Attorney General Eric Holder made against Arizona’s immigration law. He even employed the same word — “patchwork” — Kovacs did.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?