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Apr 27 2010

C.M. Phippen

From coast to coast, the furor is brewing over the state of Arizona experimenting with policies to attempt to protect its citizens by minimizing the number of illegal aliens within its own borders.

After years of lack of federal action and increasing crime by illegals, Arizonans are fed up. Phoenix is now the kidnapping capital of America; worldwide only second to Mexico City. Ranchers are being harassed and threatened, and one was recently killed by a man authorities believe to be a scout for a drug cartel.

The state has approximately 500,000 illegal immigrants, many of whom come to this country just looking for a way to feed their families. We allow a limited number of them to do this, based upon the needs of our citizens.

Arizona has an unemployment rate of around 9% for citizens. Recently, 300 workers at Pro’s Ranch Markets in AZ were let go when they were found to be working illegally. Now, many hardworking Arizonans among those 9% who also want to feed their families, will be able to find a job.

Liberals don’t seem to care nearly as much about the rights of the law-abiding citizens as the non-citizen lawbreakers, but I think I do have a solution to bring them in on this one – include in the bill the power of authorities to randomly stop anyone suspected of being a US citizen and require them to provide proof of federally-approved health insurance coverage. Sound about right?


Oct 20 2009

States’ Rights and the Obama Administration

C.M. Phippen

The Justice Department has announced that it will not pursue prosecutions against the users of medical-marijuana if they are acting in accordance with state law.  This is a fundamental triumph for states’ rights, and refreshing to see it coming from the Obama administration.

The Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. ”

There has been an historic struggle between state sovereignty and a federal government intent on amassing ever-broader power. Occasionally states have refused to adhere to laws passed by the federal government which they felt were outside the scope of federal authority. Because there have been so many intrusions on states rights, we’ve become in many ways immune to them.

Here’s one example, from Hans Bader at Open Market:

The Supreme Court ruled in Wickard v. Filburn (1942) that even home gardens (in that case, a farmer’s growing wheat for his own consumption) are subject to federal laws that regulate interstate commerce. Economists and scholars have criticized this decision, but it continues to be cited and followed in Supreme Court rulings, such as those applying federal anti-drug laws to consumption of even home-grown medical marijuana. Indeed, many court decisions allow Congress to define as “interstate commerce” even non-commercial conduct that doesn’t cross state lines…

Unprecedented recent threats to states’ rights have many governors and state legislators finally willing to stand up and oppose this federal intrusion. In the State of Montana, a law was recently passed which declared sovereignty for the regulation of firearms made and used within that state. A number of other states are considering similar laws.

This is certainly not a partisan issue. The RealID Act of 2005 has never been implemented and probably never will, as nearly half the states have nullified it with their own legislation, thus forcing the federal government to repeatedly extend the deadline for compliance.

Quite a few states, preparing for what they feel is an inevitable federal health care program that nobody wants (not even the Congressmen supporting it, as they’ve included exemptions for themselves), have begun considering legislation that would nullify the plan within their own borders.

Arizona will have a proposal on the ballot in 2010 which would override any law requiring participation in a particular health care system, prohibit fines or penalties for those choosing to purchase health care directly, and would disallow federal prohibition of the sale of private insurance in the state. Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wyoming are all considering similar initiatives.

Let’s hope this administration is as supportive of states’ rights when the issue being championed is more about economic freedom than about getting high.