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Law And Order

It's been an interesting few weeks in the news, and several stories caught my attention as blog-worthy. Some of them I blogged about, some I didn't, but I found myself noting a common theme.

In no particular order:


Now, in each of these cases, there are existing laws that address these situations. And in each of those cases, those laws are being ignored.

I'm often accused of being a bit of a law and order fetishist, and I don't mind that title. Because I see my position as eminently reasonable: we have laws for reasons. And we should, generally, obey those laws.

When we feel the need to disobey the law, there are several ways I consider acceptable means of doing so.

1) Deliberately, publicly break the law to put it to the test as a challenge.

B) Work to change, repeal, or otherwise overturn the law.

III) Break the law, but at least have the decency to not be proud of it and accept the consequences should you be caught.

In the first two cases, we have the example of the Civil Rights movement -- which worked. And in the third case, we have examples such as my own attitude towards speed limit laws -- I routinely break them, like most people, but I would never get indignant and defensive if I was pulled over and cited for speeding (not yet, knock on wood).

Or let's take seat belt laws. New Hampshire doesn't have one for adults, but Massachusetts does. I knew someone who routinely mocked New Hampshire for that discrepancy and boasted about how Massachusetts was superior in that regard. She got most upset when I pointed out that she refused to wear a seat belt herself while driving, but only wore one when I was driving -- and in my vehicle.

The common thread in the above articles: a leftist inclination to ignore laws they don't like.

The constitutionality and wisdom of the War Powers Act are certainly debatable, but it is the existing law of the land. Prior to President Obama, every single president had declared they did not accept its validity and authority -- but at least made a gesture in compliance with it. Not Obama -- he just declared "it doesn't count here."

Passing a budget is, arguably, the most fundamental duty of Congress. It allows and authorizes literally everything the government does. But under the Democrats, they simply chose not to do so -- so they could avoid the consequences of passing an unpopular budget.

The law on illegal aliens is clear -- what part of "illegal" is so hard to understand? Their very presence is a proclamation that they have broken the law regarding immigration, either by crossing the border without permission or overstaying that permission. But we pretend that it isn't really "illegal," but just "unauthorized," and we ignore the standing laws because some people don't like them.

The Constitution is clear: a bill cannot become law without the president's signature. (Let's ignore the whole veto/override thing.) Prior presidents have expressed their approval for laws by affixing their signature, with their own hand, on the actual legislation.

In that last case, it might seem insignificant. He clearly expressed his approval of the law, and no one is going to argue (well, seriously) that the Autopen gadget might go rogue and start signing things willy-nilly. (When it comes to inanimate objects waging insurrection against the Commander In Chief, there's far more danger of that from the TelePrompter.) But prior presidents avoided such situations, and there were alternatives available -- an electronic copy of the bill could have been sent and printed out for him to sign, for example.

But it's part and parcel of the whole set of events. An unwillingness to accept the fact that there are laws, and those laws -- or, for that matter, no laws -- should simply be ignored when they prove inconvenient. As I noted, we have several ways to deal with bad our outdated laws.

Pretending they don't exist is not one of them.

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Comments (34)

I agree with all of your th... (Below threshold)
Chico:

I agree with all of your thoughts on the examples except the California one.

If California wants to withhold information from the federal government, that is their right under the Tenth Amendment and probably other amendments, too. There is no part of the Constitution that I know of that requires States to provide arrest information to the federal government.

I applaud your support of the law, I trust you objected to Bush's violations of FISA and the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments in the Padilla case, and his continual funding of the wars through supplemental appropriations rather than through the budget, too. Not to mention the federal laws against torture.

...and once again Chico pla... (Below threshold)

...and once again Chico plays the "look over there!" game.

Folks, I already looked over there, and as usual Chico's trying to import his delusions from his alternate universe. Don't bother looking.

J.

JT, are you so weak that yo... (Below threshold)
Chico:

JT, are you so weak that you can't substantively reply to my point on the California law and the Tenth Amendment, if nothing else?

Chico - Federal law superse... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Chico - Federal law supersedes state law...dumbass.

Chico - Federal law supe... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Chico - Federal law supersedes state law...dumbass.

Ummm no, the federal government has limited powers to pass laws in interstate commerce, foreign affairs, maritime issues, and the military.

The rest is reserved to the states. Dumbass.

Chico"Ummm no, the... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico

"Ummm no, the federal government has limited powers to pass laws in interstate commerce, foreign affairs, maritime issues, and the military"

Yeah limited interstate commerce by requireing eveyrong to buy Obamacare.

Limited as in totally ignoring immigration laws.

Limited as in totally ignoring 100 years of contract law when dealing with the GM bankruptcy and totally screwing over folks who has priority on the funds, instead the union got the red meat and the preferred shareholders got scraps if that.

Limited as in suing states for tryiong to enforce federal immigration law. You konw like when states go after bank robbers and felons who also violate federal law.

And since you want to talk about legal. The enhanced interrogation was ruled legal by the justice department. But keep on the torture mime. It is all you have to hang your hat on.


It's an index of how truly ... (Below threshold)
Chico:

It's an index of how truly un-conservative and authoritarian this blog is that I have to argue with you all about a federal law that requires all arrest information from local authorities be turned over to a central federal database.

What would George Washington, Tom Jefferson and John Adams think?

The Tenth Amendment:

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.

And chico how about Obama t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

And chico how about Obama totally ignoring campaign finance law. Hey log into the Obama campaign and donate $5 using your credit card. Instead of your name use Osama Bin Laden and for country put down Iran. THen give your credit card number. See if it goes through like it did in 2008.

Ummm no, the feder... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
Ummm no, the federal government has limited powers to pass laws in interstate commerce, foreign affairs, maritime issues, and the military.

The rest is reserved to the states. Dumbass.

Not quite. From the US Constitution:

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

That was from the section of the constitution describing the limitations on Congress. And, up until 1808, Congress was precluded from limiting the states from bringing in whoever they wanted, including their own jailed criminals, if that's what they wanted.

However, it now being past the 1808 cutoff date, Congress does have the authority to regulate the migration of people into the USA.

Dumbass.

Laws only count when the pe... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Laws only count when the person violating them is a conservative. When Democrats violate the law it's called "nuance".

Well, retired, Obamacare is... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Well, retired, Obamacare is of doubtful constitutionality in my opinion, but at least they are trying to get it in under the Commerce clause.

Making states submit arrest data, WTF is that?

And, the Justice Department can't "rule" anything "legal." That's for courts to decide.

I don't give a shit about GM except we need some kind of industrial base to make arms when the Chinese attack. You right-wing whiners would rather all of American industry go tits up.

So Chico when Obama totall... (Below threshold)
retired military:

So Chico when Obama totally ignores the law than it doesnt really matter now does it.

ref GM - I am sure that the preferred stockholders who lost their money thanks to Obama giving stuff to his union buddies have a different viewpoint than you on the matter. But it doesnt matter to you since it doesnt affect you right

BTW How about when the Obama justice dept totally ignores civil right violations when the violators are African American.

And since you are such a big state rights advocate than you are totally for overturning Roe V Wade which will turn abortion back over to the states to decide since abortion isnt specifically covered in the constitution. Is that a fair statement regarding your stance on abortion?

By the way, JT didn't tell ... (Below threshold)
Chico:

By the way, JT didn't tell you that this federal law about the submission of arrest data to the federal government by local police is an Obama law.

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Oh yeah, it's clear to me that clause mandates the creation of a federal database for all state and local arrest information.

you are totally for over... (Below threshold)
Chico:

you are totally for overturning Roe V Wade which will turn abortion back over to the states to decide since abortion isnt specifically covered in the constitution. Is that a fair statement regarding your stance on abortion?

Yes, it is. Roe v. Wade was a ridiculous decision.

Retired, YOU are the master at taking things off-topic.

ChicoIt seems the ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico

It seems the whole illegal immigration bit has you in an uproar. ANy personal reasons why.

Taking things off topic. Y... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Taking things off topic. You are the one preaching states right Chico. Roe V Wade is a classic states rights case. If anyting I am only following your lead.

Typical liberal thought pat... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Typical liberal thought pattern.

in comment number 1 Chico metnions the 10th admendment. THen in comment number 7 he quotes it.

When I respond with the classic example of liberals only caring about the constitution when it suits them by asking about the penultimate states right case and Chico states that I am taking things off topic.

It seems the whole illeg... (Below threshold)
Chico:

It seems the whole illegal immigration bit has you in an uproar. ANy personal reasons why.

Other than employment of my pumpkin pickers and my housemaid Conchita? No.

So chico since the law affe... (Below threshold)
retired military:

So chico since the law affects you than you have a problem with it. Typical liberal response.

retired, Yes, I wo... (Below threshold)
Chico:

retired,

Yes, I would not like to see my housemaid Conchita arrested for driving without a license and then deported because of a federal database. She's supporting three kids, two if you don't count the child support I give her under the table like Arnold does. She does a great job cleaning my house, especially when she bends over to clean under the couch.

Actually, John Adams was go... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Actually, John Adams was going to suspend freedom of speech when it was being used to put down the governments policies.

Obama is similar to Nixon. If the president does it, it's legal. Well, we saw how that turned out. ww

Law And Order<br /... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

Law And Order


Barry prefers Fiat and Decree..

Obama is similar to Nixo... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Obama is similar to Nixon. If the president does it, it's legal. Well, we saw how that turned out.

Does that mean you're in favor of the Obama law requiring states to turn over arrest information or against it? Are you with the federal government or with California?

Sigh. I see I'm going to ha... (Below threshold)

Sigh. I see I'm going to have to beat Chico over the head with the fundamental point here.

If California doesn't like the federal law, then they need to challenge or change it, not just ignore it.

Which was, you know, the entire point of my article.

Which is why Chico missed it. He's very good at that.

J.

Jay TeaLiberals al... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jay Tea

Liberals always seem to ignore laws that they dont want to obey.

As far as I am concerned I dont have a problem with a database for criminals offenders.

I am just curious why Chico is so dead set against it since Obama has shown that he has no problem with ignoring the law regarding immigration anyway. It isnt like he is going to do anything to the illegal immigrants that Calif has arrested. Oh wait maybe the next president will actually obey the law and do something about it. I get it now.

@Jay"The Constitut... (Below threshold)
sam:

@Jay

"The Constitution is clear: a bill cannot become law without the president's signature. (Let's ignore the whole veto/override thing.) Prior presidents have expressed their approval for laws by affixing their signature, with their own hand, on the actual legislation. "

However,

In 2005, President George W. Bush was told by his Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice that he could use an autopen given “the legal understanding of the word ‘sign’ at the time the Constitution was drafted and ratified and during the early years of the Republic. We find that, pursuant to this understanding, a person may sign a document by directing that his signature be affixed to it by another." [http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/05/robama-is-it-ok-for-a-president-to-autopen-a-bill-into-law.html-- see link above for pdf of OLC opinion.]

See the Calif is a case whe... (Below threshold)
retired military:

See the Calif is a case where it is obvious how liberals states get treated by Obama vs conservative states.

In Texas they were about to pass a law against the TSA gropings. Obama was going to shut down airports allowing planes originating from Tx to land there.

Calif refuses to send in fingerprints and Obama doesn nothing. Why isnt Obama withholding all federal funds from Calif prisons until they comply?

And since it is pretty obvious that these guys arent in jail for immigration violations why would Chico and other liberals be so dead set against their fingerprints being sent to a federal database.

I think Obama just wants to use the information to increase the voter rolls anyway.

Wow. I take a few days out ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Wow. I take a few days out of town and when I come back, Chico is arguing in favor of states' rights. Cue the Twilight Zone theme.

Chico seems to argue that there has been no valid preemption of the immigration issue by the feds. If there's no valid preemption by the feds, states may continue to have some involvement in the issue. So, Arizona SB 1070 is valid.

She got most upset... (Below threshold)
James H:
She got most upset when I pointed out that she refused to wear a seat belt herself while driving, but only wore one when I was driving -- and in my vehicle.

Note to self: Do not ride in car that Jay Tea is driving.

It's not against the law if... (Below threshold)
Liberals:

It's not against the law if we do it.

I thought I Saw a Presid... (Below threshold)

I thought I Saw a President

I thought I saw a President
Step off the waiting bus,
And climb up to the podium
To give a speech for us.
“It’s not,” he said, “the President.
“It’s Teleprompter Plus.”

I thought I saw a signature,
For there on CNN,
They said the bill was signed to law
Two hours after ten.
“No sir,” he said, “He didn’t sign.
“It was an autopen.”

My ideal cabinet would be h... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

My ideal cabinet would be headed by Bolton Sec. of State, Netanyahu Sec. of Defense, Cain Sec. of Treasury, Bachmann Attorney General, ...

Now, who could we hire to make it so?

The problem here is NOT Oba... (Below threshold)
Oldpuppymax:

The problem here is NOT Obama. We KNOW he is an America hating, Marxist, dictator wanna-be with utter contempt for the law. The problem is Republicans who haven't the GUTS to call him out on it!!!! Mitchie the Kid and little Johnnie Boehner are the REAL problems.

.... I'm often accused of b... (Below threshold)

.... I'm often accused of being a bit of a law and order fetishist, and I don't mind that title. Because I see my position as eminently reasonable ....

Me, too: Nickname among friends?

Black and White Brian.

And I like it!




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