Enforcing Federal Laws

Federal vs State

I don’t like strategy of individual states introducing, perhaps passing, legislation codifying a crime to enforce federal laws.  The rage right now is, of course, those laws referring to the enforcement of any federal ban or restriction on  gun ownership.

The latest version that I’ve seen is in Texas:

AUSTIN, Texas –  Under a measure advancing in the Texas Capitol, local police officers could be convicted of a crime for enforcing any new federal gun control laws.

Rep. Steve Toth, a newly elected Republican from the Woodlands, said his proposal would prevent officers from carrying out any future federal orders to confiscate assault rifles and ammunition magazines.

Toth’s proposal would create a Class A misdemeanor for police officers enforcing any new federal gun regulations. It also would establish cause for the state attorney general to sue anyone who seeks to enforce new federal gun regulations. It is one of several states-rights measures being offered by conservative state lawmakers nationwide in response to federal gun control proposals.

I think this is a dangerous path to go down.  We can’t have states running around claiming not to enforce federal laws.  The confusion it would create is massive.  Not to mention the continual lurching back and forth as one party or another assumes the role of majority and passes legislation that would enforce said law.

Untenable.

With that said, I have to admit that I feel a bit of “tribal yelp” as I see the states reacting like this.  And I have to work hard to subdue those passions are work to look at the goal objectively.

However, while I don’t think states should willy nilly decide which federal laws they will or will not enforce, it is important to point out that this is in direct response to Obama’s decision to restrict states from enforcing federal laws that HE disagrees with.  Namely, states trying to enforce immigration laws already on the books.  Let’s not forget the battle in Arizona where the Obama administration sued Arizona.

So, while the logical conclusion of this activity is undesirable, that conclusion was set in motion by Obama.

5 responses to “Enforcing Federal Laws

  1. it is important to point out that this is in direct response to Obama’s decision to restrict states from enforcing federal laws that HE disagrees with. Namely, states trying to enforce immigration laws already on the books.

    No. No. No. A hundred times no. This is a direct response to the mere spectre of gun control legislation. It’s been in the works for years, but after Sandy Hook they accelerated. I wrote about this two weeks ago when it became clear that there was an entire movement to pass these absurd laws. Unless you really think that Alaska, Indiana, and Nebraska have huge immigration problems, you cannot possibly say this is a reaction to Obama’s immigration stance.

    This is in no way related to immigration, it’s just a natural extension of the conservative love of secession and thumbing their nose at the federal government when they don’t run it.

    • No. No. No. A hundred times no. This is a direct response to the mere spectre of gun control legislation. It’s been in the works for years, but after Sandy Hook they accelerated. I wrote about this two weeks ago when it became clear that there was an entire movement to pass these absurd laws.

      I think that FFA is just establishing rights. Those laws, after an admittedly *quick* search, don’t codify a crime in the event an officer enforces federal laws.

      With that said, I do acknowledge the craziness that is gun rights and, to an extent, the craziness that is secession.

      But these new laws are different. They explicitly say that it’s a crime to enforce federal laws. And I think these laws are crazy in the exact same way that Obama suing Arizona over enforcement of federal immigration laws is crazy.

      In both cases we have people deciding that they are going to ignore federal law, introduced, debated and passed, simply because they don’t like it.

      Unless you really think that Alaska, Indiana, and Nebraska have huge immigration problems, you cannot possibly say this is a reaction to Obama’s immigration stance.

      There are conservatives in those states that were very angry by Obama suing Arizona.

      This is in no way related to immigration

      Oh, you’re right. It’s related to Obama saying F-you to the states trying to enforce federal laws and now we have states returning the favor.

      • It must have been very quick. Missouri makes it a Class D felony. Alaska makes it a Class B misdemeanor. Louisiana makes it a crime with a $5,000 fine and up to two years imprisonment (hard labor optional). Many of the states are simply declaring that Federal law doesn’t apply, but that would mean that any action taken by a federal officer (for example, arrests, seizures, background checks, etc.) would be an infringement of someone’s civil rights and would expose them to civil penalties. The simple act of saying federal law doesn’t apply brings with it a whole host of consequences beyond the ones spelled out in the acts.

        I’m sure there are many conservatives in those states that are mad about Arizona. But I think it’s absurd to assume that all these firearm statutes are a reprisal for it, especially given that the whole nation is talking about gun control. More importantly, it’s absurd to say Obama started this by challenging Arizona on immigration (which is a clearly federal issue).

        • Missouri makes it a Class D felony. Alaska makes it a Class B misdemeanor. Louisiana makes it a crime with a $5,000 fine and up to two years imprisonment (hard labor optional)

          These are example of bills that have been introduced. I don’t think that they existed before the move to introduce new regulations.

          I find it ironic that Obama prevents states from enforcing federal laws and now states are making it a crime to enforce federal laws.

          Many of the states are simply declaring that Federal law doesn’t apply, but that would mean that any action taken by a federal officer (for example, arrests, seizures, background checks, etc.) would be an infringement of someone’s civil rights and would expose them to civil penalties. The simple act of saying federal law doesn’t apply brings with it a whole host of consequences beyond the ones spelled out in the acts.

          Yeah, I have no idea what that would mean. I suspect that courts will see federal law as having more force than state law so it probably doesn’t mean a thing. Not to mention that I think it needlessly stirs the pot.

          Where I DO object with Obama is when he forbids states from enforcing federal laws that ARE on the books. No one is saying that states can write federal law regarding immigration. What I find out of bounds is that Obama decides he doesn’t wanna enforce these laws and then prevents states from enforcing them too. Like it or not, they’re laws and they at least “Ought” be enforced.

          I think it’s absurd to assume that all these firearm statutes are a reprisal for it, especially given that the whole nation is talking about gun control. More importantly, it’s absurd to say Obama started this by challenging Arizona on immigration

          It’s how they’re gonna justify it. If Obama can prevent states from enforcing federal laws certainly states can direct their own staff to not enforce other federal laws. In that regard, the feds are stuck in the same way that we’re stuck when Obama issues Exec Orders. If state law enforcement is busy, the governors can dictate which case work they prioritize.

          The whole thing is ugly.

  2. President Obama has shown no respect for US law or our Constitution . Or for that matter the American taxpayer . He only understands raw political power . I have doubts that these State laws will matter but , every opportunity to stop President Obama has to be taken .

    I think back to the words of the great Groucho Marx :

    ” I don’t know what they have to say, it makes no difference anyway. Whatever it is, I’m against it. No matter what it is or who commenced it, I’m against it .

    Your proposition may be good but lets have one thing understood- whatever it is , I’m against it ! And even when you’ve changed it, or condensed it, I’m against it .

    I’m opposed to it on general principles, I’m opposed to it ! “

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