While the bombastic, loud-mouthed, angry, radio conservative entertainers have been very vocal and enthusiastic in support of Arizona’s new immigration law, some of the more thoughtful conservative commentators say the law is flawed and goes too far.
I heard Mark Levine today and I think he was foaming at the mouth. I thought he was going to blow a casket. He argued we have a right to protect our borders and this new law is the way to go about it. He was very hostile to critics of the law and belittled and attacked David Brooks and Jeb Bush who have been critical of the new law. Several of the other talk show conservative have been equally supportive of the law and critical of the laws critics.
Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard and Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post both disapprove of the bill. Barnes says the bill goes "way too far" and calls it "draconian." Krauthammer agrees with those who argue the bill could create civil rights abuses. David Brooks says the law is "terrible" and "an invitation to abuse."
Jeb Bush, former Florida governor has said, "I think it creates unintended consequences." "It's difficult for me to imagine how you're going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well."
That is nuanced. The police are required to enforce the law but yet still must make some judgment calls. The original police contact has to be “lawful.” I am not sure what a “lawful” police contact means and I am not sure what constitutes “reasonable suspicion.” I’m glad I am not a policeman. I suspect that the first time a Hispanic American citizen is thrown in jail for not having proof of citizenship the law will be challenged and we will find out what the law means.
While the law may not be quite as bad as I thought it was the first time I read it, it still is a transfer of power from the individual to the state. “Reasonable suspicion” following a “lawful contact” is no doubt a less stringent standard than “probable cause.” If it is not, then nothing really changes.
I find it disturbing that so many conservatives are ready to take the side of a lessening of the rights for the individual and a support more power for the state. Conservatives who generally profess love of the constitution and really like the 2nd Amendment and the 12th Amendment don’t seem equally as keen on the 6th Amendment. They don’t care for all that pansy-ass liberal stuff about “right of the people to be secure in their persons” and they don’t like all that stuff about “probably cause.”
And all that talk about “limited government?” Well, conservative want a government that is not powerful enough to force you to purchase health insurance but that doesn’t mean they want a government unable to throw you in jail if you are not carrying proof of citizenship.
Although they risk being labels “RINO,” or attacked as “elitist,” or labeled “inside the beltway,” or members of the "chattering class," I am glad that we have conservatives like Krauthammer, Barnes and Brooks who will do more than just feed people’s anger. I am glad that we have conservatives who will think and analyze. I am glad we have conservatives who will stand by their support of the constitution and stand for less government even when it is not the popular position to take.