One of the signal and fundamental principles of a successful democracy is the rule of law. No one is exempt, it is applied fairly and it refuses the intrusion of politics or selective application of the law. That’s the way it is supposed to be.
Unfortunately that’s not the way it is, at least for the moment.
First indications that the principle had been abandoned is when the Department of Justice, under the Obama administration and at the direction of our supposed chief law enforcement officer Eric Holder, refused to indict or prosecute two Black Panthers who had engaged in blatant voter intimidation at a polling place. The acts of intimidation were caught on video tape. There is no question of the fact that these two individuals were there to turn voters away by threatening them with violence.
The DoJ chose not to prosecute them. Citing the fact that they’d issued an injunction against the two barring them from polling places forever (which they later changed to 2012), they said justice had been done.
Subsequently a DoJ whistle-blower emerged claiming that though not a published policy of the department, the unofficial rule was that any case involving a white plaintiff and black defendant would not be prosecuted. Others have since said the claim is true.
Then we have Arizona. A state that is being virtually inundated by illegal immigration decides after years of pleading with the federal government to enforce its own immigration laws decides to write and enforce their own. In fact, the Arizona law is almost a rewrite of the federal law.
The Department of Justice decides that is a bridge too far, a usurpation of federal power and that Arizona is interfering where it has no right as a state to interfere. The suit alleges that only the federal government has the right to regulate and enforce immigration laws. Of course, ignored in all of this is the state of Rhode Island which has, for years, essentially had and enforced a state law that is almost a mirror of the Arizona law. There is no real difference between the two laws that I can find. The DoJ, however, chooses to selectively assert and apply federal jurisdiction in one state but not the other. Equal application of the law apparently doesn’t apply when a political agenda is in play.
Finally, there are sanctuary cities. These are cities which actively and overtly refuse to be a party to the enforcement of federal immigration laws. In fact, the publicly flout them, refusing to assist federal agencies in the identification or apprehension of illegal immigrants, in many cases even those who have committed crimes. Today, the Washington Times brings us this bit of news:
A week after suing Arizona and arguing that the state's immigration law creates a patchwork of rules, the Obama administration said it will not go after so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with the federal government on immigration enforcement, on the grounds that they are not as bad as a state that "actively interferes."
"There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law," Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., told The Washington Times. "That's what Arizona did in this case."
Of course that’s an incredibly convoluted and sanitized explanation of what declared sanctuary cities have done. If, in fact, any entity is actively “interfering” with the enforcement of federal immigration laws, it is these cities, which refuse cooperation with federal enforcement authorities. What Schmaler is doing, and what many legal experts claim, is willfully misrepresenting both the law in question and the role adopted by sanctuary cities.
If there is a “big difference” to be had here it is the sanctuary city is actively refusing to enforce the law while Arizona is actively attempting to enforce it.
And which is it our chief law enforcement agency decides to sue? Of course, the entity trying to enforce our laws…
While this is a understandably a very volatile and touchy civil and human rights area, the fact remains that the rule of law is fundamental to our existence as a free country. Its equal application and enforcement fulfills the pledge to the citizenry that all men will be treated equally – under the law.
The behavior of the Obama administration’s Department of Justice has badly perverted this promise with selective application and arbitrary enforcement. They have, in a very short time, turned the Department of Justice into the Department of Agendas, injecting an agenda driven politics into an area where it should never, ever be allowed. The result is a perversion of law and the breaking of a centuries old promise in our social contract.
This is both shameful and dangerous.