Those of us who support and defend states' rights and the Tenth Amendment got some good news earlier this month when a federal judge ruled in favor of the state of Arizona in a case involving the state's crackdown on illegal immigration.
Let's review the Tenth Amendment one more time: "The powers not delegated to the United States (federal government) by the Constitution . . . are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people." President Obama's ultra-liberal Attorney General, Eric Holder, seems to have difficulty understanding this important section of our Constitution, however, as he continues to sue states that disagree with him on illegal immigration and/or voter ID requirements.
In the recent Arizona case, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton denied a request for a further injunction against Section 2B of the Arizona immigration law, SB-1070, which requires law enforcement officers to check the legal status of people detained during investigations of possible crimes, including traffic stops. This is known as the "show me your papers" provision of the Arizona law.
"After more than two years of legal challenges, it's time that Section 2B of SB-1070 takes effect," said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. "It's clear that the day of implementation is fast approaching." I applaud Gov. Brewer and our neighboring state for refusing to back down in the face of federal opposition to state law. A similar principle is involved in Nevada's steadfast opposition to federal attempts to turn the Silver State into the nation's nuclear waste dump. When the Feds and their misguided friends try to strongarm our state, we should send them packing.
Of course illegal immigration advocates spoke out against Judge Bolton's ruling. "If we find that the law . . . violates the Constitution in any fashion, we'll be back in court," said Karen Tumlin of the National Immigration Law Center.
Holder has also sued states that attempt to tighten-up voter ID requirements, including asking voters for photo ID. If delegates to the recent Democrat National Convention had to show photo ID and if we have to show photo ID at the Carson City landfill, what's the problem with requiring photo ID at the polls? It's a reasonable requirement and Holder should drop his campaign against states that try to prevent voter fraud. We remember how ACORN attempted to register unqualified voters in Nevada four years ago. Never again!
Meanwhile, in a related case, the Feds finally gave up on their unrelenting efforts to put a halt to Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tough approach to law enforcement and illegal immigration. "America's Toughest Sheriff" had refused to back down in the face of ongoing threats from Holder and his minions.
After years of squabbling, the Justice Department finally announced that it wouldn't pursue criminal charges against Sheriff Joe or his officers, nor would it prosecute alleged instances of misuse of county credit cards or jail enhancement funds. "If I did something wrong there would be indictments floating all over the place," Arpaio said. The Feds hate him but local voters love him. You go, Joe!
• Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal's senior political columnist.