Friday, April 23, 2010

Truly a National Shame

Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a cruel and stupid bill that may very well be struck down as unconstitutional even by the currently conservative Supreme Court. As President Obama rightly said today, "failure to act responsibly at the Federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others." In other words, the Administration and Congress need to come up with reasonable and equitable laws to prevent the freaks that live in the nation's woodwork to usurp federal powers and come up with insane laws like the one Gov. Brewer signed today. Amen.

The debate leading up to today's signing ceremony has been accompanies by some of the most insensitive, stupid and racist remarks in memory, such as Rep. Bilbray (R-CA) saying that illegal immigrants can be identified "just by looking at their clothes."

And, as Kos at the Daily Kos says, it will lead to an explosion of lawsuits.

But while Kos anticipates that "that within a year, virtually every town and county in the state will be getting sued by xenophobic teabaggers" (because, as Kos explains, the law "allows residents to sue their municipalities if they believe local cops aren't doing enough to target and jail undocumented immigrants"), I hope that there will be a torrent of lawsuits by Hispanic citizens whose Fourth Amendment rights (against illegal searches) and Fourteenth Amendment rights (equal protection) will undoubtedly be violated when overzealous law enforcement agents ask them for proof of citizenship. In a country where there there is no federal law mandating that individuals are required to provide proof of citizenship, as Mark Evans of notes, it will be interesting to see how Arizona's law enforcement agencies go about trying to enforce an unenforceable law. You know someone royally f***ed things up when Gov. Huckabee is the voice of reason on the right.

For an analysis of the many ways in which Arizona SB-1070 is a gigantic discriminatory cockup, read the ACLU of Arizona's section by section take-down of the bill. (PDF reader required).

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