Can a State defy the laws of the Federal Government?

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  1. jackclee lm profile image81
    jackclee lmposted 6 years ago

    Recently, with regard to illegal immigration, Califronia and other states and cites have decided to refuse to enforce federal laws. They have chosen to disobey federal laws and not help ICE in enforcing our immigration laws.
    Is this legal? Are there any precedence on this?
    Where is the Supreme court on this?

    What if another state chose to disobey the federal law regarding equal right for all...?
    Laws are made for everyone.
    It is not a Chinese menu where you can pick and choose which you like to follow...
    It will lead to chaos...
    I hope reasonalbe people can see this for what it is. It is not a race issue but a law and order issue.
    If people don’t agree with the law, the proper way to address it is to elect people to Congress that agree with your point of view and they can change the law. That is democracy at work.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      If immigration laws state that states are required to spend their local resources to enforce federal laws, I'm unaware of it.  I don't think they are actually "violating" anything at all, simply refusing to actively support them.

      Doesn't make it right, though, and ICE is pretty upset that the mayor of Oakland broadcast notice that the raids would be happening.  THAT would seem to fall under "obstruction of justice" and would love to see her charged and punished for interfering in the legal activities of federal agents enforcing the law.

      Saw a report that ICE hit the California By area, with around 80 arrests or so.  Stores are complaining that business is down 50% as the illegals are staying home, afraid  they'll be caught if they come out.  Half the population of San Fran is here illegally??!!  They published a list of many of those caught; child molesters, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, etc.  This is what sanctuary cities are protecting!

      1. jackclee lm profile image81
        jackclee lmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        This is a clear case of what liberals do to confuse a simple black and white issue. They choose to lump illegal immigrants to legal immigrants as if they are one and the same.
        The problem we have in this country is stupidity of some people who falls for this false narrative.

        Even our elected officials do not seem to understand our laws and our Constitution, even some judges.

        The problem we have will illegal immigration will undoubted get worst over time. Soon it may be too late.
        When our country is overrun with illegals, who vote and who attend our schools and use our services like hospitals and welfare and food stamps... we have lost our country.

    2. profile image52
      Setank Setunkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Wow Jack, This question goes way back, way deep, and touches on some things most people find unfamiliar. Our Republic is not founded in Our Constitution but rather on a spirit of cooperation and tolerance that is fading. The Rule of Law cannot work without an ultimate authority and the Constitution does not provide this. States and Local Governments periodically challenge Federal authority and expose this flaw. There is nothing Constitutional  the Federal Government can do. To enforce laws that States and Local Governments are ignoring, extra-Constitutional measures must be taken, and these generate more intolerance and less cooperation.

      1. jackclee lm profile image81
        jackclee lmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I beg to differ. The Constitution is clear. There are certain powers enumerated that belongs to the federal government and the rest is deferred to the State and local governments. The laws the federal government set with regard to immigration should be adopted by the states. Our Republic consists of a representstive government that is elected by the citizens.Those elected congressmen and senators writes the laws. If the people want a different law, they need to elect people to office that agree with their view point. As a state, you can’t pick and choose which federal laws to abide by.

        1. profile image52
          Setank Setunkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          I agree that Our immigration laws should be obeyed, but without supreme authority clearly delegated to one entity or the other who can do anything about it.

          1. jackclee lm profile image81
            jackclee lmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            The law is quite clear. As always, we have something called prosecutorial discretion. Our law enforcement personnel use this to pick and choose which person to indict for crimes based on priority and prior history. Our courts are also setup so that plea bargain is used to reduce case loads...
            That said, immigration in under the jurisdiction of the federal government and the executive branch. That means ICE...States who does not follow the law or cooperate with ICE are breaking the law. They can and should be held accountable when someone is harmed as a result. The Kate Steinle case is one prime examp,e but there are many others...where is justice for those family members who are citizens of the US.

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              "States who does not follow the law or cooperate with ICE are breaking the law."

              Are you sure about that?  It would certainly seem that there would be some sheriff's in jail themselves now were that the case.

              1. jackclee lm profile image81
                jackclee lmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                I am sure. Whether they choose to prosecute is another story.
                It is the same with our border control.
                It is against the law to sneak in over our borders.
                Yet, there are millions coming each year. We, for political reasons, choose not to enforce the law, or just pay lip service.
                That is the current state of affairs and it won’t change until we are serious about enforcement and that includes building a physical wall...

                1. profile image52
                  Setank Setunkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  The Supreme Court avoids the "Supremacy Clause" like a plague. However, they do routinely rule against the Federal Governments right to compel other agencies to comply with Federal Law.
                  Hamilton and Jefferson elaborated on the issue of Federal Supremacy and the purpose of the clause. Laws not pursuant to the Constitution, which means not a specific authority granted to the Federal government, are Null and Void: Magically I guess, as no other entity is given the authority to null and void them. The Supreme Court sees the Constitution as a conundrum and  frequently rules against enforcement but not constitutionality as it pertains to Federal Supremacy.
                  The Founding Fathers absolutely intended immigration to be the exclusive province of the Federal Government but compelling compliance from other entities is the challenge.

                  1. jackclee lm profile image81
                    jackclee lmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                    Very good insight. Then how do you explain the right to abortion? The supreme court ruled on this back in 1973... what is there to stop an individual state from disobeying that statute?
                    You can make the same argument with a whole bunch of laws...
                    I personally think some laws should apply to the whole country but most laws should be decided by each state. For example, minimum wage laws...

                  2. GA Anderson profile image89
                    GA Andersonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                    Hello Setank Setunk,

                    I think you have taken the right perspective in addressing this as a "Supremacy clause" issue, but a couple things seem a bit different from  my understanding, unless I am just confused about the context of your point.

                    First, although there have only been a few Supremacy-issue court cases in the twentieth century, there were several Court decisions  in the preceding years. The look-around that I did certainly didn't leave me with the impression that the court shied from such cases. Nor did I find that they regularly ruled against the Federal government.

                    However, that may just be a difference of perspectives, and isn't really important to the more pertinent points in your comment; negation authority and compliance enforcement.

                    My view is that the "magical" entity you mentioned is our Court. It has the power to "null and void" a state law, (as well as Federal), and offers the judicial authority needed for further compliance efforts. Even to the extreme efforts, (no matter how distasteful), we saw with the Federal use of the National Guard to force compliance with a Court decision.


    3. Ivan Tod profile image59
      Ivan Todposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      "Laws are made for everyone. "

      There are laws that "APPLY" to everyone. If you are here illegally then the only laws that apply to you demand your apprehension and deportation. Any state with policies or laws that stand in the way of such applicable federal action is in fact committing a crime. We have recourse against any act of the government called, as you stated, "elections". If you don't like what your elected officials are doing you have the opportunity to vote them out of office. What california is doing by interfering in the apprehension of illegal immigrants in that state is illegal and dangerous. I don't know what the federal government can legally do about it but I'm sure there is something in the Constitution they can use. It's a dangerous world we currently live in and the old "“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”  was fine when the population was under 65 million and assimilating legal immigrants was fairly easy. Now, at over 300 million, and many being illegal immigrants, that is no longer the case. Society evolves according to the environment and todays immigration environment is dictating change one way or another: either America tightens immigration control, like the federal government is trying to do, or it prepares for a population explosion of people immediately needing food, shelter, work etc..which will fall on the shoulders of the states. Sometimes people can't see the forest for the trees (An expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a

  2. psycheskinner profile image84
    psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

    States do break federal laws all the time.  For example legalizing marijuana and not recognizing psychiatric service dogs--two of hundreds of examples.

  3. paradigmsearch profile image59
    paradigmsearchposted 6 years ago

    I just thought I'd toss this in:

    Constitution of United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992)
    10th Amendment
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    As to its interpretation, I shall leave that to others. big_smile

  4. paradigmsearch profile image59
    paradigmsearchposted 6 years ago

    A guy walks up to the customs agent.

    "What is the purpose of your visit?" asks the agent.

    "To live the American dream," says the traveler.

    The agent pauses. "We don't do that anymore."


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