The Arizona Statute Injunction Ethics Verdict: Judge—Right; Arizona—Right; Federal Government—Unethical

I was waiting at a long line in a local CVS, with no clerk in sight. It was late at night; a couple of my fellow customers actually shouted for assistance. We had been there with no service for more than ten minutes, and not a single employee was in evidence. Finally, I stepped out of line—past a police officer, who was also waiting, grabbed the microphone on the counter, turned it on, and announced in stentorian tones: “There is a long line at the check-out counter! Will a CVS employee please report to the front of the store? Thank you!”

The line of people applauded. The police officer smiled and gave me a thumbs up. The clerk, full of apologies, arrived and began taking our money.

Did I have a legal right to use the microphone? No, I did not. But I still did the right thing, and I would do it again.

This is, I believe, the proper way to think about the federal judge’s decision today to block the key provisions in the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law until further examination by the courts. The law may well be too vague, and there are sound Constitutional reasons not to allow states to take the enforcement of federal statutes into their own hands. The court’s ruling was probably the right one.

But is nonetheless outrageous for the Federal government to refuse to enforce something as important as immigration laws, and to allow millions of illegal immigrants to flood Arizona and other states without making any good faith effort to stop them.  As the victims of this irresponsible breach of duty, Arizona was right to make a strong statement and take assertive action to make sure the government’s inaction was recognized and seen for what it is: cowardice, sloth, incompetence, and political manipulation. The state, in effect, grabbed the microphone.


Imagine, if you will, the reaction from the customers if the sole reaction of the CVS employee who arrived on the scene was to condemn me for appropriating the store’s equipment without permission, file a complaint with the police officer, and then disappear again, leaving the register unmanned. Yet this is precisely what the Obama Administration has done in Arizona. Its conduct is indefensible—politically, logically, and ethically. It has an important responsibility and a job to do, and is not only refusing to do them, but also focusing all its attention on the victims’ of its inaction desperate attempts to do the job of the Federal Government, because the Federal government refuses to do it.

Other than the illegal immigrants themselves, the only unethical party in this scenario is the Obama Administration. Arizona, and Judge Bolton have done the right thing.

8 thoughts on “The Arizona Statute Injunction Ethics Verdict: Judge—Right; Arizona—Right; Federal Government—Unethical

  1. You were right to move things along at the CVS, but I think you’re wrong to characterize the Federal government as refusing to enforce the immigration laws. They’re doing more enforcement that any administration in a long time–fences, increased budget for the Border patrol, National Guard augmentation on the border, strengthened checks at ports of entry.

    Maybe not enough, but refusal? C’mon, Jack.

    • It’s refusal, Bob. The government refuses to enforce provisions requiring businesses to check social security numbers. It continues to take no enforcement action against known illegals when they aren’t outright criminals. 12 million illegals are in limbo, and federal agents don’t check obvious likely offenders—like the day workers who rush my car if I slow down at an intersection about 5 blocks from my house. It’s a refusal that crosses several administrations—it’s not just Obama’s. But his is the one that is in power…and his rhetoric actively and intentionally encourages scofflaws. Federal law could require proof of legal residence to rent a room, hold a job or go to schools—if any do, they aren’t enforced. It’s disingenuous to say that there’s good faith enforcement of a law that is blatantly violated by so many, every day, many time, across the country. How could that possible be so?

  2. When you check into a Hotel/Motel in the US, do you have to show a valid Passport? I did in Europe. Is Europe racist?

  3. I would have suggested to Arizona that it file a counter-claim in the lawsuit, requesting a writ of mandamus to compel the Federal Government to enforce the immigration laws.

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