Kudos to the NY Times for publishing an op-ed defending the Arizona immigration law. I say this not because I agree with the law or the piece, but I like it when the Times publishes pieces it clearly disagrees with (see their own editorial opposing the law).
The main point raised by Kris Kobach is that what SB 1070 principally does is give the state law enforcement authorities power to enforce federal laws.
We went through a long civil rights struggle in this country, and the federal courts were and remain very active in forcing states to enforce federal laws. Now we have a case where a state wants to enforce laws that the federal government is lax in enforcing, and people who are usually mad at the states for ignoring federal laws are very upset.
I don’t like anti-immigration laws for several reasons I’ve already mentioned, not the least of which is that I worry about police abusing their powers, but I am intrigued about this notion that the states have to do the fed’s job for them.
Are there other areas of law where we have seen or are likely to see the same trend?