This headline is most certainly not clickbait. The path from this point to dissolution of the Union or actual armed conflict between California authorities and federal authorities is not hard to map. Whether it happens depends largely on the actions of California.
Right now, California is the first and only state to pass a law making itself a “sanctuary state” where it forbids all state and local law enforcement officers — oddly named at this point — from cooperating with federal officials seeking to deport people who came to this country illegally. However, as California’s dangerous wantonness has not come with immediate costs, other states are considering the same move.
Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions is marshalling the forces of the Department of Justice to sue California over its lawlessness in the same way that Obama’s DOJ sued Arizona for trying to uphold border law. It inevitably had to come to this.
In a speech announcing the action, Sessions took aim at both the awful policies and individual politicians, such as Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Democrat, who publicly warned illegal immigrants in her city last month about an impending raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents: “How dare you? How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open-borders agenda?”
Calling on vast reserves of disingenuity, the Washington Post called Sessions a states’ rights hypocrite while pretending to write a news story, by referring to invisible and unnamed “observers” and finding some yahoo at Sam Houston State to make the reporters’ argument:
“As a Republican senator from Alabama for 20 years, Sessions was known as an advocate for states’ rights. But, as attorney general, observers say, he is making an exception when state policies bump against his conservative agenda.
“As soon as Attorney General Sessions is able to craft federal policy that matches what he believes to be the interest and values of America, he is perfectly fine with strengthening the federal government and overcoming states’ rights,” said Benjamin E. Park, author of “American Nationalisms” and an assistant professor of history at Sam Houston State University. “States’ rights philosophies are always skin-deep and work until you want a strong federal government to support your policies.””
This case is nonsense because states’ rights is a long-time American ideal, tradition and constitutional issue — except in very few cases where there are “enumerated” rights for the federal government. The reporters and the professor may want to consider reading the document.
In Section 1 Article 8 of the Constitution, these enumerated rights are spelled out and include naturalization of citizens and national security, which clearly requires border control. Californian cannot do that as it is a prescribed power of the federal government, which Sessions is supporting. Whereas the federal government has taken on all sorts of rights that are not prescribed for it, which Sessions opposed. See, guys? Read the Constitution.
California is Arizona, except opposite
It is easy to empathize with the plight of Arizona being overrun by illegals crossing the Mexican border and the federal government’s refusal to enforce existing federal law — like, you know, what the president promises to do when he places his hand on the Bible and is sworn into office. But the Supreme Court ruled correctly in favor of the corrupt Holder DOJ in saying that border enforcement is a federal responsibility and a state may not do it. That was a Constitutionally correct ruling, not the political kind we get too much of in the Ninth Circuit Court.
Precisely the same principle applies to California. The state is trying to usurp an area of clearly delineated federal authority in border control, naturalization and national security. Just like in Arizona, they are duty-bound to lose at the Supreme Court — almost assuredly the Ninth will issue a law-free political decision, and then will be overturned.
What’s not clear is what happens next. And this is where things get really dicey.
No one serious worried that Arizona would revolt and threaten dissolution. The state acquiesced to order and law and backed down on enforcement. Will California?
Arizona was trying to enforce federal law and so as expected followed the ruling. California, which is increasingly run by truly radical progressives, was trying to break federal law. Will they follow the ruling of the Supreme Court and eliminate their sanctuary state status? Will they begin cooperating with federal ICE agents and not warn illegals of coming raids?
If you think they obviously will, you have not been paying attention. There are reasonable betting odds that the radicals running the state in Sacramento will simply continue to flout federal law. They will maintain their sanctuary status and they will continue to not cooperate with ICE. Further, probably more will do what the Oakland mayor did and actively work to undermine the efforts of the federal government to enforce federal law by siding with criminals — even very low-level criminals. It’s also not impossible that there are some California radical Democrats who actually want to see the state secede from the Union and the dissolution of the United States.
Dissolution, civil war or new leaders
So if California openly and publicly ignores a Supreme Court ruling, then what do the feds do? How does Washington respond to a rogue State in the Union?
It seems there would be three ultimate options — after exhausting several intermediary attempts to come to a resolution, such as withholding federal funding, which may or may not be found to be legal or effective.
One, the people of California could revolt electorally against the radical leadership and elect new leaders that are a little bit more pro-America, and rational. This is obviously the most desirable outcome. But it seems like a longshot.
The biggest reason for that is that California laws and judicial rulings are putting non-Americans in the voting booth, probably in very large numbers. As we reported in January:
“California is baking into its laws, regulations and governmental attitude the opportunity for literally millions of Mexican nationals and other non-American citizens to be voting in American elections. This has probably already happened at least in some small ways.”
Two, the federal government could do nothing and accept California’s rebellion. That will encourage even more lawlessness on the part of the Sacramento radicals and embolden other liberal states to take similar steps. At that point, we will have anarchy, or a form of Civil War, or the dissolution of the United States.
Three, the federal government could move troops into California to essentially occupy the state and put down the rebellion, preserving the Union.
Seeing what happens beyond that is difficult. Would California National Guard units actually fire on U.S. Army units? Probably not. Very few radicals of this stripe are militarily inclined. But would there be armed insurrection? Probably so. And exactly what role might Mexico play? That they have harbored desires for the dissolution of the United States and return of regions to Mexico is hardly a secret.
California may yet relent, but it does not look likely. And barring that, it’s hard to see how this ends well for anyone, including California, considering the current leadership of California.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.