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Bloggings: Has Romney disavowed Kris Kobach of Kansas? Will the Supreme Court disavow federal control over immigration, using the Obama administration's "disavowal" of Prosecutorial Discretion as a pretext? By Roger Algase

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According to an April 18 Article in the Huffington Post, Mitt Romney may have "disavowed" Kris Kobach of Kansas, the Secretary of State who wrote Arizona's racist Wo sind Ihre Papiere? ("Papers, please") immigration law and has supported similar draconian laws in other states, as well as strict voter ID laws in his own and other states intended to make it harder for minority US citizens to vote. During the primary, Romney openly welcomed Kobach's support, but now may have broken with him over the DREAM Act, which Romney may now be about to support, as long as it is a "Republican version" along lines suggested by Florida Senator Marco Rubio (i.e. almost indistinguishable from the Democratic version, which only 3 Senate Republicans voted for).


According to the HP, Romney's campaign is now describing Kobach as a "supporter", but not "advisor" to his campaign. As the November election comes closer, we can no doubt look forward to many more shifts, backtracks, variations, permutations, and clarifications, a/k/a flip-flops on immigration from "Slippery Willy" (as Willard Mitt Romney may one day come to be known, inheriting the mantle of "Tricky Dick" Nixon), while Romney seeks the impossible goal of attracting votes from both Hispanics and white supremacist bigots. The only prediction that can be made with a high degree of certainty is that by the time the election comes around, there will be no possible position on the immigration issue, or combination of positions, no matter how incompatible with each other, which Romney will not have supported.


Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral argument this week on the Constitutionality of Arizona's Wo sind Ihre Papiere ("Papers, Please") anti-immigrant hate law. The pretext for upholding the legitimacy of this law is that it "complements" federal immigration enforcement, as states are allowed to do according to Federal Immigration Law. However, it is clear beyond any possible doubt that this law, and its counterparts in other states, are diametrically opposed to federal enforcement policies.


For one thing, Arizona and the other state laws have adopted "attrition", or what Romney has called "self-deportation", i.e. making life into a living hell for unauthorized immigrants and their families, as official public policy. But the federal government has adopted an opposite approach, namely Prosecutorial Discretion, at least in theory, though as my colleague and fellow-blogger Matt Kolken has pointed out, not in practice. Possibly, the fact that the federal government has not in fact used Prosecutorial Discretion to close deportation proceedings administratively in more than a tiny fraction of cases may be seized on by the right wing Supreme Court majority as a pretext for holding that there is no conflict between Arizona's anti-Hispanic racial profiling law and federal immigration law. This week's argument may provide some more insights on this point.

Submit "Bloggings: Has Romney disavowed Kris Kobach of Kansas? Will the Supreme Court disavow federal control over immigration, using the Obama administration's Submit "Bloggings: Has Romney disavowed Kris Kobach of Kansas? Will the Supreme Court disavow federal control over immigration, using the Obama administration's Submit "Bloggings: Has Romney disavowed Kris Kobach of Kansas? Will the Supreme Court disavow federal control over immigration, using the Obama administration's Submit "Bloggings: Has Romney disavowed Kris Kobach of Kansas? Will the Supreme Court disavow federal control over immigration, using the Obama administration's Submit "Bloggings: Has Romney disavowed Kris Kobach of Kansas? Will the Supreme Court disavow federal control over immigration, using the Obama administration's Submit "Bloggings: Has Romney disavowed Kris Kobach of Kansas? Will the Supreme Court disavow federal control over immigration, using the Obama administration's Submit "Bloggings: Has Romney disavowed Kris Kobach of Kansas? Will the Supreme Court disavow federal control over immigration, using the Obama administration's

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Comments

  1. Roger Algase's Avatar
    I apologize for some typographical spelling mistakes in the version of the above post which appeared in the ID issue of April 23. I tried to correct them in time, but was evidently not able to do before that issue was published.

  2. Judy Koster's Avatar
    This is a Sup. Ct. that has tossed out the legal Principle of stare decisis. In prior courts, appointed conservative Justices would render decisions with that principle in mind. This gang? That is why I honestly believe that once they redefined the 2nd Ammendment, transforming it into 2 independent clauses, I have not a hint of faith that they will rule in favor of Sates of Federal Govt. on the issue of Pre-emption. Had the Congress passed CIR, we might never have been faced with this today.
  3. Judy Koster's Avatar
    Typos? I got plenty. Sorry, The penultimate sentence should read ......in favor of the Federal Govt. over the States on the.....
  4. Roger Algase's Avatar
    I totally agree with Judy Koster. Her point about how the Supreme Court majority split up the 2nd Amendment into two equal clauses, instead of the single clause that the drafters wrote, is well taken. The majority also ignored the clear meaning of a key word in the 2nd Amendment which had been agreed upon and accepted for over 2,000 years, ever since Julius Caesar used it.

    The term "bear arms" comes from the Latin "arma ferre". Julius Caesar uses this term in his "Gallic Wars" (a book which no beginning Latin student could escape having to read when I studied that language in high school almost 60 years ago). As used by Caesar, the term refers specifically to weapons possessed by soldiers in the various armies or militias involved in a war.

    Lewis' Elementary Latin Dictionary gives numerous examples from other classical writers of the word "arma" ("arms") being used as a synonym for "war". The most famous example of this of all, of course, is in Virgil's opening words of the Aeneid: "Arma virumque cano". Many translators of this immortal epic render these words as "I sing of war and the man", not the better known (but arguably less accurate) "I sing of arms and the man".

    I do not know of any translator of Virgil's poem who has started off with: "I sing of weapons for private use and the man". Were the framers of the 2nd amendment ignorant of the writings of the great Latin authors such as Caesar and Virgil? Not very likely. There was probably not a single one who did not know Latin well.

    In contrast, the current Supreme Court majority is made up of Justices who either do not know Latin or do not care about Latin origins, which can so often crucial for understanding the real meanings of English words even in the 21st Century, let alone the 18th or early 19th centuries. which the "originalist" justices on the Court claim to care about so much.

    Admittedly, this still leaves open the phrase "keep arms". I do not claim to know the Latin origin of that phrase but I would be very surprised indeed if it had no relation to war.


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