by Gary Fouse
If anybody needed further proof that California (where I reside) is a renegade state, the past few days have left no doubt. Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf foolishly left herself open to federal charges when she publicly announced that ICE agents were about to launch raids in the Bay area. Then former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) condemned the raids, which netted almost 200 criminals and others who had either been deported and returned or had ignored orders to leave the country. She said they were "unjust and cruel". On the contrary, thanks to Mayor Schaaf, many criminals escaped the net.
While Pelosi is free to mouth her goofy comments and confuse real immigrants with those who are here illegally, Schaaf has committed a clear and documented crime for which she should be punished. She has aided and abetted the ability of illegal aliens to escape the rightful exercise of ICE agents in apprehending them. What better opportunity for the Justice Department (which under Obama was complicit as well) to destroy California's claim to be a sanctuary state for people who cross our borders without bothering to sign the guest book? The 10th Amendment allows the states to have their own laws as long as they don't contravene federal law. In case of conflict, federal law trumps every time (no pun intended). The same is true of California's misguided cannabis legalization. Marijuana is against federal law (Title 21 USC). While you won'r see DEA (my previous employer) busting potheads, they are certainly entitled to take down growing operations and those who sell the product commercially. Under the Obama Justice Department, they were undoubtedly ordered to turn a blind eye. I suspect they are now waiting for a good test case to crack down on.
Of course, in both cases, even though federal agencies can enforce the laws in California, they are going to have to deal with the ultra-liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and in the case of Ms Schaaf, no doubt a San Francisco jury. True, Judge William Orrick III (an Obama appointee) of the Northern District of California has affirmed the right of the feds to withhold grants to California over the sanctuary issue (his ruling largely based on the small size of the particular grant), but it's only one battle.
The Justice Department should not be deterred by the fact that they will have to fight this (sanctuary) battle in hostile territory. Ultimately, the US Supreme Court will hear this matter, and the law is plainly not on California's side. The mayor of Oakland has opened the door, and the Justice Department should move to prosecute her. Even if a San Francisco jury acquits her in an act of jury nullification, the country will sit up and take notice.