SAN DIEGO: With all the talk about Sanctuary Cities and states, tensions over the laws of state and federal government are once again being discussed. With the 2018 midterm and gubernatorial elections in the wings, there is much debate over an elected official’s obligation to enforce the law. At the heart of the debate are rogue politicians who ignore laws for their political agenda. Gavin Newsom, currently running for Governor of California, is not new to flaunting the law of the land, state or federal.
Gavin Newsom’s agenda: San Francisco and Gay Marriage
Back in 2004, at the time Newsom was the mayor of San Francisco, he issued marriage licenses to some 4,000 same-sex couples. Knowing that this was not in keeping with the current laws of California, his response was “Whether you like it or not.”
Newsom was showing contempt for the current laws of California, restricting marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This law was the result of Proposition 22, demonstrating the majority will of California’s citizens.
Unfortunately, for rogue politicians none of this matters.
California Supreme Court and Gay Marriage
It did not matter to the California Supreme Court either. While the court initially ordered a halt to same-sex marriage licenses, the matter was revisited as a result of a lawsuit challenging Prop 22. The law was struck down as incompatible with California’s constitution.
To fix that problem, Proposition 8 (2008) amended California’s constitution to say that marriage is an act between a man and a woman. Now the law was constitutional. You can’t be more constitutional than being an amendment to a constitution! A federal court still didn’t agree. They struck the law down again, this time claiming that even an amendment in a constitution is “unconstitutional” if it violates our federal constitution.
Proposition 8 went to the U.S. Supreme Court and the law (along with similar laws in most states) was overturned. One could easily argue that the courts (including the Supreme Court) were never meant to have that much power and that the original law was unconstitutionally ignored.
California laws versus federal laws and sanctuary cities
However, those who want to claim that California’s state rights regarding same-sex marriage must be laid aside for what they now consider to be federal law, are now going to have a difficult time endorsing sanctuary states.
Our constitution makes it clear that only our U.S. Congress can make laws about who is or is not here legally.
Even if one wants to make the claim that state law enforcement is not obligated to do the job of federal law enforcement, the current sanctuary state law prohibits local law enforcement from cooperating with the federal government.
Not being obligated is one thing. Not being allowed to cooperate is another matter altogether.
It violates U.S. Code 1373, which makes it illegal to prohibit any local authority from “exchanging such information with any other Federal, State or local government entity.”
Returning to Gavin Newsom’s agenda
Once again, this does not seem to matter to Gavin Newsom.
While he may be grateful that the federal government intervened against Proposition 8, his current behavior seems confused about the relationship between Washington D.C. and California:
“Let me be clear, @realDonaldTrump: California is a sanctuary state. We believe in the power of diversity. We have defied and resisted the xenophobic, hateful policies of your administration at every turn. We will do it again.”
As you can see, the idea of upholding “the law of the land” has become quite fluid, especially for politicians and justices who seem to think they know better than the vast majority, a majority which still tries (in vain at times) to view America as a democratic republic.
This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.
The Los Angeles Times contributed to the hard news portions of this article.
About the author:
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and a regular CommDigiNew columnist. His novel “The Dangerous Christmas Ornament” is a 2017 “Distinguished Favorite” of the Independent Press Award and the New York City Big Book Award. About Read lists this book as one of the Top 30 Recommended Action Adventure Books for 11-Year-Olds!