I anticipated the defensive responses from supporters of the Alabama Anti-immigration Bill when I wrote “Leftist judges are striking down these Anti-immigration Bills, right?” I figured that lazy labeling (Liberal, leftist, etc.) would soon be applied to the federal judges striking down these laws. Such empty sloganeering had already been employed here in Alabama by the bills supporters.
Well, it has arrived full tilt. Representative Hammon, a chief architect of the Alabama law, is reported to have responded to the federal court striking several provisions of the Georgia law:
“It is no surprise that liberal groups working to shield those who live here illegally are trying to block implementation of Georgia’s immigration law, and we are sure they will make similar efforts here in Alabama,” Hammon said.
And other supporters also here,
Michael Hethmon of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, which has been helping state lawmakers draft Arizona-like laws around the country, said Alabama legislators were hoping for a legal challenge when they passed their law, thinking they could get a different ruling than the one issued in Phoenix by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, who blocked the Arizona law last year.
The Alabama legislators “looked at Judge Bolton’s reasoning and said, ‘We’re not on the left coast here, we’re in the 11th Circuit, and we think we’re going to get a different interpretation by a different judge,’” Hethmon said.
We’re not on the left coast? Well, neither are Utah or Indiana. In fact, Utah is in the 10th Circuit and Indiana is in the 7th Circuit, neither are hotbeds of liberal constitutional theory. So the fly-over region is not proving any more helpful to Rep. Hammon and Mr. Hethman. Remember: of the
seven judges to rule against these anti-immigrant laws so far, four have been Republican appointees from Reagan and Bush.
The fact of the matter is that this legislation is just bad law. The Alabama legislature passed the bill in the face of federal courts already ruling against more tame legislation in Utah and Arizona. Georgia, at least, tried to conform their law more to that prior case law some.
In Georgia, state Rep. Matt Ramsey, a Republican who sponsored the bill, cut out the “reasonable suspicion” requirements, meaning officers there will check a person’s immigration status if he or she can’t produce identification or provide other information that could help determine identity. . .
Other states, such as Alabama, have decided to stick with the Arizona model and see how a different judge rules on it.
Similarly, Indiana modified their some as well:
Nevertheless, contrary to the attempts of such labeling, opposition to this bill does not come exclusively from “liberals.” Alabama County Commission Association, the Cato Institute, the American Family Association, the National Association of Evangelicals, US Chamber of Commerce and the Southern Baptist Convention all have all opposed to this type of legislation. Conservative Republican Congressman have opposed it as well.
Let’s stop labeling and address the merits of the contrary arguments.
BTW: Can anyone else name another piece of legislation which legislators affixed with the sponsor’s name: “Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act?”