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Will California be the next Little Rock?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 13:02
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In his USA column, Glenn Reynolds asks if California could be the next Little Rock.

President Eisenhower sent federal troops to enforce school desegregation in Little Rock over the Arkansas governor’s opposition. Sessions is warning California on immigration.

Sessions’ stern warning was prompted by California laws designed to frustrate the enforcement of federal immigration laws, as inspired by the “Sanctuary City” movement.

…To the extent that California is actively interfering with federal immigration enforcement, as opposed to merely passively refusing to cooperate, the federal government may well have a case here. But I wonder if Sessions’ rather strong rhetoric points to a potential federal response that goes beyond litigation. It wouldn’t be the first time a president has sent troops to enforce federal law when local officials stood in the way.

One famous example was President Eisenhower’s use of federal troops from the 101st Airborne to enforce the desegregation of Little Rock schools over the active opposition of Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus. Faubus called out the Arkansas National Guard; Eisenhower issued an order placing the Guard under federal control, and then sent in approximately 1,000 federal troops.

…So at what point does California’s response move from passive resistance (which is permitted) to “unlawful obstructions, combinations … or rebellion against the authority of the United States?” I’m not sure, and I don’t think we’re there yet. But Sessions’ strong language suggests that he thinks we’re closer than we should be. Stay tuned.

Read more here.


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