Liberals have talked a lot about the possibility that their voters would become more motivated if the Supreme Court struck down ObamaCare. They have said little or nothing about how voters might react to the Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s SB 1070. Yesterday’s decision to strike down much of the law sent a clear message to Americans – only the Federal government will be allowed to enforce immigration laws, and the only way to change current policy is to replace the President with someone who will obey the law.
Whether Mitt Romney can overcome his wavering and ambiguity on the immigration issue may determine whether he will be the next president. If he fails to take a firm stand in favor of enforcing the laws as written, he will gain no benefit from the Supreme Court’s decision.
The Court’s ruling is, in one very narrow sense, a victory for Federalism. It recognizes that the Federal and state governments each have their own sphere of activity, and should not overstep those bounds. However, the Court’s liberals see those limits as applying only to the states. The Federal government is assumed to have the authority to interfere in any activity, anywhere, in any way it chooses. True federalism recognizes that this “wall of separation” also puts boundaries on Federal power (and Thomas Jefferson, when he wrote those words, was referring specifically to the fact that the Federal government’s delegated powers prevented it from interfering with the established church in Connecticut).