Thursday, March 8, 2018

Immigration and federalism... (WAKE UP!!!)

Federalism is not boring.

OK, it kind of is.  It isn't as though I have chosen to spend my life studying it, but it is important.  It is, however, the kind of issue that most people don't understand, and that is subject to Miles's law:  where you stand depends on where you sit.

The AG's office is suing California over "sanctuary cities."  Short version:  immigration policy is set at the federal level, and Sessions claims that the state of California and cities within it are violating principles of federalism by blocking implementation of federal policy.

Good, ole' Miles.  Not Miles Davis, nor even Miles Tackett.  OK, you've never heard of that guy, but he's a pretty cool musician too.  Buddy Miles?  Played drums for Hendrix in the "Band of Gypsies?"  No?

OK, back on topic.  Miles's law.  People don't really have process preferences most of the time, so they have preferences over jurisdiction that depend largely on their institutional settings.  Consider Sessions's other hobby horse:  marijuana.  Sessions was a big fan of the KKK, until he found out they smoked weed.  Helluva guy, our AG.  Under the Obama administration, in a state with a more conservative government, if you were a liberal or libertarian, you probably preferred federal control.  Then, when you have Sessions as AG, if you have more liberal or libertarian state policies, you prefer state control.  That's Miles's law.

People don't have real preferences over federalism.

So, here we are with immigration.  For the most part, immigration is handled at the federal level.  It's not like we have checkpoints at state lines, or anything like that.  So, how happy are you when states and localities undercut federal policy?

Who would Clinton have picked as AG?  I don't know, but let's say Elizabeth Warren, just to have a name.

If you had real process preferences over federalism and immigration policy, you would think of AG Warren being undercut on immigration policy by... I dunno... some Joe Arpaio type (his ass would be in prison) the same way as Sessions being undercut by Jerry Brown.

So... is that how you think?

Probably not.  Miles, man, Miles.  Tomorrow is jazz, and everyone knows Hendrix.  Here's Miles Tackett.  He's the son of Fred Tackett, from Little Feat (as in, Lowell George).

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