By Tom Rhodes, 6/27/2012
The SCOTUS has found that a state cannot enforce federal law if the federal government refuses to enforce that law. The logic of this is absurd. Suppose speeding on federal highways was a federal crime, if the federal government decided not to enforce that law it means that states and local police would be in violation of the constitution and could not ticket or arrest speeders on federal highways.
Justice Antonin Scalia summed up the absurdity in his dissent writing, "to say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind."
This logic should scare us all, suppose a President decided not to enforce air traffic laws, and stopped manning airport control towers. The states would be prohibited from doing so themselves, doesn't that sound just dandy. A president could stop all Pell Grants by just refusing to spend the money congress allocated by law.
This ruling seems to be an end to the rule of law in the USA. We now have an elected despot, with the power to pick and chooses what laws to enforce, and deny the states the ability to enforce laws the feds don't want enforced. The will of the people as expressed by their duly elected representatives is no longer the law of the land, the law of the land is what a president decides. This is just a sign that we are nearing the end of our republic.
On the other hand, if we elected Gary Johnson as President, based on this ruling, he could end the FED, all government welfare, and reduce government spending drastically with the stroke of a pen. Maybe this is not such a bad thing, let's elect a libertarian and see what happens. Imagine a balanced budget just because the president refused to spend the money regardless of the will of congress and laws. Imagine zero welfare checks sent to anybody, just because the president chooses not to, based on this SCOTUS ruling states would not be allowed to do welfare either.