Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Frank Watson
Gazette Columnist 

When in Doubt, Sue Someone

 

July 5, 2018 | View PDF



Our Governor and Attorney General are at it again. They decided to sue the President over his policy to separate the children of illegal immigrants when the parents are detained. The paperwork was prepared and ready to submit when the President caved under public outcry and reversed his policy. Rather than waste a good opportunity to file a lawsuit, our state leaders modified a couple sentences and filed suit claiming that reversing the separation policy wasn’t enough. I wonder what they really want. The only possibilities I can think of is that they are either looking for any opportunity to discredit the president, they want open borders free to anyone and everyone who wants to come, or they are simply trying to enhance their political capital for future elections.

There is no real need to discredit our President. He does a very good job of that on his own. His tweeter is enough to make people wonder if he is a bit unbalanced. In this week alone, he had lambasted the female Democratic establishment, his own Department of Justice, the FBI, two late night talk show hosts, and the heads of state of most of the free world. He doesn’t need anyone else to make him look ridiculous. Successful suits tend to erode his power base and make him look unreasonable. The complainants don’t have to win, however, to accomplish their purpose. When the Supreme Court upheld the President’s travel ban, the reaction was still negative. The court of public opinion seemed to rule that he should not have raised the issue in the first place.

It is possible that our Governor and Attorney General actually want open borders? If so, I wonder if they are serving the will of the people of Washington. Should our tax dollars be spent on an issue with minimum impact on our state? I know there is a considerable number who feel that we should open our country to anyone who shows up, but I question whether or not the majority of our state feels that way. At this point in history, open borders would be a disaster. The United States has tripled its population in my lifetime, and is currently growing at a rate of 2.5 million per year. By the year 2050, our numbers will reach over 400 million. An open door policy would swell that number even more. The majority of our citizens know this and recognize a need for secure borders. Our state leadership, however, is forcing the courts to determine policy, rather than leave it to the will of the people.

I tend to think that our Governor and Attorney General are simply trying to make national names for themselves. They are both smart guys. They can foresee what would happen if we eliminate all immigration restrictions. They can also see the dangers of allowing the courts to override the will of the people. By filing this and other lawsuits, they get their pictures on the six o’clock news. They are viewed as the Northwest Democrats who boldly stand up to the Republican administration. It is possible that they don’t care about immigration one way or another except as an issue upon which to build their political reputations. Left-wing standard bearers are lining up for 2020. Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson are posturing to be first in line.

Our Constitution established three equal branches of government and has worked very well for over 200 years. Turning to the courts to establish rules and executive policy is contrary to both the word and intent of our basic law. It is a dangerous practice, and our Governor and Attorney General are wrong to file lawsuits for issues that are not intended to be the functions of the court.

(Frank Watson is a retired Air Force Colonel and a long time resident of Eastern Washington. He has been a free lance columnist for more than 18 years.)

 
 

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