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Why Judge Andrew Napolitano's opinion of Arizona's immigration law is highly questionable

Judge Andrew Napolitano is a libertarian, and thus we can assume he's wrong on most things. The latest instance occurred on yesterday's Neil Cavuto show on Fox News where he discussed Arizona's new immigration law [1] .

He said that the law will be struck down as unconstitutional; he's a judge and I'm not, so I'll have to defer to his opinion on that. However, I will note that the law was crafted with an eye to constitutional challenges, so he might turn out to be wrong. The rest of what he said is wrong and isn't helping:

Napolitano: Arizona governor Jan Brewer is gonna bankrupt the Republican Party and the state of Arizona. Look at what happened to the Republicans in California with the proposition --

Cavuto: What happens?

Napolitano: Ah, Hispanics -- who have a natural home in the Republican Party because they are socially conservative -- will flee in droves. She's also gonna bankrupt her state, because no insurance company will provide coverage for this. And for all the lawsuits that will happen -- for all the people that are wrongfully stopped -- her budget will be paying for it. Her budget will be paying the legal bills of the lawyers who sue on behalf of those that were stopped.

1. The Arizona law is designed not to go beyond what federal law allows, and the Border Patrol and ICE already engage in things allowed under the new law, such as asking about immigration status. Someone should ask Napolitano why the BP and ICE haven't been shut down by suits already. If Arizona does the same or less things as the BP and ICE and with the same or more restrictions, exactly how many suits could there be?

2. The far-left and racial power groups will definitely be trying to bring racial profiling suits and the like, yet Napolitano isn't saying a peep about them. Exactly when can we expect him to oppose those groups, if ever?

3. He's probably right about the legal bills although, once again, they probably won't be anywhere near as high as he predicts. Note that in 2008, Peter Schey was hired by the Mexican consulate to represent illegal aliens, and there might be similar cases relating to the new law. Why didn't Napolitano mention things like that?

4. If the Arizona bill is successful it will reduce the amount of illegal labor in Arizona, something that's highly subsidized. Why isn't Napolitano - a libertarian - factoring that into his calculation?

5. Please see my long discussion of Proposition 187; Napolitano is just spouting the official - and incorrect - line.

6. The GOP's problems in California might be due in part to 187, but also to things such as running strong social conservatives who concentrated on social conservatism in a state that isn't socially conservative.

7. Michael Steele-style GOP leaders (such as Allan Hoffenblum) have made the situation even worse for the GOP by telling Hispanics why they should flee the GOP instead of telling them why they should join and instead of pointing out how the GOP's opponents are lying about various issues. Napolitano isn't a Republican, but if he were he'd be hurting his party by doing the last two instead of the first.

8. Even many social conservatives might realize that the GOP concentrating on social conservatism is not a wise or helpful move. In many cases that turns into cheap demagoguery. That doesn't mean that the GOP shouldn't support and welcome social conservatives and use fringe opposition against them against the Democrats, but making it the centerpiece is generally a bad idea (especially since many GOP leaders seem to have "problems" from time to time). Also, most Hispanics - as shown by voting patterns - tend to make the Democrat's financial position a higher priority than the GOP's social position.

[1] crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 15:02 · Importance: 4