Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Original Owners

Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce, the man who gave his state the “papers, please” immigration bill, is teaching his fellow citizens that they are not citizens of the United States; they are citizens of Arizona first, and the federal government has no power to dictate to the states on matters of such things as immigration.

Apparently Mr. Pearce missed that day in high school civics when they covered the Constitution and the part where it states that it is the supreme law of the land. And as BooMan points out, if Mr. Pearce wishes to go back to the “original intent” of the Constitution, history might provide him with an interesting lesson.

Arizona became a state on February 14, 1912, just two years before Franz Ferdinand’s assassination sparked the First World War. It shouldn’t need to be said, but before Arizona was a state it wasn’t a state. The territory that became Arizona was pried away from Mexico and formally annexed in pieces between 1848 and 1853. When the Founding Fathers were hashing out the original compromises that went into drafting the U.S. Constitution, Arizona belonged to Spain.

[…]

If you want to appeal to “original intent,” you really ought to ask the King of Spain. Spain still has a king; he’s still alive; and, presumably, he can offer his opinion on how the monarchy intended to deal with the U.S. citizenship of its subjects at the time the Constitution was being debated and ratified. After all, I could just as easily argue that the citizens of Pennsylvania never had any intention of allowing Spain’s subjects to vote in our federal elections, and that, therefore, we do not have to recognize Arizona’s Electoral Votes.

These are the people who are cutting funding for public education. And why not? It obviously never did them any good.