That’s sorta what federalism means

Just two days later, Texas filed the first major lawsuit against Biden’s administration, successfully blocking a 100-day deportation moratorium that the governor, Greg Abbott, chided as an “attempt to grant blanket amnesty” to immigrants.

Far from a one-off burst of hostility, that incendiary case marked a return to Texas politicians’ tried and true playbook of weaponizing the courts to derail progressive policies, a tactic that’s proven surprisingly potent amid ideological warfare with the feds.

There are some things the State should be doing, some things the Feds. It’s written down in the law which are which so it’s the courts that decide, right?

It has long amused that the progressives in the US do insist on using Federal power. Because the only places that are as interventionist as they want – and which also work – are those places which are interventionist on a local level. Bjorn’s Beer and all that – the Scandinavians.

14 thoughts on “That’s sorta what federalism means”

  1. Chuckling at those people who say “Ok, the Guardian opinion columns are pretty biased but their reporting isn’t”.

  2. tried and true playbook of weaponizing the courts to derail progressive policies

    Of course, it was fine to weaponise the courts to block implementation of The Donald’s most popular policies. Not to mention attempting to reverse all the Brexit votes through lawfare.

  3. Often find myself referring back to Bjorn’s beer as a political truth. The more power goes locally the better things tend to run. Especially if you can get rid of Bjorn and put Sven in and vv.

  4. That local power thing seems to be a bit iffy at the moment, given the mayors of London and Manchester and the Liverpool Council. I suppose you get what you vote for.

  5. Ah that’s the downside. It depends on who Bjorn drinks his beer with. You can get the Spanish system where a lot of the power’s down at municipal level. Ends up as a stitch up of crony politics.

  6. ‘Of course, it was fine to weaponise the courts to block implementation of The Donald’s most popular policies. Not to mention attempting to reverse all the Brexit votes through lawfare.’

    It’s always wicked when they do it to you, but it’s righteous and just when you do it to them.

  7. That local power thing seems to be a bit iffy at the moment . . .

    Yes, maybe it depends on the culture. Beer with Bjorn works because it’s Bjorn, not Derek Hatton or Andrew Cuomo.

    I recall Tim saying one of the reasons Hong Kong (UK) worked was that government power was too far away to be corrupted by that culturally prevailing tendency.

  8. @BiS
    It works in Denmark, because (culturally) Danes aren’t Spaniards. Mind you, I’m not sure how long Nordic culture can survive importing millions of Muslims.

  9. “It’s written down in the law”: specifically, it’s written down in the Holy Constitution.

    One of the many reasons to admire that historical relic is the firmness with which it states that powers not explicitly given to the Union belong to the people or the States. (Which, of course, means that the Louisiana Purchase was unconstitutional, the action that made the US what it is. And people say that Americans don’t understand irony.)

  10. Rowdy: Liverpool and London are too big for the localisation effect – especially London which in population is Denmark-on-Thames. I’ve used Tim’s Bjorn argument about my home town of Whitby before 1945, Dad’s brother’s wife’s brother is Town Housing Manager, Mum’s sister is Town Sanitary Officer, Uncle Bill is the bridge keeper, Auntie Madge is Matron at the town hospital, Dad works for the Town Electricity Company, cousin Mike is on the lifeboat crew, his wife’s brother is in the Coastguard, if any of them piss off their “customers” they are pissing off family.

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    The point about Bjoern’s Beer is that the money doesn’t go up to the centre to then be used by politicians to curry favour as it goes back down the chain to the intended recipient. It goes sideways from taxpayer to Bjoern to recipient. All 3 having more than just the paying, distribution and receipt of taxes in common.

  12. @dearieme
    The Louisiana Purchase was constitutional. It was a treaty with France exchanging some cash for some land. Treaties being explicitly the preserve of the Federal Government.

  13. Mohave Greenie. As I understand it, the US had rejected France’s claim that they pay their war debts on the grounds that the revolution had overthrown the government they owed the money to.

    Then the beastly Brits threatened to conquer Louisiana, as they were seizing the rest of the West Indies. So the Frogs decided to sell it to you Yanks for the price of the war debts before they lost it.

    Of course the Brits made such a mess of the conquest of Haiti that they never got around to trying to seize Louisiana. (The Battle of New Orleans was just a go at looting the place.)

    The war in Haiti is certainly entertaining. It reminds one strongly of the way we conduct modern wars.

  14. Both state and federal politicians take an oath to protect the safety of their constituents, so…let’s consult the Constitution.

    Constitution says nothing about the federal government deciding what to do with non-citizens. It determines who is and is not a citizen, but not immigration policy. Any power not given directly to the federal government through the Constitution is given to the states.

    Looks like Biden is supposed to sit down and STFU in this case.

    Only on paper, of course.

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