At the April 3, 2017 meeting of the AA County Council, I plan to submit a resolution urging members of the Maryland General Assembly not to vote for a piece of legislation designed, in effect, to establish illegal immigrants as a special, protected class. My resolution is a response to what I perceive to be an unlawful and unwise path taken by the General Assembly and I appreciate the opportunity to present the background and the rationale.
In the past, I have regularly, if not frequently, raised objection to what I have considered to be overreaching by the Federal government. It seems to be the rule rather than the exception that Federal lawmakers and agencies take actions that are beyond the limited and enumerated powers granted to them by the terms of the US Constitution.
For example, when we were debating the repeal of what has been termed the “rain tax”, I argued that the requirements imposed on states and localities by the EPA, and which drove the adoption of the “storm water management fee”, were invalid and ought to be ignored by all political subdivisions because the Constitution nowhere grants to Congress authority to establish the EPA or to engage in environmental regulation.
And I have made other arguments on other matters that have come before the Council which have as their basis the premise that only certain limited powers are delegated to the federal government by the terms of the Constitution and these powers have been enumerated in the document. Of course, I am well aware that Congress and federal agencies have not been constrained by the Constitution as our founders and the authors of the document desired.
In fact, Some years ago the conservative “CATO INSTITUTE” estimated that upwards of 90% of the activities of the federal government were not authorized by the Constitution.
So, it must seem strange for you to hear me raise my voice to favor the authority of the federal government. But that is what I find myself doing today. And the reason is really rather straight forward.
You see, IN THIS CASE, It is the federal government which is acting within the jurisdiction granted by the Constitution and it is the state of Maryland, through the enactment of the Maryland Trust Act, that constitutes an interference with the proper and valid duty that is delegated to the United States pursuant to Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution.
Let me be clear that the reason I would side with the federal government or why I would not do so, lies with the fact that it is the Constitution which is controlling.
In this regard it may be helpful to recall that the oath of office which we took when elected, was NOT an oath made to the Congress, or to the President, or to a judge or a court or the Maryland General Assembly. It was an oath to obey AND DEFEND the CONSTITUTION. And that oath was made before God (meaning that I invoke His wrath should I violate it).
So, the Constitution is the test. The Constitution is the standard to look to. I agree with George Washington who in an address to a group in Boston, in July, 1795.
“…the constitution is the guide, which I will never abandon.”.
Should the general assembly enact what is styled the Maryland Trust Act, in my judgement the enactment will be fundamentally flawed and it will be necessary for our Local Law Enforcement to disregard it in the valid function of their peacekeeping duties.
It is flawed because it will violate 8 USC se. 1357(g) and 1373 which prohibit any individual or agency from interfering with a law enforcement official’s cooperation with federal immigration officials.
So, I believe that it is proper and appropriate for the County through this Council, to urge the members of the legislature to reject the Maryland Trust Act.