Letter to the Editor: An open letter to Representative Blackman

As you well know, the argument about states’ rights versus federal authority is as old as the USA itself. It was one of the most contentious issues during the writing of The Constitution, and it has periodically reared its head in the years since.

Your proposed HB2252 is among the latest attempts to assert a state overruling federal authority, and I would like to point out an aspect of your efforts that you may not have considered.

If your bill is enacted into Arizona law, you may have succeeded in setting a legal precedent beyond your intention. For example, take one of your racist colleagues. It doesn’t matter whom; you have many from which to choose.

This colleague decides that it would be a good idea for Arizona to ignore, say, the 14th and 15th Amendments. With your bill on the books, what’s to stop this from happening? Would you be OK with having to use ‘separate but equal’ facilities, accommodations, etc. or not being able to vote?

In your heart of hearts, you know racism in the USA is on the rise, which increasingly takes the form of violence against people of color. This dangerous trend has had the tacit support, when not the open encouragement, of President Trump. The rest of his party, for whatever reason, has decided to go along with anything the man says or does, as we recently witnessed in the shameful vote for acquittal in the U.S. Senate. Therefore, we can expect the violence to continue to grow in frequency and intensity.

Furthermore, violence can take many forms, and I suggest to you that your bill, however inadvertently, potentially opens the door for all sorts of legal ‘violence.’ I am not sure you want this to be a part of your legislative legacy. I certainly hope not!




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