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I find curious the subject of sanctuary cities; specifically why limited government conservatives support the Trump administration’s attempts to “do something” about them. Those attempts haven’t yielded much other than litigation, and so the Trump administration has started talking about arresting local officials who do not play along. Similar is the Attorney General’s recent decision to rescind the Cole Memo, paving the way for federal prosecutors to begin cracking down on marijuana producers and retailers in states where such a thing is legal.
We have the phenomenon of those conservatives who talk about the virtues of federalism, states’ rights, subsidiarity, and limited government but it all goes right out the window when it comes to Mexicans or pot.
And so I must ask the question to those fair-weather federalists who see no problem: What is the general principle at work here?
Before you answer, let me propose a test of principle.
If you state a principle of federalism, “The feds can do X, states shouldn’t be able to do Y,” I ask that you test it by applying the Fugitive Slave Act. If you apply the Fugitive Slave Act, and you are comfortable with the results, then you’ve established your principle.
To those of you who are able to thread that needle, please speak up. State your general principle. I’m eager to hear it.