This morning’s Star reports that Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has conceded the unconstitutionality of the anti-immigration bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Delph and passed by the General Assembly.
For those of you who do not follow such things, Indiana had passed its own version of Arizona’s mean-spirited and deeply flawed immigration law; a couple of months ago, the Supreme Court found virtually all of the Arizona law unconstitutional. That decision operated to doom most of the Indiana statute as well. And rather than use the Court’s decision as an occasion for grandstanding or ideological posturing, Zoeller did what a good lawyer in that office should do–he agreed that Indiana should follow the law.
The article also quotes an observation by former Marion County GOP Chair Mike Murphy to the effect that much of the current anti-immigration fervor on display is a response to tough economic times; in such times, he points out, people look for someone to blame.
An elected official doing his job properly, and a political operative conceding to the nature of reality might not seem newsworthy, but it is a small, heartening reminder of the GOP to which I used to belong–the party that produced Bill Hudnut , Dick Lugar and John Mutz.
Now we have Mike Delph, Mike Pence and Richard Mourdock. It’s enough to make you cry.
Yesterday was a trifecta for those of us who live in Indiana and care about public policy.
Two separate federal judges enjoined major parts of two of the most shameful acts passed by the most recent Indiana General Assembly–the immigration bill and the anti-abortion bill. (The latter not only defunded Planned Parenthood, but also required doctors to give women medically inaccurate information. Both provisions were enjoined.) The ideologues who “serve” in the Indiana legislature had been repeatedly advised that both measures had serious constitutional infirmities, but hey–why let a little thing like the constitution get in the way of serious pandering and outright nuttiness?
If the issuance of those injunctions wasn’t satisfying enough, late last night New York State passed a bill authorizing same-sex marriage, and Governor Cuomo came to the floor to sign it.
There was a lot to relish about that victory for fundamental fairness and basic civil rights.
The New York legislature is controlled by Republicans, but the majority party did not block the vote, and four Republican votes provided the margin of victory. The Governor was one of the bill’s strongest supporters. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, hailed the bill’s passage. And New York’s authorization doubled the number of Americans who now live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal.
A few minutes after the bill passed the New York Senate, the Empire State Building “went Rainbow”–the building was bathed in rainbow lights that had been purchased for the city’s Pride Parade that, in a happy coincidence, was scheduled for today.
Granted, yesterday was only one day, but it was a welcome recess from the pettiness, stupidity, anti-intellectualism and bigotry that have characterized our civic and political life for far too long. I don’t know about you, but I plan to savor it.