Unexamined Premises

Gimme Shelter

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The verdict in the trial of career criminal and illegal Mexican alien Jose Ines Garcia Zarate may not have been a miscarriage of justice; under our system of jurisprudence, prosecutors often overreach and jury nullification, whether by juror selection or choice of venue, is perfectly legal. There is not some sort of instant replay system whereby a flagrant miscall can be overturned by consulting the videotape. When the jury votes for acquittal, that’s it, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

The knee-jerk reaction to it on both sides, therefore, is irrelevant. Conservatives, in general, were outraged that, legally, the man who pulled the trigger on the gun that fired the bullet that killed Kate Steinle got off with only a felony possession of a firearm conviction. Leftists — including the attorney who effectively won the case — saw it as vindication, and criticized the reaction on the right as, you guessed it, an assault on the legal system.

It’s “horribly improper” for politicians to attack the American criminal justice system, a top defense attorney told CNN after President Donald Trump slammed the not-guilty verdict in the case of an undocumented immigrant accused in the shooting death of a California woman. Jurors in the Kate Steinle case “did what they were supposed to do,” Mark O’Mara told CNN’s Michael Smerconish, adding that critical politicians should “leave our criminal justice system alone.”

“The reality is the system works, and it should not be denigrated by people using it for political back-and-forth” O’Mara said Saturday. “I think it is horribly improper and degrades the process for any politician, be it POTUS, the attorney general or anybody else to come in and attack the system when it works.”

In other words, the verdict had little or nothing to do with the victim or the defendant; rather, it was a thumb in the eye of the Trump administration, which has since its inception opposed the concept of “sanctuary” jurisdictions as part of its efforts to end illegal immigration.

And here’s nub of it: the Steinle case is important, not simply as a matter of (at the very least) criminally negligent homicide, but as a fatality caused by a man who should not have been in San Francisco, or anywhere else in the U.S., at all. It’s good that the feds are now going to charge him, but the damage has been done. Deported multiple times, the perp kept coming back, knowing he would find “sanctuary,” not only in San Francisco but everywhere else in the state of California.

“Sanctuary” from what? Sanctuary from the laws of the United States. Every state, municipality and local jurisdiction that declares itself a place of “sanctuary” should henceforth be treated as being in open rebellion against the federal government, in exactly the same way that South Carolina and the secessionist Confederacy was — and was treated as such by Abraham Lincoln — in 1861.

How liberals cheered when Arizona’s SB 1070 law was effectively nullified last year by challenges from anti-American “activists”:

Arizona has announced an end to its practice of requiring police officers to demand the papers of people suspected of being in the country illegally — a move that pulls the last set of teeth from what was once the nation’s most fearsome immigration law. The announcement on Thursday came as part of a settlement with the National Immigration Law Center and other immigrants’ rights groups that sued six years ago just after passage of the measure, referred to by its legislative shorthand, SB 1070.

The 2010 bill angered immigration activists, business leaders and the governments of more liberal cities, which announced boycotts of Arizona. A boycott from the Los Angeles City Council led Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce to threaten “to renegotiate your power agreements so that Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation.” The state of Arizona will also pay $1.4 million in attorneys’ fees to the plaintiffs.

And two months later, Donald Trump was elected president, in large part to put a stop to this nonsense.

The concept of “sanctuary,” as the name implies, originates in Christianity: using the sacred precincts of the church to protect and shelter innocent people from the arbitrary power of the state. This is a classic tactic of the cultural-Marxist Left, to appropriate the terminology of faith for its secular, malevolent ends. But in this case those claiming “sanctuary” are not innocent: by definition, illegal aliens are criminals. What the Left is trying to do is nothing less than the nullification of the laws of the United States pertaining to the nation’s right (which they call, of course, “racist”) to define and protect its borders, and to decide who and who shall not be protected by its laws.

It’s as simple as that.

How much longer will we put up with this? In his first inaugural address in March 1861, Lincoln said, “Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy.” President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions would do well to consult that text, in which Lincoln went on to say:

I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States…

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend it.”

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Lincoln did it — as the Left’s favorite saying goes — by any means necessary, which ultimately concluded with federal troops occupying the rebellious states and the re-imposition of federal law. Philosophically, President Trump should follow his lead, and not just by withholding federal funds from cities like San Francisco. Because the Left no longer believes in angels, or laws, or much of anything else, except the destruction of the nation as founded and the furtherance of their own globalist ambitions, they need to be confronted, quickly. If we really do have a government of laws and not men — not to mention of illegal aliens — let’s prove it.