California is a state of glorious extremes.
The lower-48’s highest peak. The continent’s hottest desert. Both the world’s tallest and the biggest tree by volume. The most people and national parks in the country.
And now, if it wasn’t before, it’s inarguably home to the nation’s most extreme political and legal policies.
A new law taking effect this year allows native Californians to essentially change their gender in state records as they please – and without any sort of medical treatment. One need only apply for a gender change on one’s birth certificate, or, starting in 2019, choose “nonbinary” as a gender for driver’s licenses and such.
So you can rewrite your birth history or simply overrule nature, with the mere stroke of a pen.
Another new law says schools there no longer have the discretion to allow employees with permits to carry concealed weapons on campus – and another forbids employers from asking job applicants how much money they’ve been making.
Yet two more California laws will have unknown, but likely widespread, effects on the country: one that allows the recreational sale and use of marijuana, and another that declares California a “sanctuary state” for illegal aliens.
The marijuana law isn’t unique, though the jury is still out on how healthy such laws are. After an Augusta commissioner proposed lowering the penalties for possession last fall, we did our own research – interviewing court and law enforcement officials, as well as a nationally renowned marijuana expert – and concluded that legalization is a horrible idea. Just one reason why: Marijuana’s potency and ill-effects have skyrocketed in recent decades.
But the most troubling new law is California’s declaration that it will no longer abide by, and will actively obstruct, the nation’s immigration laws.
It may not be secession, but it’s a “cafeteria” form of it – for a state to arrogate to itself the power to pick and choose what federal laws are actually the law. At some point, such a state de facto becomes its own country.
It’s a frightening prospect for the republic.
We hope the Trump administration fights it tooth-and-nail in the courts, and finds ways to perhaps censure or reciprocate on behalf of the other states. Again, it’s a scary precedent and a slippery slope; which other states will begin ignoring what other laws?
Moreover, by going rogue – on the integrity of our nation’s borders, and at the peril of our national security, no less – California risks endangering us all.
As long as one state has open borders – with free passage to the other 49 – then we all have open borders. Can we allow even our most populous state to set border and immigration and national security policy for the rest of us? In what way is that either wise or fair?
We absolutely love California. Its natural beauty, organic abundance and cultural richness are a medley of some of the best things in life.
And though it’s free to define gender for itself and to experiment with drugs, we don’t think it has the liberty of rewriting national immigration law for the rest of us.
We implore our friends in the Golden State not to do this thing.