That’s the only conclusion I can come up with to understand two pieces of legislation that became law this month. In Arizona, the governor signed a law that states the police can stop anyone and ask them to prove they are in the country legally. On the surface, that would seem to be a license to harass brown people and with Arizona sharing a border with Mexico, that’s exactly to whom the law was aimed.
The governor said the law will not institutionalize racial profiling because the law says race can’t be the only factor in deciding to stop someone. When pressed to determine what other criteria the police should use (the question being “What does and illegal look like?”) the governor said she didn’t know.
I guess the cops will just know it when they see it.
The governor also said she didn’t believe the law would have an economic impact on the state. Boycotts from around the country as well as a travel advisory from the Mexican government warning citizens not to visit Arizona say otherwise. Some of the Arizona border towns depend on the commerce of Mexicans who cross the border to buy groceries and other goods.
Protesters are showing up at the Arizona Diamondbacks games. The MLB All Star Game is slated for Phoenix this year. I wonder if it will actually happen.
Years ago, the Arizona voted to rescind its observance of Martin Luther King’s birthday as a holiday. In response, they lost the SuperBowl. The next year, they voted to observe MLK day. I’m thinking the economic pain will change some hearts and minds.
I’ve seen reports that the mayor of Phoenix as well as some local sheriffs have decreed they will not enforce the new law. But there is a stupid (very stupid) clause in the law which says any citizen can sue the police if they do not enforce the law.
Unbelievable. It’s like they’re mainlining stupid sauce.
Then there is Oklahoma. The legislature just passed a bill that says doctors who decide not to tell a pregnant woman that her unborn child has a birth defect can’t be sued. Now picture that for a minute, all you tea baggers, libertarians, small government protesters and economic conservatives. In Oklahoma, a doctor can lie to a patient about her child without consequences.
Unbelievable. The governor vetoed the bill, by the way, but the legislature voted to override the veto.
So, if you’re a pregnant woman in Oklahoma, you can no longer trust that your doctor is telling you the truth. If he thinks bad news might lead to you seeking an abortion, he can lie to your face. But, for one second, take abortion out of the equation. Suppose you’re a pro-life pregnant woman. Your doctor tells you that everything is just fine, even though it isn’t. Even if the baby wouldn’t live more than an hour or so after birth, you’d carry it to term and then grieve. What you don’t want is for it to be a surprise.
Or suppose your baby will live, but will have special needs. You need to prepare for that. You need that information.
This law is bad legislating, bad public policy and bad medicine. A bunch of shit-kicker politicians have decided that they know what’s best for women in Oklahoma. I weep for them.