A Conservative Case for Amnesty

Today, everybody’s talking about the Supreme Court’s universal health care ruling.  However, here are some thoughts I’ve been putting together since their ruling on Arizona’s controversial illegal immigration law a few days ago:

Regardless of whatever details or variations are appended to either, the fact is that the only two options here for ending the debate over illegal immigration are amnesty or deportation.  When the dust finally settles, either the millions of Hispanics in this country illegally will generally stay here, or they will generally leave.

In that light, the choice should be obvious.  Amnesty may well have some advantages that conservatives have overlooked, and deportation is simply untenable.

Mass deportation is a Utopian fantasy.  The first rule of conservatism is to approach reality as it is, not as we wish it would be.

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Clark County and Nevada Ballot Questions

Question #1: Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to provide for the appointment of Supreme Court justices and District Court judges by the Governor for their initial terms from lists of candidates nominated by the Commission on Judicial Selection, with subsequent retention of those justices and judges after independent performance evaluations and voter approval?

A lot of conservatives are supporting this one, and I completely see their point: voters tend to put stupid people in office.  Case in point: Elizabeth Halverson.  Having judges temporarily appointed would solve that. 

But here’s why I oppose it.  First, just because the people are not doing their research and getting involved is no reason to take away their authority to choose their judges.  We should never, ever give away any of our autonomy.  Agreeing with the mindset that elites should take care of us can only lead to tyranny. 

Second, though there are areas in American politics where some leaders are chosen for us by other leaders (and before the seventeenth amendment, there used to be more), in those cases the latter were elected with the understanding that they would choose the former.  Such would not be the case here, where a committee of lawyers and other yahoos would have that power, but would not be picked by us for that purpose. 

Third, how does this guarantee there won’t be incompetence or corruption?  Unless this new selection committee is headed by Elliott Ness, they’ll be susceptible to mistakes and worse. 

No, Nevada, do not give up your power to choose your judges.

Vote: NO

Question #2: Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to allow for the establishment of an intermediate appellate court, that would have jurisdiction over appeals of certain civil and criminal cases arising from the district courts?

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Unconstitutional and Racist

The Clark County School District has a little discussed program called Minority-to-Majority which, according to one of the few references to it in school district documents, is “a transfer request for a student to attend a school where the student will bring both the sending and receiving schools’ minority average closer to the district-wide minority average (m-to-m transfer).”

Even the name of this program, let alone the primary definition of it, is profoundly racist. 

This would seem to be a stark violation of the landmark 2007 Supreme Court decision where any kind of racially based busing, even for the purpose of integration, was struck down as unconstitutional.  In the memorable words of Chief Justice John Roberts, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” 

The program was started in 1999, long before the Supreme Curt decision, but how is it still in practice?  Has nobody challenged it?  Is it secretive enough that not enough people are aware of it? 

Defenders might assert that Minority-to-Majority has good intentions–that integration fosters diversity and gives transfer students more opportunities, etc., etc.  However, my practical experience shows that this does not work. 

I live in the zone for one of the “minority” schools in this program, and I work at the “majority” school where many of those students go.  In fact, most of the teenagers in my neighborhood seem to go to the school where I work.  These transfer students, by and large, hardly seem to benefit from the environmental change, producing disproportionate failure rates and disciplinary infractions, as far as I can objectively tell. 

Whether or not the program is successful, though, the fact remains that it is undeniably illegal and racist.  Such bald facts should give even the most sympathetic social engineer pause.