Thursday, December 15, 2005

California legislature opting for secession?

The California legislature enacted a law in 2002 that granted illegal immigrants the favored in-state student tuition rate to all California colleges, junior colleges and universities. That rate would not be offered to out-of-state students. The United States Congress, having run into this problem long before, enacted a law in 1998 which required any state which offered special tuition rates to illegal residents to offer those same tuition costs to "all US citizens". Therefore, the California legislation was clearly illegal.

And everybody knew it.
Mr. Brady (Michael J. Brady, Attorney at Law) said California officials knew their tuition law that took effect in 2002 was unfair and illegal. "Former Governor Gray Davis initially vetoed it, saying it violated federal law and that it would cost California $65 million [in damages]," Mr. Brady said. "He sent it back to the state Legislature with that warning, but they re-enacted the same law," which Mr. Davis (courageously) eventually signed.

Mr. Brady said administrators of the University of California system also recognized that the state law was invalid, and they refused to implement it unless they were "given immunity." As a result, he said, California lawmakers enacted an "immunity statute," which says that if the state tuition law is declared illegal or unconstitutional, schools in the University of California system would not be held liable for retroactive tuition differences.
So, now comes lawyer Michael J. Brady and Kris W. Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of 42 named non-resident students in the California systems claiming damages for being overcharged for tuition to California schools in violation of federal law. Exactly what Gray Davis and the administrators of the University of California system feared would happen.

We're not talking cab fare here. The tuition differential between resident and non-resident students in the University of California system is $20,000 per year. In the California State system it is $11,000 per year and in the California Community College system it is $6000 per year. Lawyer Brady says that a non-resident student in the University of California system could be owed up to $300,000 by the state.

Well, if the university systems are not liable for this money and the legislature sure as hell isn't going to pay out of the member's pockets, who gets stuck with this bill? The good old generous taxpayers of California, that's who. They deserve it. They elected that bunch of morons.

The last time I remember such overt defiance of federal law by state legislatures was in the decades prior to the Civil war. South Carolina's Ordinance of Nullification, for instance, which forced President Andrew Jackson to send naval gunboats to Charleston to enforce federal law. The various state legislatures' defiance of federal authority eventually led some of them to secede and the Civil War was on.

Note to California legislators: There is a list here of 53 politicians killed in the Civil War which was brought on by state legislatures' defiance of federal law.

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