The War on South Carolina Continues

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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While there were many lively moments during Monday night’s Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, there was one that resonated with the residents of South Carolina more than others. With Republican Governor Nikki Haley applauding and nodding in agreement, Texas Governor Rick Perry declared that “South Carolina is at war with this federal government and with this administration.” Three issues have roiled many residents, all of which center around the idea that the federal government has over-stepped its bounds: a lawsuit filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against aerospace manufacturer Boeing; a federal judge’s ruling blocking part of a new law to combat illegal immigration; and the Justice Department blocking a law requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification in order to vote.

First, the NLRB lawsuit. Last June, Boeing opened a $750 million plant in Northern Charleston, South Carolina. It was the largest industrial development in the history of the state. South Carolina is a “right to work” state, meaning employers are prohibited from requiring union membership as a condition of employment. Right to work states are anathema to union leaders and their Democratic enablers. Enter the NLRB. They sued Boeing, claiming its effort to move some of its 787 Dreamliner production from Everett, Washington, a union stronghold of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), represented “unfair labor practices.” The NLRB claimed Boeing’s move was a “retaliation” for a series of IAMAW strikes between 1989 and 2008.

The Board cited internal documents demonstrating those intentions, and as well as several news interviews, specifically one by Jim Albaugh, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, who told the Seattle Times that while Washington State is his “preferred location” for building future airplanes, “we can’t afford to have a work stoppage every three years.” The last strike in 2008 lasted 58 days and cost Boeing $1.8 billion in lost revenue. This was the fourth IAM strike since 1989, and Boeing began to believe that orders for the 787 Dreamliner were being endangered. Remarkably, Boeing noted that “IAM[AW] employment in Puget Sound had increased by approximately 2,000 workers since the decision to expand in South Carolina was made in October 2009.”

On December 11th, the political motivations behind the litigation became clear. The NLRB announced it was dropping the suit at the request of the machinists union in Washington, which had originally asked for the case to be filed. The union “changed its mind”–after they ratified a four-year contract with Boeing complete with hefty raises, additional job security provisions, and a commitment to expand production in that state. A tweet by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) put the case in the proper perspective. “Real damage to U.S. competitiveness already done. Precedent set that NLRB will attack workers and businesses in right-to-work states,” he wrote. Though not directly related to the Boeing case, it should be noted that the president recently made three “recess” appointments to the NLRB despite the fact that the Senate was technically still in session. The National Federation of Independent Business is suing to have the appointments declared unconstitutional.

Eleven days later, responding to a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in October, Judge Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court in Charleston, S.C. struck down parts of a new immigration law passed by the State Legislature last June. Four sections of the 20 section law were blocked: “harboring and transporting of unlawfully present persons,” “failure to carry alien registration materials,” “the creation of fraudulent identification documents,” and a directive to state and local law enforcement officials to “determine the immigration status of certain persons encountered in routine traffic stops and other contacts in which there is a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the person may be in the United States unlawfully.” Judge Gergel asserted federal supremacy with regard to immigration law. “No credible national sovereign can allow an individual state to embark on an independent immigration policy.”

Perhaps not. But as the people of South Carolina and other states are well aware, the federal government’s efforts to prevent “independent immigration policy” is highly selective. The DOJ has never filed a single lawsuit against any of the numerous “sanctuary cities” around the nation that violate federal immigration law. In fact, after filing a 2010 suit against Arizona for its enactment of an immigration statute similar to South Carolina’s, the Obama administration announced they would not pursue those particular kinds of cases at all. “There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law,” said DOJ spokeswoman Tracey Schmaler, at the time.

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  • Chris C

    Man, with all these egregious power grabs by the Obama administration and other progressive beauracrats, you’d think they want to incite the south, mainly Republican and all for state’s rights, into seceding from the USA again.

    Of course if that happened, the south will have to deal with the unfortunate implications…

    • aspacia

      The situation is becoming dangerous. O is in an ideological power grab tyranny mode, similar to Lenin and Mao, but it is okay because it is for the good of all who do not know any better.

  • Mach1Duck

    The U.S. Constitution, Article III, section 2, paragraph 2 "In all cases affecting ambassadors, othr public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact…"
    So, how can a lower court rule on a law passed by a state which on the surface conflicts with federal law.
    The Constitution also states that where the Federal Government fails to act, a State has the legal right to act in thier own behalf.

    • kafirman

      What is your point about the Supreme Court in this case? What was the lower court? It is South Carolina legislation that is at the center here, correct? Has the Federal Government failed to act?

      • joy52

        Might have been referring to Arizona.

      • intrcptr2

        Not quite sure what your response is saying…

        And for SC, the issue is rather that the Feds HAVE acted, by suing to prevent the legislative process.
        Clearly in AZ, yes, Washington has failed.

    • intrcptr2

      Art 3, S 2 states that lower courts may be created, within the court system. Read properly, the Const grants original jurisdiction to the Federal Court system.

      Not sure where you find that specific right in the Const. You may notice that the Const never recognizes "states rights", only the people have rights, as per Jefferson's claim in the Declaration.

  • Annie

    In light of other states being allowed to freely enforce similar voter ID laws, I can only conclude that the Obama administration is intent on still punishing South Carolina for its roll in firing the first shot in the Civil War.

  • Brujo Blanco

    It is said that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent. I say it is a crime seldom investigated. There is an old saying, “If you do not acknowledge a problem then you do not have a problem.”. Voter fraud does exist and it is rare that something is done about. If you vote for your candidate and someone votes illegally for the opposing candidate you have just been screwed out of your vote. Since voter fraud normally benefits Democrats investigation of these crimes will be resisted. Eric Holder has demonstrated that he will do nothing regarding open intimidation of voters when such intimidation benefits his party he cannot be expected to do anything about covert voter fraud.

  • Sonny

    The AG Holder is inept at best because he has the resources to check for any case law that may exist on the issue before his office. This is taking on a out and out disregard for the law. I live in Pennsylvania and we have to show our voter registration cards when we go to the polls to vote; it has been that way for as long as I can remember. Plus the constitution gives Authority to the states to regulate elections; only the date is set by the federal government. AG Holder is trying to make race an issue where ever he can and that is setting race relations back; do we really have to do the civil rights thing over again. I would rather see the battle for state rights fought but, this time without all the guns and cannons.

    • enoughalready

      There was a polling place in our area that was so corrupt, the entire team had to be replaced. One guy came in with FOUR registrations and was allowed to vote with all 4 of them. When the poll watcher objected, they were told, "there's more of us than there are of you…it's your word against ours."

      It is rampant and they can only win through cheating OR by energizing their disillusioned base by injecting some imaginary racial element that conjures up images of Jim Crow, poll taxes and segregation. The Obama administration does not care of they tear the country apart. If there are any truly American Loving Democratic legislators, they would stand up now. And please get rid of Wasserman-Schultz

    • mattogilvie55

      He is making race an issue because race is THE central issue with him and his boss. Holder and Obama both hate whitey. This is just another way for them to get back at whitey.

      • cjk

        Anybody who would bring up their two children from birth through the mind formation period of early childhood in Imam Wright's 'church' is a VILE RACIST of the worst type.

        Anyone who can't see that is a phucken fool.

    • aspacia

      We did too in CA, but in NV we don't. I guess just being registered is enough because citizen have to go through hell to obtain a driver's license here. My CA license was not enough. My birth certificate was not enough . My proof of residency was not enough. But my divorce degree and all of the above was enough. Geez to gain a license and register to vote.

  • mrbean

    Hmmm…imagine that you have show an photo ID to cash a cheque, purchase cigarettes or spirits, to get on an airplane, to get back into the US, but…… there are those who insist that anyone should be able to walk up and claim to be someone else and vote. Voting is a privilege of law abiding citizens just like driving a car, not a right.

    • BS77

      Absolutely. What is the problem here? Showing a valid photo ID to get on a jet….to buy alcohol…..to drive a car……but the libtards go nuts if you suggest you should have a valid ID to vote………No wonder MIchael Savage said, "Liberalism is a mental disorder."

  • mrbean

    If South Carolina is a "Right To Work" state, Boeing should never have been prevented from building an airplane factory in that state staffed by non-union employees on any basis demanded by unions and the Obama Administration.

  • jacob

    Race or no race, I believe voters must submit a valid ID means or else, NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE.
    PERIOD
    Otherwise, will this "jewel" of an Attorney General tell me why does the TSA
    require a valid ID with picture to board a plane or else…?????
    Does it constitute a "selective" application of the Law ???
    Without the identification requirement, even the dead can vote…and they sure
    as hell do… and how ! ! !

    Unless JANET RENO's sidekick in the infamous ELIAN issue is preparing the
    ground for massive voting fraud, let him tell his objections to his grandmother….

  • BLJ

    Someone needs to kick Holder's butt.

  • cjk

    At least Eric 'my people' Holder is being consistent in that I doubt he required ID's for the fast and furious weapons either.

  • Jack Neidlinger

    This administration is the worst in our history. We must remove this scourge from office
    WHATEVER IT TAKES!!!!!!!!!

  • Carl

    Well, according to Holder, the New Jersey department of motor vehicles is "suppressing black turnout" because it requires drivers to provide several forms of ID when they register their vehicle.

    Holder is as scary as he is foolish.

  • LibertyLover

    OK, I'll take Holder's concerns at face value. So, if certain minority voters are not even ca[able of obtaining an ID, even with all of the official assistance offered by the State of South Carolina, perhaps they are too deficient to be voting in the first place.