The District of Columbia transit authority was running public service ads on its buses and subway that promoted the legalization and use of marijuana. Congress got fed up with these ads preying on captive public audiences and passed the Istook Amendment to compel local officials to choose between receiving taxpayer money or running pro-marijuana advertisements.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit seeking to overturn the Istook Amendment. The Justice Department has taken the extraordinary action of notifying the federal Court of Appeals that it has withdrawn its defense of the statute on appeal.
The Justice Department implied that public buses and subways can ban ads that encourage illegal drugs only if they simultaneously ban ads discouraging illegal drugs. That argument defies common sense.
The Justice Department's action is particularly strange since the Supreme Court has consistently, and often unanimously, supportive of federal laws against illegal drugs. President George W. Bush should order the Justice Department to defend this law all the way to the Supreme Court.
The most dangerous area where U.S. laws are not being faithfully executed are those designed to protect U.S. citizens against millions of aliens who enter our country illegally every year. The Constitution provides that the federal government "shall protect each of (the states) against invasion," but little is being done to stop this invasion, and the president's new budget would provide funds for only 210 additional U.S. Border Patrol agents instead of the 2,000 authorized.
Since 1986, federal law has made it a crime for employers to hire illegal immigrants, and President Ronald Reagan called the sanctions for violations the "keystone" of the law. But no administration has shown the willingness to enforce that law, even though a recent study by the Wall Street firm of Bear Stearns (as reported in Barron's) estimates that taxes lost in the underground economy could wipe out the federal budget deficit.
Our government has admitted that it isn't deporting 400,000 illegal immigrants (80,000 of whom have criminal records) because it can't find them. If the U.S. government can track and locate one case of mad cow disease (out of millions of cows), why can't the Department of Homeland Security faithfully execute U.S law and deport these criminals?
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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