Island California

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

California makes a point of setting itself apart from her sister states by banning official travel to states that in the legislature’s view don’t meet “California values.” This idea was initially enforced on the issue of sexual orientation with a list of 10 states on the “no fly” list, if you will.  However, California’s stand to set an agenda for other states to follow will unlikely stop there.

This comes to mind in reading the headline story in this weekend’s USA Today newspaper. The article reported on anti-sanctuary bills making inroads in some states. The governor and a majority in the legislature would argue that position is not a California value. In fact, they consider California a sanctuary state.

While some states that have passed sanctuary city bans like Texas and Tennessee are already on the list of states banned for official travel, other states that have passed similar prohibition of sanctuary cities, Arkansas and Iowa, or are considering such a move, Michigan, Montana and Florida, are not. So if the legislature decides to expand the scope of states banned for ignoring “California values,” the list will grow.

Where does all this lead is anyone’s guess. The idea of states developing different governing priorities and prohibiting economic or cultural wars between the states will be eroded. The U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, in part, has been interpreted to keep peace among the states.

Perhaps, California legislators will not expand the travel ban and give states a pass on the sanctuary city bills if the states, like Arkansas, also pass bills more friendly to immigrants allowing in-state tuition for the undocumented and the ability to fill skilled positions like nursing.

Yet, we could also see California legislators go in a different direction and become more adamant about governing decisions in other states that don’t follow the California agenda as set by liberal legislators. Climate change action is one major issue that comes to mind.

California’s goal is to lead other states by example. But, the idea of banning official travel is a step toward a more aggressive posture. After the results of the 2016 presidential election there was some loose talk about California seceding from the union. That’s certainly not the goal of the majority who want to set an agenda and have other states follow through punishing tactics if necessary.

However, California could be establishing itself as an island from her sister states if they choose not to follow California’s lead and the state policy makers do not bend from their firm positions.

 

 

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