( – promoted by Colorado Pols)
On KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman show Wednesday, Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty tried to make the argument that it’s illegal to give undocumented college students a more affordable tuition rate.
Citing federal laws, McNulty said he doesn’t support “picking and choosing which laws we follow and which laws are okay to ignore.”
“Sure,” McNulty told co-host Craig Silverman. “I get pulled over for speeding. I get a ticket. I pay my ticket. I have points taken off of my license. So there are penaltties there for ignoring the law.”
“Right,” Silverman responded. “But if your kid is in the car, he doesn’t get a ticket. You do.”
“Well, that’s true,” McNulty answered and quickly tried to move the conversation back toward picking and choosing laws.
It was a good point by Silverman, and he made it better than I could have, on a show that’s become more and more one-sided these days, when it comes to political topics.
Silverman could have sharpened his questioning earlier in the interview, when McNulty said:
McNulty: “And you know what? I get it! I get that these kids are here through no fault of their own. And I understand that that is, that that has a level of compassion that many of us share. But the bottom line is, the law is the law. And to say that we’re going to ignore the law in this one simple case, flies in the face of what our nation was founded on and is the main reason why I’m opposed to it.”
Neither Caplis nor Silverman pointed out that the legislation has passed in 13 other states, including Texas.
And even Colorado Attorney General John Suthers admitted on KOA’s Mike Rosen’s Show March 12 that the ASSET bill would be permissable under federal law, though Suthers said he didn’t like the way the bill was devised, saying it was “a complete run-around these two federal statutes.”
Suthers: As I say, twelve states have enacted similar legislation: Texas, California, Utah, New York, Washington, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Connecticut. Two cases have been filed. In California, students paying out-of-state tuition attending California universities filed a lawsuit saying this is just an end-around and I’m still being discriminated against. The District Court in California said, “No.” The California Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit. But in November of 2010 the California Supreme Court upheld this method for providing in-state tuition, and said it did not conflict with federal law. And on June 6, 2011, the United States Supreme Court denied cert in that case. A similar case was brought by a Missouri resident who was attending college in Kansas, saying that they were being denied the status, and it was unlawful discrimination under federal law, and that case was dismissed for lack of standing, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined cert, way back in June of 2008.
Suthers called ASSET “lawyering at its finest, or worse, depending on your perspective,” but he said it’s legal.
So next time McNulty or another Republican is on Caplis and Silverman, and he or she says how sympathetic they are toward the poor undocumented kids, but, like McNulty said, sorry, the law is the law, so nothing can be done, Caplis and Silverman should pipe up and say, yes, the law is the law, and ASSET is legal.
What are your other reasons for opposing it?
For this year, though, it’s too late to correct McNulty and open the door for him to be the compassionate man he wants to be.