I was at the checkout counter in Walgreens today and the clerk was raling to anyone who would listen about how FEMA and Bush were responsible for the situation in New Orleans. I didn’t want to get in an argument with him, but I asked him about the responsibility of the Mayor or Governor, toward contributing to the mess. He said he didn’t know anything about that. He did admit to hating BUSH. The hatred of the president is irrational beyond compare. So what could the Federal Government have done. Hugh Hewitt desribes the powers that that Government had, it seems there were some limitation:
“What is the “police power? Where does it reside? Is there a federal “police power?”
Can the federal government order the evacuation of a city when state and local officials have not done so? Who has first call on a state’s national guard? Who controls a city’s police department?
Can a federal official order a police department to deploy in strength to specific points within a city such as the Supredome or the Convention Center? Can a federal official commandeer a city’s supply of school busses, city busses, and city personnel? For starters, the police power resides in the states. There is no general federal police power. It is the power to take care of a citizenry’s health, safety and morals. It was described by Chief Justice Taney in the Licensee Cases this way:
“But what are the police powers of a State? They are nothing more or less than the powers of government inherent in every sovereignty to the extent of its dominion. And whether a state passes a quarantine law, as a law to punish offenses, as to establish courts of justice, or requiring certain instruments to be recorded, as to regulate commerce within its own limits, in every case it exercises the same power; that is to say, the power of sovereignty, the power to govern men and things within the limits of its dominion.”
“To the extent of its dominion,” is the key phrase. For the federal government to act in the face of a natural disaster, it’s help must be requested and its guidance accepted by the state and local officials. “The States are accorded wide latitude in the regulation of their local economies under their police powers,” the Supreme Court wrote in the 1976 case of New Orleans v. Dukes, and that wide latitude extends to every aspect of disaster planning (or non-planning.)”
So if the Governor did not request the assistance, what could the government have done? It certainly wasn’t Bush who made the decision to leave 200 plus buses, which could have been used to evacuate people, sitting empty and then in 4 feet of water. I think that be the Mayor’s fault. But, that’s just me. Maybe I’m wrong. So educate me. Then you can read Hugh Hewitt’s interview with Major Garrett, Major Garrett updates us on the Red Cross AND the Salvation Army being blocked from helping by Louisiana state officials. So it was Bush’s fault? Please.