The Republic's Bob Robb has taken the extraordinary step of publicly rebutting fellow Republic columnists Laurie Roberts and EJ Montini.
Curators of Arizona political kookology are failing to make an important distinction. When legislators say they will take over federal lands or nullify federal laws, that violates the Supremacy Clause and qualifies as kooky. But states are free, under the Constitution and Supreme Court precedents, to choose not to use their own resources to implement or enforce federal law. That might be unwise. But it is not per se kooky and doesn’t threaten the state with legal bills.
Robb is referring to this video and accompanying column in which Roberts and Montini provide their (incorrect) legal analysis of Proposition 122.
I find two aspects of this story to be extraordinary. First--and call me naïve--it still amazes me that two columnists from a major newspaper can discuss an issue on camera and make points that are so objectively incorrect. Sure, they are opinion writers, so they are allowed to express opinions, but they can't just make stuff up. Like I said....call me naïve
Second, I think it's extraordinary that Bob Robb was willing to take them on. After all, newspapers don't report on each other and columnist don't generally call other columnists to task. However, it seems that in this case, Roberts and Montini are so wrong....and Roberts' "Kook" series has been so childish--that Bob Robb finally had to say something.
If more columnists had Robb's courage, maybe the industry would last a little longer, or journalists would regain a little credibility.