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Editorials

August 8, 2012

THEIR OPINION: Aug. 8, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Recent editorials from Indiana newspapers. Distributed by The Associated Press

Zoeller’s call part of checks and balances

One Indiana newspaper editorial board, echoing the words of a member of the Alliance for Immigration Reform in Indiana, praised Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s recent decision on the state’s immigration law as “thoughtful and quite frankly very courageous.”

Zoeller has a different view of his recommendation that a federal judge strike down parts of Indiana’s new immigration law. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, Zoeller says his decision basically acknowledged that “some parts of the [Indiana] law are unconstitutional.”

As the attorney general explained during a recent interview, he takes an oath to support the Constitution. And part of maintaining the “credibility of the office,” is recognizing what can no longer be defended.

Zoeller’s decision may have come as a surprise to anyone who assumes that other considerations would come into play in an issue that’s as emotionally and politically charged as immigration reform. But Zoeller sees himself as part of a checks and balance system that “works pretty well.”

And he considers it a “valid exercise” to challenge the legislation he’s sworn to defend. “I respect people who want to challenge it ... It’s a good test. Did we do it right?”

He points out that he will continue to defend the part of the law that concerns foreign-issued ID cards, which wasn’t mentioned in the Supreme Court’s ruling.

We have long argued that immigration reform requires action at the federal level. Immigration is a national concern that cannot be addressed with a patchwork of state regulations.

But that doesn’t diminish the significance of Zoeller’s actions. His call on the Indiana law was right on the money.

— South Bend Tribune

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