Secession aside, state must follow law

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Saying something stupid, something you regret deeply, is fairly easy to do.

Mouths move faster than brains sometimes.

Usually a quick, heart-felt apology will fix those gaffes.

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But what does one do when the gaffe was in writing and nationally publicized because, well, you’re governor of Mississippi?

We hope Gov. Phil Bryant is pondering the answer to that question this week. We suspect, however, he’s not smart enough to realize how ignorant he made Mississippi look with a foolishly penned letter to the lieutenant governor and the House speaker.

In the letter, Bryant urged lawmakers to immediately pass laws that would make any “unconstitutional order by the President illegal to enforce in Mississippi …”

We agree, in part, with why Bryant’s upset. Some of the gun control measures the president pushed through may be unconstitutional.

Clearly, two problems exist here, though.

First, Bryant needs to realize states cannot ignore federal law.

We should have learned that by now. It’s been tested a few times in our nation’s history. Barring another go-round with secession, we’re a part of the federal government, whether Bryant likes it or not.

Second, Bryant’s statement contained an oxymoronic notion.

If an order were deemed unconstitutional it would not be enforceable anywhere in the country.

Of course, that assumes that Bryant understands that our country has a system by which we can challenge laws we feel are unconstitutional, and that system doesn’t involve the Mississippi Legislature in the least, and certainly not Bryant’s personal opinion.