Sunday, August 7, 2022
Voters (rightly) don’t want to see the restoration of law and order become an attack on minority communities. That’s a difficult task politically for two reasons. One is that some left-wing and minority politicians are bound to charge “racism.” It’s their reflexive answer to policies and politicians they don’t like. The second reason is that minority communities are disproportionate sites of violence and property crime — and stopping it often means arresting perpetrators from those same communities.
The difficult political task, then, is to ensure fair, unbiased, and transparent law enforcement, to give those communities the protection they deserve, and to assiduously avoid language and policies tinged with racial undertones.
DeSantis avoided those pitfalls in laying out the case against Andrew Warren. He did it by laying out that case in meticulous detail, without any personal attacks or demagoguery.
A major part of DeSantis’s criticism of Warren was “constitutional.” The vital point here is that legislative bodies, not prosecutors, are responsible for making our laws. The executive branch is tasked with enforcing them, not rewriting them to suit their fancy. Unfortunately, in city after city, that is exactly what “social justice” prosecutors have done. They have simply declined to prosecute whole classes of crimes, laid out in laws passed by state assemblies or city councils.
If a legislature passes laws sanctioning actions A, B, C, and D as crimes, then it’s not up to the district attorney to say “I will only enforce A and B.” He doesn’t have that right or responsibility. It is his right to say “Given my office’s limited resources and the weak evidence against Mr. Jones in this case, I will not prosecute him for C and D.” Ron DeSantis acknowledged as much.
All across the country, however, Justice Democrats have said they will not prosecute whole classes of crimes as a matter of principle. In doing so, they are acting as one-man legislatures. That’s true whether they are elected or appointed. They are still executive officials and are not authorized to ignore whole classes of duly passed laws.