The story, though, framed the issue somewhat peculiarly, comparing the decision to "two highly publicized showdowns with the federal government over Texas pollution-control efforts and education funding," declaring that "this low-key standoff is yet another issue in Gov. Rick Perry's ballyhooed war on Washington." Even stranger, the story sets Perry in opposition to Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee:
"What is more important and more precious than our children?" Jackson Lee asked.
If the impasse can't be broken, she says she'll push the Obama administration to delay penalties against Texas rather than forfeit federal victim assistance funds.
"I think it's more important to get states to comply than to meet arbitrary deadlines," said Jackson Lee, a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
"The cost for Texas is considerable, but the impact on saving the lives of children warrants that kind of investment," Jackson Lee said.
In truth, for the most part, the sex-offender registry isn't an issue that breaks down along partisan lines because one of its primary purposes - even more so, IMO, than it promotes public safety - is to allow politicians of all stripes to grandstand and engage in demagoguery, at least until reality intervenes, either through stories of injustice or fiscal contraction. In times of normal budgets, at least for the last coupla decades, everybody on both sides of the aisle has said basically the same thing as the Congresswoman, just like everybody in Salem was against witches. In the current budget environment, though, she's writing checks up there in Washington that the state of Texas can't afford to cash. If these are the terms of debate these days, sign me up on the Governor's side and tell the feds nobody down here wants to pay for the Adam Walsh Act while we're closing schools and prisons and gutting core functions of state government.
H/T to Sentencing Law & Policy.
RELATED: From forensic psychologist Karen Franklin, see "Justice Perverted," in which she opens an eponymous book review asking "At a time when many U.S. states are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy and essential public services are being slashed and burned, does it make sense to spend billions and billions of dollars on largely symbolic laws that do little or nothing to prevent or deter sex offending?"