Police body camera federal funding terrific but unconstitutional idea
President Obama’s call for $75 million to fund 50,000 police body cameras finds no support in the Constitution, but such concerns never seem to matter to the man.
Putting body cameras on police is a welcome idea both for good cops and the public, but search as we may, Congress has no constitutional authority to fund this terrific idea.
Congress could fund body cameras for federal agents such as Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officials who threaten ranchers, paramilitary units of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service such as those that raided Gibson Guitars, or even any IRS agent with access to a computer and anyone’s personal tax information.
The thought of a law requiring all federal law enforcement officials to be recorded while on duty may be the new Walter Mitty fantasy for conservatives.
It will be interesting to watch which politicos and opinion promulgators even question the constitutional legality of such a federal reach into state and local police functions.
The Constitution is structured a certain way for a reason. Federalism means that the federal government does not have jurisdiction over everything. That structure is anathema to progressives.
Sadly, state and local law enforcement budgets are already spread too thin. Another Walter Mitty fantasy for conservatives, of course, is cutting the federal government and keeping more public money for states and localities.