|Federalist Society of the Emerald Coast President Gary Bergosh introduces featured speaker Hans von Spakovsky on 10-4-2017 in Pensacola|
The Federalist Society has recently expanded, with a brand new chapter opening up locally over the last several months. The Federalist Society is an organization comprised of Conservative and Libertarian members that believe strongly in individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. This group, as described in their website, "is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities." The newly formed chapter--The Federalist Society of the Emerald Coast- was spearheaded by Circuit Court Judge Gary Bergosh and had it's first large-scale meeting last night at the Pensacola Yacht Club.
|Left to right, Judge and Mrs. Pat Maney, Judge Gary Bergosh, and Justice Ken Bell attend the kickoff of the Federalist Society of the Emerald Coast 10-4-2017|
The well-attended meeting featured an address by Mr. Hans von Spakovsky-a nationally renown speaker, former FEC Board member, and current Manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation.
In attendance at last night's event were county commissioners from multiple Panhandle Counties, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward, a dozen current and former Circuit Court Judges, multiple attorneys from the Pensacola area, current and former state legislators, and many other interested citizens.
|Mayor Hayward and Judge Langham, 10-4-2017|
Mr. von Spakovsky treated the assembled group to an intriguing discussion about the nationwide problem of illegal immigration, the associated costs to states and local governments, and the specific effects of the issue on Florida's economy. "According to numbers from two years ago, Florida has approximately 1 Million illegal aliens, a little less than 5% of the population, and the costs associated with maintaining this group in Florida is more than $5 Billion yearly. Broken down, it is more than $3 Billion for public education expenses, $1.5 Billion for medical costs and a more than $500 Million dollar burden on the state's criminal justice system." von Spakovsky stated. He next detailed the problem of America's failure to enforce immigration laws that are already on the books. According to von Spakovsky, this failure of enforcement has led to the rise of sanctuary cities and more disturbingly, a concentration of criminal aliens in such sanctuary cities. "The worst part about some jurisdictions' sanctuary policies is that it leads to more protections for non-citizens than for legal citizens!" he mused. "If you or I are pulled over for a traffic violation, the policeman is going to check our background instantaneously--and if we are wanted in another jurisdiction--we will be held and picked up. An illegal alien, on the other hand, is not in the system because he is not a citizen- and he will therefore be allowed to go free"
|Nicole Ferry, Steve Warrick, Trey Parnham, and Hans von Spakovsky attend The Federalist Society of the Emerald Coast Kickoff 10-4-2017|
von Spakovsky spoke for about 45 minutes and finished up with a question and answer session. One young man in the crowd, who self identified as a millennial, asked about the notion that some young illegal aliens, if allowed to stay, might actually help our nation and themselves by paying into social security and paying taxes to help support the retiring baby boomers. The answer to the question was swift and stern: "The problem with the question is that it is not factual. Surveys have shown a high percentage of these persons are illiterate in English and unskilled. Over time, they do not add anything to the system, but rather will be a tremendous negative drain on the entitlements of the country because they are uneducated and unskilled. That is the problem with that rationale" he quipped.
After the event, many of the assembled audience were able to meet and speak with one another, and Mr. von Spakovsky mingled in with the group and posed for pictures with the audience.
I'm looking forward to the next event locally, and the next great speaker!
Read more about Hans von Spakovski here.