Facts, Law and Mike Delph

A friend who uses Twitter sent me a series of Tweets from Mike Delph today. Most railed against “activist” judges (beginning with Chief Justice Marshall’s decision in Marbury v. Madison) and the “elites that control them.” Others were–frankly–incomprehensible, not to mention ungrammatical. The one sentiment that came through loud and clear is that Delph is highly pissed off that the courts would dare strike down provisions of his pet legislation. (Putting this as politely as possible, if he has even a rudimentary grasp of the constitutional architecture, that grasp was not on display in these tweets.)

I thought about Delph’s war on immigrants when I read a recent article from the Atlantic.

The article was titled “Safety in Diversity: Why Crime is Down in America’s Cities.” A couple of relevant paragraphs will give its basic thrust, but the entire article is worth reading.

In the popular imagination, crime is frequently associated with big, densely populated cities. Here again, we can separate fact from myth.  Primary cities and older high-density suburbs exhibited the largest decreases in crime between 1990 and 2008, according to the Brookings study. And the gap between city and suburban violent crime narrowed in two-thirds of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. Our own analysis turns up no association whatsoever between metro size or metro density and the overall level of crime, though we do find a modest correlation (.25) between density and violent crime.


It might be hard to wrap your mind around this–especially with all the demagoguery about immigration. But the numbers tell a different story than our alarmist pundits and politicians do. “Since 1990, all types of communities within the country’s largest metro areas have become more diverse,” Elizabeth Kneebone, one of the authors of the Brookings report, wrote in The New Republic. “Crime fell fastest in big cities and high-density suburbs that were poorer, more minority, and had higher crime rates to begin with. At the same time, all kinds of suburbs saw their share of poor, minority, and foreign-born residents increase. As suburbia diversified, crime rates fell.” Along with their entrepreneurial energy and their zeal to succeed, immigrants are good neighbors–cultural and economic factors that militate against criminal behavior, and not just in their own enclaves but in surrounding communities as well.

Don’t you just hate it when the facts smack you down?