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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

The immigration ruling

No, I'm not going to tear the whole thing down bit ( though I could).  I'm not going to pontificate onwhy illegal aliens should be made to comply with the law, since conservatives already know that and liberals will choose to ignore it as they do all laws they don't like.  The ruling itself had little to do with the morality of the subject, or the wrongs or rights.  The case was about one thing- state's rights.

The majority threw out 3 of the four causes on the concept that they "interfered with existing federal laws".  Never mind that the whole thing has come up because most administrations in the 20th and 21st centuries have FAILED TO ENFORCE said laws.   The fourth only survived because the Court felt that enforcement was so far ambiguous and needed to force a state case before they could rule whether it "interfered" or not.

When you read the Court's majority opinion (which basically goes, " We feel your pain, Arizona, but you can't supercede federal law"), it sounds pretty ironclad and logical.  The Federal Government has taken up the mantle of immigration supremacy, and despite the fact that the rules are written so the DOJ only has to enforce them when or if they feel like it, the states are out of the game.

But are they?  Let me give you some quotes from Justice Scalia's EXCELLENT dissent:

Today’s opinion, approving virtually all of the Ninth Circuit’s injunction against enforcement of the four challenged provisions of Arizona’s law, deprives States of what most would con- sider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there. Neither the Constitution itself nor even any law passed by Congress supports this result. I dissent.

One would conclude from the foregoing that after theadoption of the Constitution there was some doubt about the power of the Federal Government to control immigration, but no doubt about the power of the States to do so.Since the founding era (though not immediately), doubt about the Federal Government’s power has disappeared. Indeed, primary responsibility for immigration policy hasshifted from the States to the Federal Government .


Even in its international relations, the Federal Government must live with the inconvenient fact that it is a Union of independent States, who have their own sovereign powers. This is not the first time it has found that a nuisance and a bother in the conduct of foreign policy.


Though it may upset foreign powers—and even when the Federal Government desperately wants to avoid upsetting foreign powers—the States have the right to protect their borders against foreign nationals, just as they have the right to execute foreign nationals for murder.

What this case comes down to, then, is whether the Arizona law conflicts with federal immigration law—whether it excludes those whom federal law would admit, or admits those whom federal law would exclude. It does not purport to do so. It applies only to aliens who neither possess a privilege to be present under federal law nor have been removed pursuant to the Federal Government’s inherent authority.

The Court points out, however, ante, at 11, that in some respects the state law exceeds the punishments prescribed by federal law: It rules out probation and pardon, which are available under federal law. The answer is that it makes no difference. Illegal immigrants who violate §3 violate Arizona law. It is one thing to say that the Supremacy Clause prevents Arizona law from excluding those whom federal law admits. It is quite something else to say that a violation of Arizona law cannot be punished more severely than a violation of federal law. Especially where (as here) the State is defending its own sovereign interests, there is no precedent for such a limitation. The sale of illegal drugs, for example, ordinarily violates state law as well as federal law, and no one thinks that the state penalties cannot exceed the federal.

It holds no fear for me, as it does for the Court, that "[w]ere §3 to come into force, the State would have the power to bring criminal charges against individuals for violating a federal law even in circumstances where federal officials in charge of the comprehensive scheme determine that prosecution would frustrate federal policies." Ante, at 11. That seems to me entirely appropriate when the State uses the federal law (as it must) as the criterion for the exercise of its own power, and the implementation of its own policies of excluding those who do not belong there. What I do fear—and what Arizona and the States that support it fear—is that "federal policies" of nonenforcement will leave the States helpless before those evil effects of illegal immigration that the Court’s opinion dutifully recites in its prologue (ante, at 6) but leavesunremedied in its disposition.


The brief for the Government in this case asserted that "the Executive Branch’s ability to exercise discretion and set priorities is particularly important because of the need to allocate scarce enforcement resources wisely." Brief for United States 21. Of course there is no reason why theFederal Executive’s need to allocateits scarce enforcement resources should disable Arizona from devoting its resources to illegal immigration in Arizona that in its view the Federal Executive has given short shrift.

Must Arizona’s ability to protect its borders yield to the reality that Congress has provided inadequate funding for federal enforcement—or, even worse, to the Executive’s unwise targeting of that funding?
The President said at a news conference that the new program is "the right thing to do" in light of Congress’s failure to pass the Administration’s proposed revision of the Immigration Act. Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so. But to say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind.



But there has come to pass, and is with us today, the specter that Arizona and the States that support it predicted: A Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws as written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected against immigrants whom those laws would exclude. So the issue is a stark one. Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?

A good way of answering that question is to ask: Would the States conceivably have entered into the Union if the Constitution itself contained the Court’s holding? Today’s judgment surely fails that test .

Arizona has moved to protect its sovereignty—not incontradiction of federal law, but in complete compliance with it. The laws under challenge here do not extend or revise federal immigration restrictions, but merely enforce those restrictions more effectively. If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.

So you see, we spent 100 years of this counrty's history wisely constricting state's rights- the Nullification battle, the Civil War.  Then we let things swing the other way.  Now every battle we need to fight with the Federal government- education, health care, immigration- is fought to preserve the dwindling rights of the states.  It's not the constitution that's flawed- it's those that interpret it.

2 comments:

  1. The constitution was the document that allowed us to essentially become one of the most powerful countries on the planet. It was written by intelligent men who were not intent on becoming career politicians. They were farmers, inventors, teachers... not politicians.

    It's a shame we're not using it anymore. It was a fantastic blue print on how a great country could be run.

    On an aside, we were talking today at work about the amount of money donated to run the campaigns. Millions upon millions of dollars DONATED. Where would this country be if both sides of the parties took that money and used it towards the debt pay off? Healthcare? or feeding the 1 out of 4 MIDDLE CLASS families in this country that go hungry every day?

    So, so sad how a$$ backwards this country has become.

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    1. Yeah, J, I did a post quite a while back on how many kids could be sponsored with Children International with what people donate to these losers. It is a damn shame all around.

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