Four issues were argued and decisions rendered. The most significant and most controversial provision in Arizona’s law was upheld by the unanimous vote of eight of the nine Justices. Judge Kagan recused herself.
The other three provisions of Arizona’s law were struck down on a 5 to 3 divided vote.
Arizona police may check the immigration status of an individual stopped on reasonable suspicion of having committed a crime.
1. Arizona state law that mirrored existing federal law making it a crime not to complete or carry immigration papers.
2. A provision of Arizona law that made it illegal for an illegal immigrant to apply for or hold a job.
3. A provision of Arizona law allowing police to arrest and detain an illegal alien not yet convicted of a deportable crime. Police must release the individual after telling them to show up later for a hearing.
Justice Scalia wrote the dissent.
Here is the decision.
Here are excerpts from Scalia’s dissent.
Post Script – The case is actually identified as AZ vs. US but I think the United States against Arizona better reflects the reality.
Two highly significant issues are being prepared for presentation before the Supreme Court. One is the United States Government vs. the State of Arizona. The argument put forth by the Obama administration is that the federal government is given exclusive power to regulate immigration. The question then is what power does a state have to protect its own people when the federal government imperils the states citizens by failing to enforce its own laws.
The second significant item is the constitutionality of Obamacare. No case has actually been filed as yet but one is fully expected. At one count, 38 states had joined or were considering joining in a suit to argue the health care plan is unconstitutional. The issue here is the “individual mandate”. The plan requires everyone to carry insurance or pay money to the government for failure to do so. The crux of the argument lies in the characterization of that money. Is it a tax or a penalty?
If it is a tax, Obamacare is more likely to be found constitutional under the clause that gives the federal government to levy tax for the national welfare of the people. However, if it is a penalty, Obamacare is more likely to be found unconstitutional under the interstate commerce provisions which give Congress the power to regulate, but not to mandate interstate commerce.
The states will argue that the money is a penalty. The Obama administration will argue it is a tax. It would be interesting if President Obama were to be called to testify about his assertions to the American people that his plan would actually save money and therefore no new taxes would be required to pay for it. That won’t happen, of course.
The United States is suing one of its united states for enforcing laws that United States law requires be enforced. Got it? Yesterday, author Katie Pavlich began a story in Townhall with this:
Earlier today, I had the privilege of sitting down with National Sheriff of the Year Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to discuss his reaction to Operation Fast and Furious and his ongoing fight against ruthless drug cartels. After our conversation, it became clear the Obama Administration is fighting him with lawsuits and by arming the very cartels he and his deputies are trying to combat in the Arizona desert.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is fighting what he describes as the most ruthless criminals in North America, on American soil in Southern Arizona. In his county, cartels use look-out posts, or “spotters,” to detect and move around law enforcement, and shootouts with cartels members are a normal occurrence.
Katie’s headline asks “but Whose Side is Obama On?” We have the answer and it’s not pleasant. Play the video.
Pavlich also points out that the U.S. government paid — correction — you and I paid for many of the guns in the hands of the drug cartel. Read about it here.
(Hat tip to Denis for the video)
Arizonians live next door to routine violence. Fortunately most of it, but not all, takes place on Mexico’s side of the line. Nonetheless, it is difficult to find a place in Arizona where one can feel comfortable walking after sunset anywhere within 10 miles of Mexico.
Both political parties in Washington have prioritized potential votes over the safety of one of its state’s citizens.
You are aware, I am sure, of those light bulbs that look like a screw that has eaten too many Big Macs? But are you aware that under already enacted federal Liberal law, they are all you will be able to buy after 2012? If you have any of those cute little lamps whose shades clip onto round bulbs get ready to toss them out. The elites have declared round bulbs are a tool of hedonistic conservatives who have no concern for the planet.
I have nothing against screwy light bulbs. In fact I recommend them. Using them is the moral thing to do. But the government should not be legislating morality, at least not in matters of incandescence or fluorescence. That’s a personal decision that should be left between a consumer and his lamps. What’s next? Will your Congressman be reaching his hand into your shower to adjust the water temperature?
Earlier this year, Arizona State Senator Frank Antenori, (R Tucson), introduced a Bill to get Washington’s hands off the people’s bulbs. It would have allowed round bulbs to be made and sold in Arizona. It whizzed through the legislative bodies of the State. Sadly, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the Bulb Bill. She said one fight with the Feds is enough. So much for States Rights, where is Lincoln when you need him?
As Bill Buckley (RIP) might say, enjoy your hot showers while Washington still allows you to have them.
From the San Juan Monitor, the local newspaper in a Texas border town.
An 18-year-old woman, whose name was not disclosed by police, was walking to a friend’s house about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
A black van pulled up alongside her and three men hopped out, San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez said. They snatched the girl, blindfolded her and took her to Reynosa [Mexico]. The kidnappers began calling the woman’s family demanding ransom money.
Once the abductors realized their victim’s family would not be able to pay a ransom, they dumped her in a random field. She had her cell phone, but police still had no idea where she was.
U.S. authorities did not contact their Mexican counterparts because they did not know whether they were corrupted or connected to the girl’s captors, Gonzalez said.
People that she came across didn’t want to help,” the chief said. “People are living in fear in Mexico.”
This happens to be a Texas story. Arizona is no different, except that some of the towns smaller than San Juan are overwhelmed. Instead of fighting Arizona, Obama should send a contingent of the U.S. Army to the border as President Wilson did in 1914.
The job of a community organizer is not to organize for efficiency and a smoother running society. The job is more like that of a union organizer. It is to stir up people, get them angry and then focus their anger in a direction that gives power to the organizer. The job is not to unite, but to divide; to divide and conquer.
Obama is dividing the country. He seems not to care. His poll ratings are in free fall. He seems not to care. His party is going to get thrashed in November. He seems not to care. Arizona is enforcing the law. About that, he cares. His Justice Department has just instituted another lawsuit against Arizona law enforcement.
Obama’s chances for a second term look grim. He seems not to care. He must have a plan. What could it be? He has over 2 years to push for an amnesty program with voting rights. It is a rank speculation, but could that be part of the plan?