Skip to comments.ANALYSIS: Today’s Ruling in the Arizona Immigration Case (Not a victory for Arizona)
Posted on 06/25/2012 10:47:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Now that I’ve had some time to review the opinions in Arizona v. United States, I’d like to provide this high-level summary. I’ll refer to the four provisions of Arizona law at issue only very briefly and leave it to the interested reader to examine their details more carefully.
Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion, joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor, ruled that section 3 (penalty for failure to carry an alien-registration document in violation of federal law) (pp. 8-11), section 5(C) (misdemeanor for unauthorized alien to seek work) (pp. 12-15), and section 6 (state officers may arrest a person without a warrant if probable cause to believe person has committed an offense that makes him removable) (pp. 15-19) are all preempted by federal law.
As for section 2(B) (pp. 19-24), the provision that has received the most attention, Kennedy opines that it could be interpreted only to require state officers “to conduct a status check during the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been released,” and, if so interpreted “likely would survive preemption—at least absent some showing that it has other consequences that are adverse to federal law and its objectives” (p. 23). On this basis, Kennedy concludes that the Ninth Circuit was wrong to enjoin section 2(B).
Justice Alito agreed with the majority’s holdings on section 2(B) and section 3 but not on section 5(C) and section 6, which two provisions he would have found not preempted.
In separate opinions, Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas disagree with the majority’s holdings on section 3, section 5(C), and section 6.
For anyone who entertains the hope that the majority’s ruling on section 2(B) makes the case some sort of significant victory for Arizona, I invite you to have your illusion dispelled by reading Justice Scalia’s dissent. As Scalia puts it in his final two paragraphs:
Arizona bears the brunt of the country’s illegal immigration problem. Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy. Federal officials have been unable to remedy the problem, and indeed have recently shown that they are unwilling to do so. Thousands of Arizona’s estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants—including not just children but men and women under 30—are now assured immunity from enforcement, and will be able to compete openly with Arizona citizens for employment.
Arizona has moved to protect its sovereignty—not in contradiction 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.
The SCOTUS message here is, “When you elect a saboteur, you suffer the consequences.”
Supreme Court Rejects Obama Stance on Arizona Immigration Law
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a key part of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants on Monday, rejecting the Obama administration’s stance that only the U.S. government should enforce immigration laws in the United States. The nation’s highest court, in an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, unanimously upheld the state law’s most controversial aspect, requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop. http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/supreme-court-immigration-law/2012/06/25/id/443358
Federalist arguments are always the most simple, succinct, logical and powerful. Which is why weasel-wording justices hate them.
The real power in the fedgov any more is the power to alter, if not outright destroy, words and meaning. As this ruling aptly shows - yet again.
I hope the good citizens of Arizona tell the high court and Obama to stick this decision where the sun don’t shine.
I agree with Justice Scalia. If the citizens of Arizona don’t have the right to protect their own borders, we should stop calling them a sovereign state.
Kennedy, wow, what a SHOCK!! A coward acts like a coward. An people here really think Obamacare is going down!?!? This was the clearer case in my opinion. I mean, to take this case to its logical conclusion, can states enforce murder laws since they also appear in the federal statutes?
—If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.—
Duh. States are not sovereign. They are beholding to the Constitution of the UNITED STATES. The US is sovereign. The states are no more sovereign than the counties within them.
“If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.”
Leftist response: “OK.”
Do I understand correctly?
With Kagan not voting, had Roberts voted differently, would the outcome have deadlocked at 4-4—and the whole law would therefore have stood?
More troubling than Kennedy's stupidity is the acquiescence of Chief Justice John Roberts. This may portend trouble with the Obamacare decision.
George W. Bush appointed Roberts. Don't forget that poppy dearest George H.W. "New World Order" Bush appointed the turncoat and congenital idiot, David Souter, to the bench. Like father, like son?
Not becoming - we are there. The true enemy isn't in the Middle East, it's in D.C.
Whelan underplays it here. It not just “not a victory” for Arizona it is a loss for America and the soverignty of all its states.
Alito joined the majority in one instance, so that one still would have gone down, but two others would have been deadlocked.
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued a statement today in response to todays decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, upholding a key provision of SB 1070, Arizonas illegal immigration enforcement law, allowing police officers to check the immigration status of individuals they arrest or stop for questioning whom they suspect are in the U.S. illegally.
On April 11, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction against enforcement of some of the laws provisions per the request of the Obama administration, prompting the State of Arizona to petition the High Court (State of Arizona et al., v. The United States of America).
Judicial Watch had previously defended the law on behalf of the Arizona State Legislature. Most recently it filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of former Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, author of SB 1070, and a separate brief on behalf of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI). The amicus brief on behalf of SLLI was joined by 29 legislators from 20 states. In both briefs, Judicial Watch argued that SB 1070 utilizes the state of Arizonas well-established police powers and therefore is not preempted by federal law as the Obama administration maintains. Judicial Watch asked the Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling placing key provisions of SB 1070 on hold.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton stated:
This is a victory for the safety and security of Arizona and the nation. The Supreme Court held that local police can to help enforce immigration law by inquiring about immigration status. This sensible application of the law confirms that local law enforcement can use an additional tool to protect public safety. We can expect dozens of states to enact laws further empowering the police as Arizona did. The Obama administration should now focus on enforcing immigration laws rather than thwarting them.
Never mind—I’d forgotten that the 9th had already enjoined against it. Kennedy, too, would have had to vote differently.
Upholding 2B empowers the state to detain and turn over to the Feds. They should do so, requiring the Feds to sign on the dotted line when transferred (chain of custody). Subsequently if this person is not processed according to the laws on the books and creates harm against Arizona or its citizens, Arizona has a basis for suing the US government for damages.
Obama should be impeached for unilaterally striking Federal deportation laws.
Scalia as usual, has it right...
Here are some of the highlights from his 7-page dissent:
On Obama’s new immigration directive:
The President said at a news conference that the new program is the right thing to do in light of Congresss failure to pass the Administrations 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.
On the Supreme Court’s decision, Scalia wrote that states would have “rushed to the exits” if the Constitution contained the court’s ruling:
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 Courts holding? Todays judgment surely fails that test. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the delegates contended with the jealousy of the states with regard to their sovereignty.
Scalia goes on to argue that Arizona was in “complete compliance” with federal law because it had moved to “protect its sovereignty.”
“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. I dissent,” Scalia concluded.
They have never had sovereign power over immigration. Ever. No state has.
If they want sovereign power there are two ways to get it.
1, pass a constitutional amendment
If Arizona wishes to be sovereign then good luck to them! They are going to need it.
“Scalia goes on to argue that Arizona was in complete compliance with federal law because it had moved to protect its sovereignty. “
Was that before or after Scalia admitted that the law passed by Arizona was not in compliance with Federal law in that it lacked provisions that were contained with Federal immigration law?
This is a significant factual issue. If we’re going to get ‘high level’ reporting then it’s important to get the facts right.
Section 2 was upheld because it did comply with federal law. Sections 3 and 6 were struck down because they exceeded Federal immigration laws. Had they been in compliance they would have been upheld. A state has no more right to pass more stringent laws concerning immigration, as that is not a power granted to them under the constitution.
Scalia says it does not matter that the law was stricter, however, it does matter. The job of the states is to enforce the federal law. No more, no less.
They would have lost all of the law should that have occurred. This way, section 2 gets preserved. Without Kennedy, Roberts had no way to save all of the law.
Governer Brewer should say “Kennedy has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it.”
And what does obama do? He says the feds won’t lift a finger when AZ detains an illegal alien.
I knew this was not a victory because I knew ICE wouldn’t deport anyone AZ State Police or local cops detained. But, I never thought obama would immediately ANNOUNCE that ICE won’t do anything. And I was at the point where nothing obama does would surprise me. Surprise!
Won't be surprised if this latest scumbag turncoat, Roberts, joins the other commies to rule in favor of deathcare...
John Roberts proved himself a Bush League hack in his ruling on Aizona’s SB1040.
From your posts. it seems you may be a lawyer.
So, now that the Supreme Court has made these rulings, don’t these same rulings serve as a guide to state lawmakers as to what laws they can write in the future to solve their states’ illegal immigration problems that WOULD be upheld?
This ruling doesn’t do very much for the states. The states would be better off not writing anymore laws until the administration changes over.
The battle now is going to be over enforcement. If the states start enforcing the federal laws by documenting (and I’m going to stress how important this is) the illegal immigrants, they can get polical support to reform the immigration laws.
This is why the Obama administration is frantically trying to stop them from documenting evidence. This evidence can be used in many different ways to get what Arizona wants - the political will to support deportation.
So they should document, document, document, and do what Sheriff Joe is doing - take them into custody on the cheap.
The more proactive they are on the legal front the more ‘fringe benefits’ they will see down the line.
“This ruling doesnt do very much for the states. The states would be better off not writing anymore laws until the administration changes over....”
That seems to be understating things. I just finished listening to Levin’s take on it; I hope you did too.
As far as states not writing law until “the administration changes over”, after hearing Romney’s pathetic statement and Levin’s take on what the ROBERTS court did, looks to me like the states may as well never even waste their time trying for the forseeable future.
Then what is the definition of a State?
—Then what is the definition of a State?—
I’m speaking of the 57 states within the US. Their sovereignty ended with the end of the Civil war.
Quote: “More troubling than Kennedy’s stupidity is the acquiescence of Chief Justice John Roberts. This may portend trouble with the Obamacare decision.”
I could not agree more. I think we are going to see a ton of dissapointment around here tomorrow.
I see what you mean