Skip to comments.Restraining Arizona, Unleashing the President
Posted on 06/28/2012 4:10:08 AM PDT by Kaslin
The legislation created two conflicts that rose to the national stage. The first is whether any government may morally and legally interfere with freedom of association based on the birthplace of the person with whom one chooses to associate. The second is whether the states can enforce federal law in a manner different from that of the feds.
Regrettably, in addressing all of this earlier in the week, the Supreme Court overlooked the natural and fundamental freedom to associate. It is a natural right because it stems from the better nature of our humanity, and it is a fundamental right because it is protected from governmental interference by the Constitution itself. Freedom of association means that without force or fraud you may freely choose to be in the presence of whomever you please, and the government cannot force you to associate with someone with whom you have chosen not to associate, and the government cannot bar anyone with whom you wish to associate from associating with you.
Without even addressing the now-taken-for-granted federal curtailment of the right to associate with someone born in a foreign country and whose presence is inconsistent with arbitrary federal document requirements and quotas, the Supreme Court earlier this week struck down three of the four challenged parts of the Arizona statute, which attempted to supplant the federal regulation of freedom of association with its own version. It did so because the Constitution specifically gives to Congress the authority to regulate immigration, and Congress, by excluding all other law-writing bodies in the U.S. from enacting laws on immigration, has pre-empted the field.
The court specifically invalidated the heart and soul of this misguided Arizona law by ruling definitively that in the area of immigration, the states cannot stand in the shoes of the feds just because they disapprove of the manner in which the feds are or are not enforcing federal law. The remedy for one's disapproval of the manner of federal law enforcement is to elect a different president or Congress; it is not to tinker with the Constitution.
Federal law cannot have a different meaning in different states, the court held. And just as the feds must respect state sovereignty in matters retained by the states under the Constitution (though they rarely do), so, too, the states must respect federal sovereignty in matters that the Constitution has unambiguously delegated to the feds.
The court neither upheld nor invalidated Section 2B of the Arizona statute -- which permits a police inquiry of the immigration status of those arrested for non-immigration offenses -- because the court found that, just as when the police stop a person for a violation of state or local law they may check their computers for outstanding warrants for the person they have stopped, so, too, they may check their computers for the person's immigration status.
Shortly after the opinion came down, the Obama administration announced that it will cease providing Arizona police with the immigration status of persons in that state, and it will not detain anyone arrested by Arizona police for immigration violations unless those violations rise to the level of a felony, which undocumented presence in the U.S. is not. Thus, this constitutional rebuke to Arizona has become a personal license for the president. He now has demonstrated that he will not faithfully enforce federal law as the Constitution requires. He will only enforce the laws he agrees with.
So, since the Arizona police cannot arrest and incarcerate anyone for undocumented presence and since they cannot deliver anyone so arrested to the feds, what legitimate governmental purpose will be served by what remains of Arizona's law? None. But the police still will harass any dark-skinned person in Arizona that they please.
Have we lost sight of the perpetual tension between human freedom and human law? Either freedom is integral to our nature, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, or it comes from the government, as the president and the Supreme Court demonstrated they believe this week. If it is integral to our nature, no government can tell us with whom we may freely associate. If it comes from the government, we should abandon all hope, as the government will permit the exercise of only those freedoms that are not an obstacle to the contemporary exercise of its powers.
I am not even going to pretend to be on the same plain at Judge Napalitano on matters of the Constitution and law; he is much more learned than I. I will say this, though. The sentence above negates everything he just wrote; as far as I am concerned. Once the federal government starts down an adversarial, and contrary, path with the states, their people, and the Constitution, it is the people's right, and obligation to take matters into their own hands.
We are close to that point, now, if we haven't already reached it. If it can't be fixed through the ballot box, then the only recourse is through escalation, eventually to the ammo box; if necessary. The Founding fathers knew this; hence the Declaration of Independence.
The Civil War didn't settle the issue, either. It just put off the final decision for a bit.
I thought selective enforcement of the law was profiling.
Why can’t the States take the government to court for failure to uphold the immigration laws?
I agree with Obama on one thing. A patchwork of different state laws on immigration won’t work. But that is where my agreement ends. Step one of any Federal immigration laws needs to be to close and guard the border. If they get serious and do that, then we can talk about what to do with all the illegals currently in country.
That said, I’d like to see someone with standing sue one of the sanctuary cities for meddling in federal immigration law. Afterall, SCOTUS says you can’t do that..
To the same courts that just said the Federal government is not required to enforce laws it passes, and the States have no right to do so on their own?
But see that is different. The Progs WANT sanctuary cities. So those are cool.
“whose presence is inconsistent with arbitrary federal
document requirements and quotas”
Gotta agree with you bitterohiogunclinger! He is an idiot for putting this in the article. Those arbitrary federal documents happen to be laws. You would think he would know this...freedom of association...what a freaking stretch!
“Is there ANY other country where you can enter illegally and then get all the benefits accorded the citizens?”
Yes. The USofA! How very sad!
Here is but one example:
Texas awarded about $33.6 million in state and institutional financial aid to illegal immigrant college students. Illegal immigrants entering Texas’ higher education system are direct beneficiaries of a 1982 Supreme Court decision, Plyler vs. Doe. Parents in Tyler sued after the state began charging tuition for illegal immigrant children. The court ruled that Texas and the rest of the country must educate illegal immigrant children free of charge in public schools. (http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20100314-Number-of-illegal-immigrants-getting-in-9925.ece)
An argument based on nonsense is nonsense. Curtailement of the freedom to associated when one party is or has been in violation of the law is well established. You are not free to associated with a prison inmate at will. By definition, an illegal alien has violated the law.
No that is not what the court said. The court said the states can’t enforce and it is up to the federal government to enforce.
Thereby if the government won’t enforce...
Logically it should follow the States can go after the government for failure to enforce.
Every state should deport all the Illegals to Washington DC and see how the feds deal with it.