Justice Scalia v. Obama

by Crocker on June 26, 2012, 9:10 am

in Law

In his dissent from the Arizona immigration case yesterday, Justice Scalia took the unusual step of reading a prepared text that took Hope ‘n Change to the woodshed over his executive order granting backdoor amnesty to over 1 million illegals. From The Hill:

In his comments from the bench, which expanded on his written minority opinion, Scalia blasted Obama’s decision to stop deporting many young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

“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?” Scalia asked. “If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state.”

Scalia effectively charged the administration with fibbing with its explanation for not deporting DREAM Act-eligible immigrants as one of discretion in handling scarce prosecutorial resources.

“After this case was argued and while it was under consideration, the secretary of Homeland Security announced a program exempting from immigration enforcement some 1.4 million illegal immigrants,” Scalia said. “The husbanding of scarce enforcement resources can hardly be the justification for this, since those resources will be eaten up by the considerable administrative cost of conducting the nonenforcement program, which will require as many as 1.4 million background checks and biennial rulings on requests for dispensation.

“To say, as the court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of federal immigration law that the president declines to enforce boggles the mind,” he added.

As we know by now, the Court struck down most of the enforcement provisions in the Arizona statute but left intact the ability of law enforcement to asked about immigration status during a lawful stop. But the Court invited further legal challenges to that provision as well – which means that it ain’t over yet.

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