Supreme Court’s Arizona Immigration Decision NOT a Win for Brewer

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

On Monday, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled against the State of Arizona regarding three key provisions of the controversial state law regarding immigration enforcement. The court declined to rule on the most controversial provision requiring local law enforcement official to determine the immigration status of individuals they suspect of not being in the country legally because that provision has not yet been implemented. The court did however warn that the implementation of the law could be on shaky ground.

It is not clear at this stage and on this record that §2(B), in practice, will require state officers to delay the release of detainees for no reason other than to verify their immigration status. This would raise constitutional concerns. And it would disrupt the federal framework to put state officers in the position of holding aliens in custody for possible unlawful presence without federal direction and supervision.

But from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s statement yesterday, either she didn’t read the ruling or she is living in an altered state of reality.

Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for the 10th Amendment and all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens. After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.

I’m leaning towards the altered state of reality theory for Brewer, and her sycophants.  wrote in Slate:

What is striking to me about the court’s decision in the Arizona immigration case is what a total victory this decision was for the U.S. government and for the solicitor general. Press coverage that leads with the notion that the court upheld the “key provision” or suggesting that the overall outcome was a “split verdict” seems way off base to me. The feds won.

Here are the Arizona provisions the court struck down:

  • The provision making it a crime to be present in Arizona without carrying an alien registration document
  • The provision making it a crime for an “unauthorized alien” to look for work or take a job
  • The provision allowing an Arizona law enforcement officer to arrest anyone that the officer believes has committed a crime that would make him deportable.

Here are the Arizona provisions the court held were valid:

  • No provisions.  Not any. None.

Read More.

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez

Central Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez issued this statement on the ruling yesterday:

“This ruling by the Supreme Court to strike down large portions of SB 1070 confirms what I have always maintained – that immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility.  This is a victory and vindication that state and local municipalities simply do not have the authority to set the law on immigration matters.

“However, I am deeply disappointed the Court upheld the discriminatory “show me your papers” provision of SB 1070.  I am especially concerned for the impact of this law on citizens who are here legally. It is likely they will be singled out and will face harassment simply for looking like an immigrant.  We are a nation of immigrants and I fear this provision will be impossible to enforce fairly and even handedly, in a manner that accurately reflects our American values.  As a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, I will be alert to this situation and will watch for the even implementation of this law.

“The discussions surrounding SB 1070 certainly illustrate the need to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform on the federal level. I call on my colleagues to work in a bipartisan fashion on long term improvements to our immigration system, for our families and for our economy.”

Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Antonin Scalia

Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Antonin Scalia

Latino community activist Claudio Gallegos while expressing his disappointment that the court did not just strike down the law in its entirety, was also concerned with the seemingly racist citations by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent.

“I’m disappointed that the Court didn’t strike down the “papers please” provision but at least they put restrictions on probable cause,” Gallegos said. Scalia’s dissent however demonstrates the general intent of conservatives to turn back the clock more than 100 years to a time where “Exclusion Laws” were acceptable practice to discriminate against individuals on the basis of race and national origin. His thinking underscores that of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his vision for America.”

Legal scholar Jeffrey Tobin wrote of Scalia’s dissent for the New Yorker:

And what authority did Scalia cite for his broad conception of the role of the state? He went back into history to examine the role of states in policing immigration. He pointed out that

In the first 100 years of the Republic, the States enacted numerous laws restricting the immigration of certain classes of aliens, including convicted criminals, indigents, persons with contagious diseases, and (in Southern States) freed blacks. State laws not only provided for the removal of unwanted immigrants but also imposed penalties on unlawfully present aliens and those who aided their immigration.It’s worth pausing to remember what kind of immigration the states (especially the Southern ones) handled in those bygone days; much of it had to do with slavery, of course. To be sure, Scalia is not endorsing slavery, but his invocation of that ugly chapter in American history suggests, at a minimum, a loss of perspective.

In Scalia’s world view America should return to the days where states had the right to discriminate as they saw fit.

Where is Cher when we need her?

  9 comments for “Supreme Court’s Arizona Immigration Decision NOT a Win for Brewer

  1. June 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    11 of 14 Sections Still Standing

    Although headlines have focused on the court knocking down three of four provisions before it, it should be noted that S.B. 1070 began with 14 sections. After all the challenges at several court levels, 11 of those sections are still standing.

    S.B. 1070 has always regarded as supplementary to the far more important, earlier Arizona bill that requires every employer to use E-Verify to keep illegal aliens and tourists from taking jobs. The Obama administration also opposed this effort, but the Court last year entirely upheld the right of states to protect its workers in that way.
    Impeach Obama

    • MikeM128
      June 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      E-Verify should be the law of the land. If they cant get jobs they might go home.

      As someone who has had an illegal alien steal his identity, I would really appreciate the E-Verify system. People don’t realize that when someone uses your Social Security number for a job with the City of Costa Mesa that the IRS comes looking for theirs.

      While Obama won’t deport them he will go after their victims. Oh and if you are an illegal alien, there is no prosecution for identity theft so feel free to just submit another persons social security number if your employer finds out.

      I don’t blame anyone trying to make a better life for themselves. I blame them for making life for someone else worse.

  2. Veryclearitisunconstitutional
    June 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Just wondering. Chris, what is your take on SB1070? Are you against it and as disappointed as community activist Claudio Gallegos? Who I never heard of before? Just googled his name and there are no local hits.

    • June 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Claudio has been involved in Orange County politics for a while. He has been a member of the Orange County Democratic Party Central committee; blogger for Orange Juice Blog, SunnyD blog and then LiberalOC. He has worked professionally in political advocacy for Planned Parenthood, and has provided technical analysis used in the development of redistricting maps and proposals submitted to the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission and Rancho Santiago Community College district.

    • June 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      As for my take, I believe that the decision of the Supreme Court was a win for the Obama administration. It struck down the provisions that were clearly unconstitutional and the remaining provision is on such perilous ground that it is ultimately impractical, if not impossible, to implement.

  3. cook
    June 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I bet deportations go up. Its federaL law.

  4. June 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    @ Chris P:

    I suspect that based on past experience and developments around it, that AZ SB 1070 SECTION 2(B), which may be on shaky ground, will result in ETHNIC profiling.

    1) A guideline for suspecting someone and attempting to verify their immigration status is if “they have difficulty speaking English”.

    2) Because of repeated violations of Constitutional protections of US Citizens and Legal residents of Hispanic descent, DHS/ICE has removed the ability of AZ to verify the immigration status of people detained.

    This will make verification of immigration status under SECTION 2(B) more challenging – to the point of being wasteful of law enforcement resources, which could be used to go after violent criminals, under a more constitutional framework.

    please see my post:
    “US Supreme Court ruling on SB1070 – What it is, What it means!”- June 25, 2012


  5. June 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I think it is very troublesome to try to impose E-Verify in isolation, especially if problems persist with E-Verify as they did before.

    see – “CM Mayor Mansoor Imposing Ineffective & Anti-Business E-Verify Program – September 23, 2010”


    • June 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Paco — no blog whoring here please

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