I’m feeling damned impatient with some members of my own party.
People: If you’re going to weigh in on issues that affect us all, at least get it right. We would expect Republicans to crow about the one provision left standing in today’s Supreme Court ruling on immigration law, spinning it their way, but read the fine print.
It is imperative for the Democrats to get it right and to shout down the feeble, psychotic voices of the crone Jan Brewer and her ilk.
Here is a CNN link to the PDF of today’s decision.
Here is Justice Kennedy writing for the majority:
“The National Government has significant power to regulate immigration…Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.”
In what sense is this not a victory for the federal government? Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out on The Last Word tonight that the Court made it clear that it could not rule on the Constitutionality of something that has not yet taken place, i.e., the “papers please” clause, not yet in effect.
And here is what Barack Obama said:
“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona’s immigration law. What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system — it’s part of the problem. “At the same time, I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally. I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status.”
Again, the Court indicated it would have struck down the remaining provision but is constrained by the fact that until this policy receives a Supreme Court challenge to settle whether it supports or undermines the authority of the Federal Government, it cannot find this provision in the Arizona law unconstitutional.
Mike Sachs, reporting for the HuffPo, writes, “Monday’s decision on “papers please” rested on the more technical issue of whether the law unconstitutionally invaded the federal government’s exclusive prerogative to set immigration policy. The justices found that it was not clear whether Arizona was supplanting or supporting federal policy by requiring state law enforcement to demand immigration papers from anyone stopped, detained or arrested in the state who officers reasonably suspect is in the country without authorization. The provision that was upheld — at least for now — also commands police to check all arrestees’ immigration status with the federal government before they are released.”
This is not a carte blanche for the “Papers Please” provision to racially profile and it is misleading and moreover, upsetting to our Latino fellow citizens to say that it is.
Now more than ever, all of us have to pull our heads out of our asses and issue informed opinions that are not spin. There’s more spin in the atmosphere than shit in a stockyard, to lapse into a Western comparison.
Here is the opinion on the provision left standing, which MUST be interpreted to mean that the Court could not rule until the provision itself is put to the test:
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 §2(B) could be read to avoid these concerns. If the law only requires state officers to conduct a status check during the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been released, the provision would likely survive preemption—at least absent some showing that it has other consequences that are adverse to federal law and its objectives. Without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume §2(B) will be construed in a way that conflicts with federal law. Cf. Fox v. Washington, 236 U. S. 273, 277. This opinion does not foreclose other preemption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect. Pp. 22–24.
641 F. 3d 339, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,
C. J., and GINSBURG, BREYER, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., THOMAS, J., and ALITO, J., filed opinions concurring in part and dissenting in part. KAGAN, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of this decision.
This is hardly an affirmation of the authority of the States to make its own laws regarding immigration. Sorry, Governor Brewer– new reading glasses are in order.
Psychosis is about living in an alternate universe. At this point it’s obvious that everyone in the GOP is eating Ambien.