On dissent in the AZ ruling
Sdferr cites this part of the dissent by Justice Scalia:
[...] But there has come to pass, and is with us today, the specter that Arizona and the States that support it predicted: A Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws as written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected against immigrants whom those laws would exclude. So 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? Today’s 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.” 1Records of the Federal Convention 19 (M. Farrand ed.1911) (statement of Edmund Randolph). Through ratification of the fundamental charter that the Convention produced, the States ceded much of their sovereignty to the Federal Government. But much of it remained jealously guarded—as reflected in the innumerable proposals that never left Independence Hall. Now, imagine a provision—perhaps inserted right after Art. I, §8, cl. 4, the Naturalization Clause—which included among the enumerated powers of Congress “To establish Limitations upon Immigration that will be exclusive and that will be enforced only to the extent the President deems appropriate.” The delegates to the Grand Convention would have rushed to the exits.
As is often the case, discussion of the dry legalities that are the proper object of our attention suppresses the very human realities that gave rise to the suit. 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. I dissent.
My thoughts: Dissent is fairly meaningless — though I will say though that Scalia’s dissent is a good one inasmuch as it shows that the Court is now less originalist than it is concerned with its own prior precedent, regardless of how wrong that prior precedent might be.
It was a self-interested and politically correct decision, and that’s what the left has been paving the way for for years upon years upon years.
The specter of Kennedy and Roberts both ruling with the feds on ObamaCare — as Pelosi and I believe Allahpundit both predicted — is more real than I ever believed. Though it’s also true that they may believe the way they ruled here gives them cover.
Either way, basing votes on such considerations is more that just regrettable. It signals that this is all over, and that speed is the only thing left to decide how quickly.
In fact, given what the mission of this blog has been — that is, to re-tether meaning to intent in a way that is non-political and non-cynically manipulative in order to protect the very kernel foundational assumptions of a classical liberal system anchored to a stable rule of law — I see no real reason to continue. We’re over. Most people won’t know it or feel it or acknowledge it — and any number of faux sophisticates will smirk and behave dismissively of my hyperventilating hyperbole — but it’s settled science from my perspective, not because of the ruling itself, but because of what the ruling says about the relationship b/w states and federal authorities, and about the role of the actual Constitution and its legislative intent, which is now to be permanently subjugated to the PC efforts of philosopher kings and queens themselves pressured by political considerations.
How you get there matters, I’ve argued. This ruling makes clear that, from the High Court’s perspective, such is no longer true. If it ever really was.
Game, set, match to the Left.