Arizona Immigration Law
The Supreme Court’s decision on the individual mandate will be delivered on Thursday. Based on who has authored opinions thus far this term, it is highly likely that the majority opinion will be delivered by Chief Justice Roberts. Even if that is the case, that does not mean that the individual mandate is doomed.
Today the Court did deliver an opinion on the Arizona immigration law, striking down three of the four major provisions. The Court permitted the “show your papers” provision, though the language suggests that it must be applied narrowly. Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court. The case was decided 5-3, with Justice Kagan recusing herself. Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas dissented. The opinions can be found here.
The Court also ruled that juvenile convicts cannot be subject to life in prison without parole. As Shannen Coffiin quipped, next “look for the Court to decide that juvenile offenders cannot be sent to their room without possibility of their supper.” The decision is here.
In another case, the Court ruled that its Citizens United decision applies to a Montana state law.
All in all, today’s decisions remind us that, no matter how the Court rules on the individual mandate, the Court is still a bloody mess.
I hope to have further analysis of the Arizona case later today.
Update: Reading through the opinions now in the Arizona case, and I just want to note that Alito agreed with the majority in declaring Section 3 of the AZ law (which forbids the “willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document”) to be preempted by federal law. Both Thomas and Scalia would have upheld all four sections of the law.
Update 2: And the fig leaf that the Court gave to the state of Arizona proved to be of little use:
The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get from Arizona police — but that won’t change President Obama’s decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport.
Shorter headline should be, “Obama to Arizona: Drop Dead.”
On June 3, Bishop Gabino Zavala, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Communications Committee, delivered a talk on Catholic media in general, and in one portion of the talk, the Catholic blogosphere. Bishop Zavala made some very good points.
First, he called upon Catholic media to “Speak the truth out of a love for the Church, and a love for the people of God.”
Next, and this one I particularly liked, the bishop called for the Catholic media to
always proceed with humility and civility. The humility comes from the realization that none of us have all the facts of a story. There are always other perspectives beyond our own. Committing to civility means moving away from positions of attacking…
Indeed! Finally, Zavala expressed his hope that the Catholic media would “always work to present Church teaching fairly and accurately.” I couldn’t have said it better.
On the blogosphere in particular, finally, the bishop expressed the following thought:
[W]e are particularly concerned about blogs that engage in attacks and hurtful, judgmental language. We are very troubled by blogs and other elements of media that assume the role of Magisterium and judge others in the Church. Such actions shatter the communion of the Church that we hold so precious.
This talk certainly made the position of the bishops on Catholic media and the blogs quite clear. One nagging question remains, however: does it apply to the bishops themselves?
For instance, does it apply to Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles – Zavala’s boss, no less – whom on April 18th denounced the immigration law in Arizona as “German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques”, and without any evidence claimed that the law mandates that “people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation”?
By the criteria set forth by Zavala, Cardinal Mahony owes the state of Arizona, its lawmakers, officials and citizens who support the law, an apology.
185 news articles, blurbs, blogs, columns, and other scraps of Internet. 185, as of 11:40 p.m. Arizona time today. 185 pieces of electronic information posted on what is perhaps the most asinine news item of the day: Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s statement about her father. This is what Brewer said:
“Knowing that my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany, that I lost him when I was 11 because of that… and then to have them call me Hitler’s daughter. It hurts. It’s ugliness beyond anything I’ve ever experienced”
The governor was of course responding to the tiresome and blatantly unfair criticism directed at her and most of the state of Arizona over SB 1070, a bill that several Obama regime hacks can’t even be bothered to read before resorting to vilification. This is not to say that legitimate criticism of the bill isn’t possible, of course, but that isn’t what caused Brewer personal harm.
On Saturday an estimated 10-20,000 people descended upon downtown Phoenix to protest SB 1070, Arizona’s new draconian fascist anti-Mexican immigrant hating legislation. For exercising their first amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, they were mowed down by machine-gun fire before saber-wielding dragoons charged the crowd and sliced innocent children to shreds. The survivors were rounded up and sent to concentration camps, from which the ashes of their bodies, immolated by mass cremation in industrial-sized ovens, ascended up into the air before draping the entire city with a grey coat of human remains. The perpetrators of the mass murder, all white, then held a victory march to the Horst Wessel Lied down Central Ave.
Oh wait. What actually happened was that a crowd that was supposed to be 50,000 large, but only ended up being 10,000 large, went to protest the local enforcement of a federal law that has been on the books for nearly 60 years. They were angry because this evil fascist hellhole of a state wasn’t allowing enough workers to illegally settle in their evil, fascist hellhole – everyone has a divine right to live in a fascist hellhole, and to take their families their too. After all, if you were in Denmark in 1936 and you needed a job to feed your family, wouldn’t the logical choice be the Third Reich?
In attendance at the march were many illegal aliens as well. Instead of being rounded up and murdered, or even deported, or even fined, they appeared to be able to vent their outrage at the American republic and the state of Arizona without any fear of reprisal. Fascism must be losing its touch.
I am a proud American with a long and rich Mexican heritage.
My name is Tito Edwards and I approve this message.
(Biretta tip: Lucianne)
Conservatives are fairly comfortable with the point that if you ban or severely restrict guns, than only the criminals will be armed.
Let’s then ask ourselves: If we ban or severely restrict immigration (most especially from a right-next-door country with a much poorer economy, such as Mexico) aren’t we assuring that only criminals immigrate?
If it’s cross-border crime which is such a problem, would anti-immigration advocates be willing to support a massively increased legal immigration quota for Mexico (say 250,000 immigrants a year, rather than the current legal quota of ~25,000) in return for permission and cooperation from the Mexican government for US law enforcement and military units to hunt down cross border cartels?
The boycott that Los Angeles is imposing on Arizona has its first victim, the city of Los Angeles itself.
The state of Arizona is about to strike back at L.A. again to defend itself.
A letter written by one of the commissioners of the Arizona Corporate Commission is telling Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to be ready to accept the consequences of his actions:
If Los Angeles wants to boycott Arizona, it had better get used to reading by candlelight.
Basically Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s bluff has been called.
Of all places, at the ESPN website, in response to sports boycotts.
The demonization of the state of Arizona, its comparison to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, is despicable and dishonest. It is hateful and vile. It is immoral and unjust.
I strongly encourage everyone to hear the governor out before making any further unjust slanders. There will be no comments here because we’ve all been debating this for days, and we all know each other’s positions. So either hear the governor out or don’t. Anyone who is dying to say something to me can find my email address through my personal blog.
The discussions here about Arizona’s new attempt at enforcing immigration law have set me thinking about a more general question: What should we do as a body politic in a situation in which a law we have passed seems impossible to enforce?
In a sense, no law is enforced perfectly. Cannibalism is against the law, yet it does still, on rare occasions, happen that someone kills and eats someone else. We don’t generally describe this as the laws against cannibalism “not being enforced”. Rather we describe it as someone breaking the law.
When we talk about a law not being enforced, we generally mean that a lot of people are breaking it, and yet few of them seem to be suffering the consequences. Thus, although murders take place on a daily basis in our country, we generally do not hear complaints that no one is enforcing the laws against murder, since we at least see the police and prosecutors going through the process of trying to arrest and prosecute people for those crimes.
Brilliantly, smashingly, in this column.
My favorite part:
That’s Arizona. To the coastal commentariat, “undocumented immigrants” are the people who mow your lawn while you’re at work and clean your office while you’re at home. (That, for the benefit of The New York Times’ Linda Greenhouse, is the real apartheid: the acceptance of a permanent “undocumented” servant class by far too many “documented” Americans who assuage their guilt by pathetic sentimentalization of immigration.) But in border states, illegal immigration is life and death. I spoke to a lady this week who has a camp of illegals on the edge of her land. She lies awake at night, fearful for her children and alert to strange noises in the yard.
I could add a lot more, and I may in the days to come. For now, Steyn and others are saying what needs to be said in defense of AZ. Even if you disagree with the law, the way the far-left, and sadly, certain Catholic bishops, are now treating AZ is despicable.
There can be no friendship and no discussion with such people.
The State of Arizona is only enforcing what is already law at the federal level. That being said and myself being the son of a legal immigrant from the nation of Mexico, the May Day protests and the highly unbalanced news reporting from the mainstream media have purposely distorted the legislation that has been passed in Arizona.
Having attended college and lived in Arizona for almost ten years I know for a fact that there are many good people living there and I am disappointed in how unfairly and untruthful they have been portrayed by the mainstream media.
The only other thing I want to say is that Roger Cardinal Mahony’s reprehensible choice of words to characterize the law that had been passed in Arizona is unbecoming of an archbishop.
Related posts on this issue here at The American Catholic:
Somewhat related posts on this issue here at The American Catholic:
The last time I wrote about immigration here at TAC – hard to imagine it was only a year ago, maybe longer – I had what I was fairly certain was an informed Catholic view of immigration.
I really haven’t deviated much at all from my original view, which was hardly radical – that nations have a right to regulate immigration and police their boarders, and that Christians have an obligation to treat all people in their midst, regardless of their legal status, with dignity and respect, with charity and love.
But there are a number of issues that knee-jerk opponents of immigration law enforcement simply don’t talk about, for a myriad of reasons. For some on the left, opposition to illegal immigration is reducible to racism. This is undoubtedly true in some cases. To apply it to ALL opponents of illegal immigration is a hateful, vicious smear – especially when one of the most active Hispanic advocacy groups in the United States has a name that translates to “The Race” (La Raza). Racism is not unknown on the other side of this issue.