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 Post subject: Arizona Immigration Partially Struck Down By Supreme Court PostPosted: 2012-06-25 02:46pm
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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/us/supreme-court-rejects-part-of-arizona-immigration-law.html

Quote:
Blocking Parts of Arizona Law, Justices Allow Its Centerpiece
Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times



WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday delivered a split decision on Arizona’s tough 2010 immigration law, upholding its most controversial provision but blocking the implementation of others.




The court unanimously sustained the law’s centerpiece, the one critics have called its “show me your papers” provision. It requires state law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest if there is reason to suspect that the individual might be an illegal immigrant.

The justices parted ways on three other provisions. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for five members of the court, said the federal government’s broad powers in setting immigration policy meant that other parts of the state law could not be enforced.

“The national government has significant power to regulate immigration,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “With power comes responsibility, and the sound exercise of national power over immigration depends on the nation’s meeting its responsibility to base its laws on a political will informed by searching, thoughtful, rational civic discourse.”

“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,” Justice Kennedy added.

The decision was a partial victory for the Obama administration, which had sued to block several parts of the law.

In a statement released later on Monday, President Obama said that he was "pleased" with the Court's decision to strike down some aspects of the law, but he voiced his concern about the remaining provision.

"I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status. No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like," Mr. Obama said. "Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans."

Monday's ruling was a partial rebuke for state officials who had argued that they were entitled to supplement federal efforts to address illegal immigration.

The administration’s legal arguments were based on asserted conflicts between the state law and federal immigration laws and policies. The question for the justices, then, was whether federal immigration law trumped – pre-empted, in the legal jargon – the state efforts.

Last year, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, blocked four provisions of the law on those grounds.

The administration did not challenge the law based on equal protection principles. At the Supreme Court argument in the case in April, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., representing the federal government, acknowledged that his case was not based on racial or ethnic profiling.

Monday’s decision in Arizona v. United States, No. 11-182, did not foreclose further lawsuits based on that argument. “This opinion,” Justice Kennedy wrote, “does not foreclose other pre-emption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.”

In sustaining one provision and blocking others, the decision amounted to a road map for permissible state efforts in this area. Several other states have enacted tough measures to stem illegal immigration, including ones patterned after the Arizona law, among them Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah.

Lower courts have stayed the implementation of parts of those laws, and they will now revisit those decisions to bring them in line with the principles announced on Monday.

Three justice dissented. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have sustained all three of the blocked provisions. Justice Samuel Alito Jr. would have sustained two of them.

The three provisions blocked by the majority were: making it a crime under state law for immigrants to fail to register under a federal law, making it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or to try find work, and allowing the police to arrest people without warrants if they have probable cause to believe that they have done things that would make them deportable under federal law.

Justice Alito said the first of those three provisions conflicted with federal law.

Justice Scalia read a lengthy dissent from the bench that addressed recent developments.

“After this case was argued and while it was under consideration,” he said, “the secretary of Homeland Security announced a program exempting from immigration enforcement some 1.4 million illegal immigrants.” This was a reference to the decision by the Obama administration this month to let younger immigrants — the administration estimates the number as approximately 800,000 — who came to the United States as children avoid deportation and receive working papers as long as they meet certain conditions.

“The president has said that the new program is ‘the right thing to do’ in light of Congress’s failure to pass the administration’s proposed revision of the immigration laws,” Justice Scalia went on. “Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so. But 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."

Justice Elena Kagan disqualified herself from the case, Arizona v. United States, No. 11-182, presumably because she had worked on it as President Obama's solicitor general.

Robert Pear contributed reporting.





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 Post subject: Re: Arizona Immigration Partially Struck Down By Supreme Cou PostPosted: 2012-06-26 12:15am
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The three provisions blocked by the majority were: making it a crime under state law for immigrants to fail to register under a federal law, making it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or to try find work, and allowing the police to arrest people without warrants if they have probable cause to believe that they have done things that would make them deportable under federal law.


The first bit appears to have made it illegal to be in violation of another law. Kind of a double whammy IMO. So it makes sense for that to be overturned.

I'm not sure about the second. It's illegal for employers to hire illegal aliens so why shouldn't it be illegal from the other end? It's kind of a hard hearted way to go and probably wouldn't keep illegals out, just drive them into shadier or more exploitive jobs in the U.S.. So from that stand point I think it was a good one to overturn as well.

The last one I'm really glad about. That was ridiculous. Checking the immigration status of people who have already been arrested is one thing. This one just begs to be abused.

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 Post subject: Re: Arizona Immigration Partially Struck Down By Supreme Cou PostPosted: 2012-06-26 05:39am
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Maybe it's because I've lived in Japan and so went through the gaijin card process, but I really don't find the ID check provision to be some massive eroding of personal liberty. It feels pretty natural to me.

Quote:
“The president has said that the new program is ‘the right thing to do’ in light of Congress’s failure to pass the administration’s proposed revision of the immigration laws,” Justice Scalia went on. “Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so. But 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."


That's in large part because Congress has become a joke at this point. It's an executive order and can be overturned by a new president. President Obama is just deciding how to enforce current law, well within the President's power I should think.

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 Post subject: Re: Arizona Immigration Partially Struck Down By Supreme Cou PostPosted: 2012-06-26 08:44am
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For Americans they are, because Americans are not used to the idea of police spot-checking ID just because of your skin color. Especially since the US is a melting pot and hispanic US citizens are a normal ocurrence - thus, it will inevitably lead to hispanic citizens being detained because they're hispanic, in order to check their immigration status.



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 Post subject: Re: Arizona Immigration Partially Struck Down By Supreme Cou PostPosted: 2012-06-26 09:47am
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PeZook wrote:
For Americans they are, because Americans are not used to the idea of police spot-checking ID just because of your skin color. Especially since the US is a melting pot and hispanic US citizens are a normal ocurrence - thus, it will inevitably lead to hispanic citizens being detained because they're hispanic, in order to check their immigration status.

Exactly, in America I know that a part of my family who hail from Britain, Germany and Sicily can walk around in Arizona without the worry they will ever be stopped by the cops unless actually committing a crime of some sort. But on my father sides I know that some relatives who while not Hispanic are dark enough to be mistaken as such (Hello Spanish/Mongolian and Spanish/Indian pairings) will get stopped often because of the color of their skin.

Lets be blunt, the law demands racial profiling and it's not the profiling of those with a Caucasian ancestry.
OAN did the section of the law that lets me sue the local police if they don't enforce the law stringently enough get struck down?




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 Post subject: Re: Arizona Immigration Partially Struck Down By Supreme Cou PostPosted: 2012-06-26 11:35am
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DarkArk wrote:
That's in large part because Congress has become a joke at this point. It's an executive order and can be overturned by a new president. President Obama is just deciding how to enforce current law, well within the President's power I should think.
It really shouldn't be- deciding not to enforce a law is pretty far out of bounds. The only justification I can think of for it is the sheer impossibility of getting anything done otherwise. He's dealing with a Congress where there's a stranglehold on all policy and lawmaking, held by a group of people whose idea of "compromise" is "give us exactly what we want when we want it."

A working government in a two-party system depends on everyone being willing to accept that the country can't do all the things they'd like to do. Because there's a political opposition in the way. When someone stops buying this idea, things break down really fast.

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 Post subject: Re: Arizona Immigration Partially Struck Down By Supreme Cou PostPosted: 2012-06-26 11:57am
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Simon_Jester wrote:
It really shouldn't be- deciding not to enforce a law is pretty far out of bounds. The only justification I can think of for it is the sheer impossibility of getting anything done otherwise. He's dealing with a Congress where there's a stranglehold on all policy and lawmaking, held by a group of people whose idea of "compromise" is "give us exactly what we want when we want it."

A working government in a two-party system depends on everyone being willing to accept that the country can't do all the things they'd like to do. Because there's a political opposition in the way. When someone stops buying this idea, things break down really fast.


Based on what? Presidents have refused to defend laws a number of times in the past, so it's not as if there's a lack of historical basis for it. Reagan, Bush Sr., Bush the Dumber and Clinton have all refused to defend certain laws at various points.



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 Post subject: Re: Arizona Immigration Partially Struck Down By Supreme Cou PostPosted: 2012-06-26 12:12pm
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Based on the idea that the president really isn't supposed to have as much raw power as presidents have had for the past several decades. If you look at pretty much all the other democracies, they have a legislature that sets all the important policy and an executive that carries them out. The US has a legislature so dysfunctional it can't even pass a real budget anymore, and things haven't been any too good for the last twenty years on that front either.

If a president is going to refuse to enforce a law (not 'defend,' enforce), he'd better have a damn good reason. Because that's the one area where Congress definitely is supposed to have power over him: deciding what the laws are is their job, not his. Shooting down bad laws is the Supreme Court's job, not his. The only time the president would be justified in refusing to enforce a law under normal circumstances is if the law is so blatantly, horribly out of line that it's blindingly obvious the Supreme Court is or ought to strike it down.

If Congress passes the Eating Babies Act, the president can rightly refuse to enforce it because he doesn't want anyone eating babies in the short period before the Supreme Court strikes it down on the grounds of violating the Fourteenth Amendment rights of babies. That's a law which violates the basic standards of all American political conventions so grossly that the only way to explain it is temporary insanity on Congress's part, or something equally ridiculous.

I'm not on board with "the president should always do what he thinks is right, even if it means ignoring the laws." Thinking a law is bad isn't enough- it would need to be especially bad, probably illegal in its own right for violating the Constitution, and well out of line with what the voters expect of elected leaders, before that starts to make sense.



Right now, Congress is so messed up that the US would barely even have a government at all if it weren't for the bureaucracy chugging along while the president tries to rule by decree. I don't like that, but I can accept it- for now. Even so, I do think there's a constitutional crisis lurking in the wings here, if we let the president tell us that he can just ignore and nullify any law he doesn't like.

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 Post subject: Re: Arizona Immigration Partially Struck Down By Supreme Cou PostPosted: 2012-06-26 12:14pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
Based on the idea that the president really isn't supposed to have as much raw power as presidents have had for the past several decades. If you look at pretty much all the other democracies, they have a legislature that sets all the important policy and an executive that carries them out. The US has a legislature so dysfunctional it can't even pass a real budget anymore, and things haven't been any too good for the last twenty years on that front either.

If a president is going to refuse to enforce a law (not 'defend,' enforce), he'd better have a damn good reason. Because that's the one area where Congress definitely is supposed to have power over him: deciding what the laws are is their job, not his. Shooting down bad laws is the Supreme Court's job, not his. The only time the president would be justified in refusing to enforce a law under normal circumstances is if the law is so blatantly, horribly out of line that it's blindingly obvious the Supreme Court is or ought to strike it down.


Again, based on what? Which laws and precedents are you basing this claim on?



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