Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Constitution Trumps Arizona?

Not really. It depends on who's interpreting it.

And thus check
the New York Times' editorial (arguing for federal supremacy), especially the last paragraph:
Most important, the president can follow through on his recent promise to end the chaos of the immigration system with a comprehensive reform bill. Stamping out unjust laws like Arizona’s is a good place to start.
That pretty much sums it up, more than the editors probably thought. Apparently, one's view of federalism is determined by an easily-identified position on the immigration issue, with what's essentially a non-enforcement stand being the prevalent viewpoint of elites. And notice two words there especially: "comprehensive" and "unjust." The notion of "comprehensive" is of course shorthand for amnesty, and the adjective "unjust" is the signifier that immigration enforcement is inherently "racist."

One problem (putting aside arguments over states rights) is that the Times --- and the Obama administration --- is applying the federal supremacy standard unequally, and hence hypocritically. Arizona's been on the forefront of forcing the federal government to meet its mandated requirements of border security, but it's especially interesting to find out that Rhode Island has already been doing what AZ SB 1070 requires, without so much as a peep from any of the radical left's open-borders constituencies. William Jacobson reported on this, for example, "
Hey, Rhode Island Already Checks Immigration Status At Traffic Stops":
Despite the failure of the Rhode Island legislature to pass an Arizona-like immigration bill, Rhode Island already has implemented the critical piece of the Arizona law, checking the immigration status of people stopped for traffic violations where there is a reasonable suspicion, and reporting all illegals to federal authorities for deportation.
William cites the Boston Globe, "R.I. troopers embrace firm immigration role." (And see Ed Morrissey as well, "Arizona – the new Rhode Island?")

Picking up from there is Andrew McCarthy's piece, "
United States v. Arizona — How 'Bout United States v. Rhode Island?" Notice the citations of earlier case law, which servs to emphasize leftist hypocrisy ever more:
If, as President Obama and Attorney General Holder claim, there is a federal preemption issue, why hasn’t the administration sued Rhode Island already? After all, Rhode Island is actually enforcing these procedures, while the Arizona law hasn’t even gone into effect yet.

Could it be because —
as we’ve discussed here before — the Supreme Court in Muehler v. Mena has already held that police do not need any reason (not probable cause, not reasonable suspicion) to ask a person about his immigration status?

Could it be that just this past February, in
Estrada v. Rhode Island, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the Rhode Island procedures, reasoning that, in Muehler v. Mena, the Supreme Court “held that a police officer does not need independent reasonable suspicion to question an individual about her immigration status…”?

So, we have a Justice Department that drops a case it already won against New Black Panthers who are on tape intimidating voters in blatant violation of federal law, but that sues a sovereign state for enacting a statute in support of immigration enforcement practices that have already been upheld by two of the nation’s highest courts. Perfect
RELATED: Rather than quoting it, I'll just send readers to read this unhinged post at Feathered Bastard. (States rights must be crushed? Whoo. That's strong. )


smitty1e said...

If I was Gov. Brewer, I'd be playing the Article 1, Section 10 card, emphasis mine:
No State shall. . .engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

As we don't declare war anymore, treating a foreign invasion as, well, a foreign invasion seems dangerously close to reasonable to me.

Dennis said...

Just to add one more to the mix, "the Supreme Court has also made it clear that not every state enactment that deals with aliens is a regulation of immigration and thus per se pre-empted. In De Canas v. Bica, 424 U.S. 351 (1976), the Court upheld an attempt by California "to strengthen its economy by adopting federal standards in imposing criminal sanctions against state employers who knowingly employ aliens who have no federal right to employment within the country."
Some think that the DOJ would not file a frivolous suit, but given their handling of voter intimidation one might suspect that state intimidation would not be far behind.

conservative generation said...

Just wait, the Feds will lean on Commerce Clause in the end citing that booting illegal aliens will hurt the economy or some nonesense like that.