Supremes overturn much of Arizona immigration law

Reading the Supreme Court’s decision largely overturning the Arizona immigration law, which served as the model for much of Georgia’s immigration law as well….

Court notes that “Removal is a civil matter, and one of its principal features is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials, who must decide whether to pursue removal at all.” That suggests President Obama was well within his constitutional powers with his mini-DREAM act order last week.

The majority opinion states:

“It is fundamental that foreign countries concerned about the status, safety, and security of their nationals in the United States must be able to confer and communicate on this subject with one national sovereign, not the 50 sepa­rate States….

Discretion in the enforcement of immigration law em­braces immediate human concerns. Unauthorized work­ers trying to support their families, for example, likely pose less danger than alien smugglers or aliens who com­mit a serious crime. The equities of an individual case may turn on many factors, including whether the alien has children born in the United States, long ties to the community, or a record of distinguished military service.”

The Court tossed an Arizona provision making it a state crime to be in Arizona in violation of federal immigration law. It also threw out a provision making it illegal for an illegal immigrant to seek work in Arizona.

It also tossed Section 6 of the Arizona law, which as Justice Kennedy notes in his majority opinion “authorizes offic­ers to arrest without a warrant a person ‘the officer has probable cause to believe . . . has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States,’” or in other words is here illegally.

“If the police stop someone based on nothing more than possible removabil­ity, the usual predicate for an arrest is absent,” Kennedy writes. “… This would allow the state to achieve its own immigration policy. The result could be unnecessary harassment
of some aliens (for instance, a veteran, college student, or someone assisting with a criminal investigation) whom federal officials determine should not be removed.”

The sole surviving section of the law requires state law enforcement to check the immigration status of everybody it takes into custody. And that part of the law may stand only for the time being. The justices want to see how that part of the law actually works in practice, but they made it clear that they are dubious that it will withstand future constitutional scrutiny.

For example, Kennedy notes the case of someone who is stopped for a jaywalking violation. If that person is detained in jail while his or her immigration status is checked — something that would not happen for a simple jaywalking case — such prolonged detention would violate the Constitution.

It was a 5-3 decision, with Justice Kagan recusing herself because she was involved in the case in her previous job as solicitor general. The three justices in the minority were Scalia, Thomas and Alito.

Scalia’s dissent is quite broad to the point of radical. He begins by complaining that the majority opinion “deprives States of what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there,” in effect endorsing the novel concept that states have a constitutional right to their own immigration policies independent of that of the federal government.

“Even in its international relations, the federal government must live with the inconvenient fact that it is a Union of independent states, who have their own sover­eign powers,” Scalia writes.

Just as remarkably, Scalia takes the opportunity to attack Obama’s announcement last week that illegal immigrants brought here as children will not be deported, a topic not at issue in this case.

“The husbanding of scarce enforcement resources can hardly be the justification for this, since the considerable administrative cost of conduct­ing as many as 1.4 million background checks, and ruling on the biennial requests for dispensation that the non-enforcement program envisions, will necessarily be deducted from immigration enforcement.” ­

Neither Thomas nor Alito embrace Scalia’s extremism in their own dissents.

– Jay Bookman

487 comments Add your comment

Midori

June 25th, 2012
10:30 am

good news.

and welcome back, Jay.

Lord Help Us

June 25th, 2012
10:31 am

Judicial activism!

Steve

June 25th, 2012
10:31 am

larry

June 25th, 2012
10:32 am

suggesting that Obama was well within executive powers with his mini-DREAM act order last week.

Ut oh, the rabid right is not going to like that at all. I wonder what this will do to HB 87.

Finn McCool (The System Isn't Broken; It's Fixed ~ from an Occupy sign)

June 25th, 2012
10:33 am

Freedom, science, compassion, decency, rule of law = 1
Bigotry, hatred, fear, racism, sanctimonious BS, totalitarian state = 0

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
10:35 am

Cons meltdown in 3…2…1…

Steve

June 25th, 2012
10:36 am

STATES RIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, sorry…

Rickster

June 25th, 2012
10:37 am

So.. it will be interesting to see how the Administration and the media will portray the same court that just ruled mostly in favor of the the Obama Administration once it rules mostly (or totally) against the the same Administration on the “Obamacare” act.

Brosephus™

June 25th, 2012
10:37 am

I’be said all along that Georgia should have legislated all law enforcement departments to go 287(g) or join Secure Communities. Those programs are set up for state and local authorities to do what Georgia wanted to do. Instead, they went the way of engaging in a whizzing contest in which they are about to join Arizona in the losers bracket.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:38 am

I’m having trouble finding any online coverage of the specifics. Anyone got any? All I see is that one controversial part of the law WAS upheld, which makes me wonder if Jay’s take on

Removal is a civil matter

might be a tad premature.

see also–

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/high-court-rejects-part-arizona-immigration-law-16643335#.T-h3P5Egvcw

the court said Monday that one part of the law requiring police to check the status of someone they suspect is not in the United States legally could go forward.

Lord Help Us

June 25th, 2012
10:38 am

I did not see the votes…did Roberts vote with the majority?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

June 25th, 2012
10:38 am

Uh oh, “As a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States.” pg 15

Hmmmm…. sounds like that terms “illegal immigrant” may be part of the problem. :lol:

Finn McCool (The System Isn't Broken; It's Fixed ~ from an Occupy sign)

June 25th, 2012
10:38 am

bu…but…but….what part of “illegal” don’t you understand?

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:38 am

a whizzing contest in which they are about to join Arizona in the losers bracket.

You’ve been saving this one, right?

larry

June 25th, 2012
10:38 am

Watch for the Repubs to try to change the blog in……….3…….2………..1 .

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
10:39 am

Let’s hope that the Governor of AZ didn’t kick her dog as she left the house this morning………..

:-)

Keep Up the Good Fight!

June 25th, 2012
10:39 am

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
10:39 am

Rickster @ 10:37

They will have the same mixed emotions you are experiencing at this very moment

:-)

Rickster

June 25th, 2012
10:40 am

Missed the last thread… but Jay’s understanding of economics would fit in a shot glass with enough room left over to get some people tipsy.

Oscar

June 25th, 2012
10:41 am

Sounds like the only legal option the court had. they are required to follow the constitution, and it clearly gives the feds the right to contriol immigration.

larry

June 25th, 2012
10:41 am

once it rules mostly (or totally) against the the same Administration on the “Obamacare” act.

With this coming out and this ruling i thought the administration was going to lose big time on, are you sure? My guess is that we will find out Thursday.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:41 am

thanks, Keep.

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
10:42 am

Herman Cain is attempting to discuss this on WSB. He’s making an idiot of himself in record time.

Steve - USA ("None of the Above")

June 25th, 2012
10:42 am

More important to Metro Atlanta is the SCOTUS ruled that you will still be able to take a shower and flush your toilet in the future.

http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/high-court-lets-lake-1463991.html

USMC

June 25th, 2012
10:43 am

“It also threw out a provision making it ILLEGAL for an ILLEGAL immigrant to seek work in Arizona.”

So much wrong about this sentence that I don’t know where to start… :-)

Peadawg

June 25th, 2012
10:43 am

You forgot to add, Jay, that they upheld the most controversial/important part of the law:

“A requirement that local police officers check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws if “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the United States illegally.”

southpaw

June 25th, 2012
10:43 am

Here’s the whole thing, SFD (and anyone else who’s interested–or has trouble sleeping :-) )
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-182b5e1.pdf

Gordon

June 25th, 2012
10:43 am

They left the part that has been the most controversial: a police officer can still check the immigration status of someone they stop. Both sides will claim victory.

Peadawg

June 25th, 2012
10:44 am

“The Supreme Court will release Thursday all of its remaining rulings, including one on the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s health care law, CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears reports.”

Well there we go. Thursday it is.

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
10:44 am

Sí, se puede

(Couldn’t help it. Was just too easy)

southpaw

June 25th, 2012
10:45 am

godless heathen

June 25th, 2012
10:45 am

So this means that if Arizona doesn’t toe the Demo line, the Administration can open the gates and flood the state with illegals and there is nothing Az can do about it. Better get on board there, Arizona.

ty webb

June 25th, 2012
10:46 am

“…suggesting that Obama was well within executive powers with his mini-DREAM act order last week.”

That’s a bit of a leap there Jay.

Thomas Heyward Jr.

June 25th, 2012
10:46 am

Only Federo-sexuals and government-employed parasites care what nine goverment lawyers have to say.
.
And frightened little metro-men.

Brosephus™

June 25th, 2012
10:47 am

dB

Credit that one to the sinus meds. The one provision they left in place would give them room to operate within the guidelines of the two programs that I mentioned.

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
10:48 am

Scalia’s opinion was that Arizona was entitled to create its own immigration law to keep undesirables out of Arizona. What a nutcase.

Peadawg

June 25th, 2012
10:49 am

“suggesting that Obama was well within executive powers with his mini-DREAM act order last week.”

What Obama did was nothing like the DREAM Act. Obama did a short-term “solution” to buy the Latino vote, period.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:49 am

So Roberts and Kennedy went Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor.

(Everyone knows that Kagan sat this one out, yes?)

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
10:49 am

godless @ 10:45

Have you checked out the rates of illegals being deported since 09?

Hint: the numbers are different than under Bush and they are not less

bookman parrot

June 25th, 2012
10:49 am

good news. people can break the law. cool. let’s get rid of all laws, police, court rooms;

Lord Help Us

June 25th, 2012
10:50 am

Scalia – Karl Rove in a robe…

Rickster

June 25th, 2012
10:50 am

Here’s a link to the Supreme Court’s decision: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-182b5e1.pdf

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
10:50 am

That’s a bit of a leap there Jay.

How so? Is there another reading of that statement that makes it seem like, you know, the federal government doesn’t have broad discretion to determine when to pursue removal of persons?

Peadawg

June 25th, 2012
10:50 am

“Scalia’s opinion was that Arizona was entitled to create its own immigration law to keep undesirables out of Arizona. What a nutcase.”

Yeah he used the wrong word when he said “undesirables”. If he had said “illegal immigrants” or “non-citizens” or something, I would have agreed w/ him.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:50 am

went WITH…

Talking Head

June 25th, 2012
10:50 am

The Court did uphold the provision allowing law enforcement to check if someone is a citizen if they are already under questions for another infraction of the law..which is what all the uproar was about if I remember correctly, ‘racial profiling’

John Birch

June 25th, 2012
10:50 am

Now it’s a race to see whether Obama and the SCOTUS will turn the US into Greece II or Mexico II first. What a country. Enter illegally and your entitled to free education, health care, and a job, and your kids are automatically citizens. I hope Australia will take th esame stance when I immigrate there.

Peadawg

June 25th, 2012
10:51 am

“the federal government doesn’t have broad discretion to determine when to pursue removal of persons?”

So the federal gov’t has “broad discretion” when or when not to enforce the law.

Yikes.

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
10:52 am

John Birch

Let me be the 1st to say “have a safe trip and ADIOS”

:-)

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:52 am

people can break the law.

Yes. They can drive over the speed limit if they choose, and likely never be arrested and separated from their families for having done so. Crazy stuff.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:53 am

Let me be the 1st to say “have a safe trip and ADIOS”

Let me be the first to offer to drive him to the airport, zeppelin mooring, or boat dock, or whatever.

Steve Atl

June 25th, 2012
10:53 am

“It also threw out a provision making it illegal for an illegal immigrant to seek work in Arizona.”

I guess it is legal for an illegal to legally work according to the SCOTUS.

Now that is funny.

larry

June 25th, 2012
10:54 am

So it was a five to 3 decision, and Kagan sat this one out , like she should have.

Maybe Thomas got wise and sat out the Afordable Care Act decision.

Nahhhhh, i doubt it , and there is 600,000 reasons why.

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
10:54 am

The Court did uphold the provision allowing law enforcement to check if someone is a citizen if they are already under questions for another infraction of the law

That is incorrect. That is not what they held. They said that if the person had been arrested for another crime, local law enforcement could check for a person’s citizenship status sometime during or after their incarceration.

However, they also went on to say that local law enforcement was not the appropriate folks to enforce immigration law, so they could not continue to hold someone just because they were not a citizen without the Federal government’s knowledge and approval.

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
10:54 am

good news. people can break the law. cool. let’s get rid of all laws, police, court rooms

Never mind the couch, I think we’re gonna need fainting bleachers today.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

June 25th, 2012
10:55 am

JAY,

I like what was done for kids here from no fault of their own but am very concerned about the incentives provided illegals moving forward. Why don’ we just bite the bullet, provide amnesty (along with social security numbers) to all here illegally combined with actually enforcing the laws going forward? Anything else is simply not practical. Generally speaking, when a law is not enforced, there comes a time when the enforcer is estopped from enforcing…

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:55 am

Any video of sheriff Joe Arpaio or Jan Brewer bawling?

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
10:56 am

So the federal gov’t has “broad discretion” when or when not to enforce the law.

It has pretty much always been that way. Congress creates the laws, but the Executive is charged with enforcing them… or not, depending on their own priorities.

josef

June 25th, 2012
10:56 am

I haven’t read the decision and so will refrain from any comment thereto for the time being.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, though, those wanting to cite “law” this and “law” that might want to consider that this cabal pretty much has the last word on what is and what is not “law.”

Oscar

June 25th, 2012
10:56 am

ByteMe – Political thug

June 25th, 2012
10:48 am
——————–

He’s a big believer in following the Constitution. when he wants to and it agrees with him. Othersise, not.

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
10:57 am

josef @ 10:56

But that is not new, is it?

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
10:57 am

He’s a big believer in following the Constitution. when he wants to and it agrees with him. Othersise, not.

True dat. He’s also a big believer in following the Articles of Confederation when it suits his view.

JamVet

June 25th, 2012
10:57 am

bookman parrot, like you really care about respect for and adherence to the rule of law?

Puhleeze…

Republicans/Libertarians/fake conservatives/hate groups are not remotely interested in solving this problem.

They had numerous chances to act rationally and work towards a resolution, including during the GWB administration, but in every single case they went all brown shirt on us.

They simply want to extract revenge on the poor and give a free pass to the law breakers who made mountains of illegal money off of their backs.

Vilify the weak and glorify the wicked – it’s what they do…

That Black Guy

June 25th, 2012
10:57 am

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:53 am
… zeppelin mooring…

:lol: :lol: Good one :lol: :lol:

Gordon

June 25th, 2012
10:58 am

The vote was 8-0 (Kegan recused herself) to uphold the part about checking the status when someone is stopped and there is reasonable suspicion.

It was 5-3 (Scalia, Thomas, Alito dissenting) against the other 3 parts of the law, basically because it was a federal responsibility. So those things can be done if the federal government chooses to do them (hopefully starting next January).

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:59 am

TBG, you probably know this, but for those who don’t…

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/26/realestate/26scapes.html

godless heathen

June 25th, 2012
11:00 am

BOTH Have you checked out the rates of illegals being deported since 09?

What does that have to do with my warning to Az?

Jefferson

June 25th, 2012
11:02 am

I thought the robes were sleeping.

Peadawg

June 25th, 2012
11:02 am

“if the federal government chooses to do them ” – Which is what worries me.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

June 25th, 2012
11:03 am

Of course if we provide amnesty and social security cards to all the illegal workers, the labor costs will increase, consumers will pay more for goods, and more jobs will go overseas….complicated puzzle.

josef

June 25th, 2012
11:03 am

BOTH

You’d certainly think so, though, listening to some of our constitutional scholars!

********

Removal? Ouch, interesting term there. Wonder if Andrew Jackson Arpaio and company have sent out the memo “the Supreme Court ruled, let’s see them enforce it.”

Brosephus™

June 25th, 2012
11:03 am

Talking Head @ 10:50

If Arizona had legislated that their agencies join 287(g) or Secure Communities, they could have legislated the same thing as the only part not struck down without all the legal expense. The SCOTUS did leave that one provision open for challenge if/when it’s implemented, so there is still a chance that AZ could eff that one up and get it struck down too.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
11:04 am

They had numerous chances to act rationally and work towards a resolution, including during the GWB administration

bears repeating that this was one issue where I thought GWB and some of the senate Republicans were pretty reasonable, back in the day. I don’t know that the President could’ve overcome the reactionary element from his party (and from some Democrats, of course) hell-bent on demonizing undocumented workers.

That Black Guy

June 25th, 2012
11:04 am

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
10:59 am
TBG, you probably know this, but for those who don’t…
_____________________________________________

You are right, I did know, but it was still an interesting read.

Thanks.

Generation$crewed

June 25th, 2012
11:04 am

man it sucks if you were one of the people who waited months or years to gain lawful immigration status.

maybe if we are lucky, we can get all immigrants to come here without documentation or by using the proper methods.

Why should we make anyone wait at all? Why truely bother ourselves with borders?

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
11:05 am

godless @ 11:00

Well seeing you said something along the lines of “if the Dems do…………………” no sure if it holds much water when looking at what is actually going on

Well the current Dem is increasing deportations, so until that changes your “Ifs” are as much political hay than as anything else…….

I can only go on the numbers of deportations. Could what you said occur? Unlikely but YES. Based on what is occurring, is it likely? NO

PJ

June 25th, 2012
11:05 am

This decision says that immigration is a Federal matter and not in the states authority to challenge them. It says nothing that the current federal laws won’t be upheld. Get a grip people.

Also, I guess Brewer will be waging her finger at the Supreme Court now since they shot her one finger.

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
11:05 am

The SCOTUS did leave that one provision open for challenge if/when it’s implemented, so there is still a chance that AZ could eff that one up and get it struck down too.

They gave them a few hints on what would work and what will get struck down. Sort of a Supreme Court guide to “how not to annoy us with this again.”

Misty Fyed

June 25th, 2012
11:06 am

The Federal Gov’t is responsible for immigration law. Our current immigration legal framework is broken causing a negative effect on local and state economies. But it is unconstitutional for a state or municipality to move to protect themselves where the Federal Gov’t fails. Ridiculous. The true shame is this ….AGAIN….is that our Congress is so noneffective that Arizona would need to try to do this themselves anyway. It’s a shame the Judicial and Executive Branch can’t hold Congress in contempt. .

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
11:07 am

josef @ 11:03

Me thinks all the branches like to think of themselves as slightly above the other two. Maybe not each individual at any given time, but as institutions and the roles that they play.

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
11:08 am

It’s a shame the Judicial and Executive Branch can’t hold Congress in contempt. .

Given the rate of recidivism (yes, that’s the term I want to use :) ), constituents don’t seem to want to hold their Congresscritters in contempt either.

Joe Johnson

June 25th, 2012
11:09 am

Democrats = hate group

Misty Fyed

June 25th, 2012
11:09 am

They leave the “paper please” component in? Really. What papers? There is no national ID card. Think about it. If you have a green card, you are fine. If you are born here…how do you prove you are a citizen of the United States to a police officer.

Middle of the Road

June 25th, 2012
11:09 am

To be honest they hesitantly upheld the one part of the law that I generally approve of. I mean, if in fact they have somebody in custody for LEGITIMATE reasons it doesn’t seem unreasonable to check their criminal background to see if there are any active arrest warrants. Ergo, it’s not that far of a stretch to also check someone’s immigration status.

getalife

June 25th, 2012
11:09 am

They can still ask to see papers but the rest of the law was struck down.

They want to see how checking papers is carried out and not profiling.

It opens the States up for lawsuits on profiling.

A dad

June 25th, 2012
11:10 am

Um, the three minority judgews diseented in part and concurred in part. Just want to keep the record straight.

Brosephus™

June 25th, 2012
11:10 am

ByteMe

Yep. All they need to do is look at how police departments run their 287(g) programs. That’s the core of how that program works. Instead, you have some people believing the rhetoric and completely ignoring common sense. This could have been easily handled from the time they started the legislative process in AZ.

josef

June 25th, 2012
11:10 am

BOTH

@ 11:07

Kind of makes you wonder if the founding fathers weren’t saying off the record to each other, “hey, wanna have some fun?”

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
11:11 am

godless

My bad, it was more along the lines if “AZ doesn’t do, then they Dems could…………..”

Apologize if I misconstrued your original post. But my overall sentiment is still the same. Doubt that will happen

USMC

June 25th, 2012
11:11 am

“Supremes overturn much of Arizona immigration law”

Obama and the SCOTUS bring home a victory for MEXICO and ILLEGAL ALIENS. :-)

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
11:11 am

josef

June 25th, 2012
11:12 am

MISTY

“If you are born here…how do you prove you are a citizen of the United States to a police officer.”

United States passport.

They BOTH suck

June 25th, 2012
11:12 am

USMC @ 11:11

I’m sure many of the businesses owners that employ them are rejoicing in the streets

Bob Loblaw

June 25th, 2012
11:13 am

Nice splice by Supremes. Now GA can repeal parts of HB 89 that conflict.

John Birch

June 25th, 2012
11:13 am

Both, Stand, et al – Typical lib logic. Let’s have an illegal home for dinner, but slam on a hard-working, law-abiding citizen like me because you don’t happen to agree with my opinions. Preach tolerance, but be totally intolerant, and disrespectful, of those you disagree with. Hypocrits and fools.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
11:13 am

I mean, if in fact they have somebody in custody for LEGITIMATE reasons it doesn’t seem unreasonable to check their criminal background to see if there are any active arrest warrants.

and they needed to garishly include this in some overhyped law favored by a pandering, appointed Governor looking to get elected, why, again?

Brosephus™

June 25th, 2012
11:15 am

If you are born here…how do you prove you are a citizen of the United States to a police officer.

There are ways that people who are PROPERLY trained in immigration law can determine that very quickly. Depending on the age, if nothing else, there are records held by vital statistics departments all across the country. Given the idea that many people still assume that “illegal” equals Mexican and can’t tell the difference between Mexicans, Guatemalans, and Salvadorians, I doubt that those same people could ever grasp the concept that there are ways to quickly determine citizenship.

getalife

June 25th, 2012
11:15 am

Too bad willard wanted this to be the law of the land.

Our President crushed willard on immigration.

Next.

Misty Fyed

June 25th, 2012
11:15 am

JOseph…There is no law requiring a passport. There is no law requiring a drivers license. You can be an American citizen and not have a passport or a drivers license.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
11:15 am

Preach tolerance, but be totally intolerant, and disrespectful, of those you disagree with.

sigh. Again I ask, guy-with-the-right-wing-extremist-outfit’s-screen-handle: When have I EVER “preached tolerance”?

I am no more tolerant of willful ignorance in my midst than the next guy, and I have never expected the next guy to change his or her ways.

Just stop making stuff up, willya?