Court upholds Atlanta’s rights to Lake Lanier’s water, overturns part of AZ immigration law; Obamacare on hold

UPDATE at 1:55 p.m.: Here’s my longer take on the Arizona ruling.

UPDATE at 11 a.m.: A quick clarification: I erred in writing that the court said the opinion will come out Thursday. What it said is Thursday will be the last day for issuing opinions this term; there is a slight possibility it will hold the case over until the next term.

ORIGINAL POST:

The U.S. Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare today and said the opinion will come out Thursday. In very big local news, however, the justices declined to hear an appeal by Alabama and Florida of the 11th Circuit’s ruling in the long-running “water wars,” meaning metro Atlanta can still take drinking water from Lake Lanier. And it overruled substantial portions of Arizona’s highly controversial immigration law — while leaving intact the most scrutinized part, which allows local law enforcement to check the immigration status of people who have been arrested.

More analysis coming as I make it through the immigration ruling.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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92 comments Add your comment

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

June 25th, 2012
10:55 am

They tossed the upheld part back to the ninth circuit for more work/explanation on why the police can not enforce the immigration law. I’m afraid, the ninth will reaffirm its decision with more explanation, and we will be back here again next year. Not sure why they didn’t reaffirm the police’s right to determine if a crime has been committed and then be allowed to detain the subject. Seems like pass the buck, on the Supremes part.

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
11:00 am

Not sure why they didn’t reaffirm the police’s right to determine if a crime has been committed and then be allowed to detain the subject.

For the one billionth time–it’s not a crime to be here if you’re not a citizen.

Peace

June 25th, 2012
11:07 am

“For the one billionth time–it’s not a crime to be here if you’re not a citizen.”

Really? Please explain for me. You are saying that there is no Federal immigation law that requires non-U.S. citizens to enter this country legally? Citizens of Mexico can come to the U.S. and remain here without any citizenship requirement, as well as anyone from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Jordan, etc.?

I’m not being sarcastic of facetious…If you are correct, I’ve been terribly misinformed.

a dad

June 25th, 2012
11:07 am

Aqua – ummm, unless you’re a citizen, it’s crime for a non-citizen to be in the U.S. unless they have a green car, visa, etc. if it weren’t against the law, would be pretty stupid to require such things and we’d not be having such issues over illegal immigration.

a dad

June 25th, 2012
11:09 am

Peace – AG’s an uber-lib. Don’t confuse her with facts. Gee, can’t wait for all those lawsuits to commence alleging kidnapping (in the wformof wrongful deportation) and so on.

Samantha

June 25th, 2012
11:11 am

SCOTUS message is that the Feds actually have to do their jobs and enforce the law. Selective enforcement of the law based on the ideololgy of the executive branch is both arbritary and a breach of constitutional duty.

ByteMe

June 25th, 2012
11:12 am

The view of the four “conservative” justices that a state can punish a 14-year-old with “life without parole” is just scary bizarre. Thankfully, saner heads prevailed.

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
11:14 am

You are saying that there is no Federal immigation law that requires non-U.S. citizens to enter this country legally?

No, I didn’t say that. It IS a crime to enter the country illegally.

But if you say, come here on a visa and then don’t leave when it expires, you’re not committing a criminal act. That may have been the reasoning behind the recent decision to basically ignore people who were brought here as kids. They didn’t break any laws by entering the country, so their only legal issue is a civil violation.

Of course this is a meaningless distinction when you can’t discuss illegal immigration without foaming at the mouth.

Peace

June 25th, 2012
11:18 am

Do I understand the Court’s ruling correctly? This decision says that the states (Arizona, etc.) cannot enforce a law that the Federal government refuses to enforce? That ‘option’ is left entirely to the Feds. So this means that government officials can choose to enforce or not enforce federal law? What if the Justice Department decides to not enforce provisions of the Civil Rights Act, Roe vs. Wade, the Voting Rights Act, federal drug laws, etc.? Does this mean that the survival of our government as we know it is on very shaky ground, that the laws of the land (federal) have an ‘optional’ enforcement clause, subject to changes in adminstrations and the shifting winds of politics? This is quite scary.

Brain

June 25th, 2012
11:22 am

AG “Of course this is a meaningless distinction when you can’t discuss illegal immigration without foaming at the mouth.’

Well put. And Arizona’s economy continues its death spiral in part because of this asinine law. It would make sense that GA would want to follow suit.

jconservative

June 25th, 2012
11:26 am

The Court upheld the right for local Arizona police to check immigration status because all the locals can do is refer the case to the Feds. It cannot be a crime in Arizona to be in violation of Federal law. Thus spoke the Court.

The decision on Arizona was 5 – 3 with Kennedy and Roberts joining the 3 liberals. Kagan sat out the case. Had she not it would have been a 6 – 3 decision.

Peace

June 25th, 2012
11:26 am

“They (kids) didn’t break any laws by entering the country, so their only legal issue is a civil violation.”

A.G. I’ve heard this argument many times, essentially that ‘families should not be torn apart’ because of the transgressions of the parents. However, it is interesting to note that the legal system has no qualms about ‘tearing families apart’ when parents commit any one of many other ‘illegal’
acts, including drug offenses, robbery, assault, etc.

I’m just not a big fan of ‘optional or situational’ enforcement of laws.

md

June 25th, 2012
11:26 am

“They didn’t break any laws by entering the country, so their only legal issue is a civil violation.”

Big assumption that they all came here on visas…………..

Will

June 25th, 2012
11:31 am

Interesting.

The Supremes say it is okay for the police to investigate the immigration status of someone who appears to be illegal. Other than accent and skin color, how would a police officer suspect that someone is “illegal”?

Maybe now the Supremes could suggest some way to make this easier for the police. Maybe require “legals” to wear some designated star or something like that on their outer wear. I seem to remember some other country doing this. How did that work out?

md

June 25th, 2012
11:33 am

“It cannot be a crime in Arizona to be in violation of Federal law. Thus spoke the Court.”

Which should be setting off bells and whistles on how big the feds have gotten……once upon a time, the fed was created to back up the states…….and state laws were fine as long as they didn’t supersede the feds…….with this, they are saying the states can’t make a law already on the books of the feds……..as mentioned above, scary……….

Cutty

June 25th, 2012
11:34 am

So which one was it Kyle? Were substantial portions of the immigration law overturned, or just part? The title and content of your post are confusing. Reading the ruling myself tho, it looks like everyhing was overturned except for the right of law enforcement to check the immigration status of individuals they stop. I can see now why you tried to downplay the ruling.

Brain

June 25th, 2012
11:35 am

@md “Big assumption that they all came here on visas…………..”

That was not the assumption she made at all. It’s conceivable that some percentage of foreign nationals remain here after their visas expire. That is not a criminal act; therefore they cannot be treated with the same criminal prejudice as those who enter illegally, which IS a criminal act.

md

June 25th, 2012
11:36 am

Of course it is the lib judges that voted to not allow the states to have equal laws to the feds…….and there in lies the agenda.

md

June 25th, 2012
11:39 am

“Other than accent and skin color, how would a police officer suspect that someone is “illegal”?”

Start by asking for drivers license and insurance and plug that into the database?? It’s not that hard when most states don’t allow DL’s for illegals……….

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
11:39 am

I’ve heard this argument many times, essentially that ‘families should not be torn apart’ because of the transgressions of the parents.

That’s a totally different argument, I’m not sure why you went sailing off into the stratosphere, but whatever.

Government at all levels constantly picks and chooses how aggressively they will enforce laws. If someone busts into your car and takes your stereo, CSI doesn’t generally show up and police don’t run about breaking down doors . Cops drive by suspected drunk drivers on the weekends because they’re aiming to get the drunkest ones off the road. We don’t have enough resources to pursue violations of FELONIES, never mind misdemeanors and civil codes.

“Optional and situational” enforcement is a fact of life. People should be honest why they’re crying over eye-legals and not hide behind BS about how much they love the law.

Don't Tread

June 25th, 2012
11:40 am

Soon you will be opening yourself to a discrimination lawsuit if you refuse to hire an illegal, at the current rate this is going.

md

June 25th, 2012
11:41 am

“That may have been the reasoning behind the recent decision to basically ignore people who were brought here as kids. They didn’t break any laws by entering the country, so their only legal issue is a civil violation.”

Sorry Brain……but to say ignore all brought here as kids has to assume that all were here on visas…..

md

June 25th, 2012
11:46 am

“It’s conceivable that some percentage of foreign nationals remain here after their visas expire.”

Sure it is……but ag didn’t mention %’s in her reasoning.

But, the law also states that overstaying ones visa may lead to deportation…..why should they be allowed to stay without going through the formalities?

Are you a believer of “survival of the fittest”??

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 25th, 2012
11:50 am

Well, it appears that determining the perp’s legal status is OK for a state, just not being able to do anything about it except send that person on to the Feds.

Which means this administration can continue it’s pattern of lawlessness by ignoring whatever laws it wants to in order to pander for votes.

So in essence, nothing has changed with this ruling.

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
11:50 am

but to say ignore all brought here as kids has to assume that all were here on visas…..

No, there’s no question their parents broke the law. We just don’t hold the children responsible for breaking the law against entering the country, because they didn’t choose to break the law.

Pretending you don’t understand to preserve your @$$hattery is not a good idea. Maybe you should go read Jim Galloway’s earlier post on the shrinking white vote. Whether you like it or not, these people aren’t going home. Children born here are citizens. And they won’t forget the wingnuts who squawked and howled like stuck pigs.

ragnar danneskjold

June 25th, 2012
11:51 am

My preliminary read of the Arizona ruling is that I think it about right. Arizona, as a sovereign entity, may empower its police to inquire whether one is a citizen. That inquiry has relevance if in connection with investigation of a crime, as it directly affects how/whether one qualifies for bail. As to the three sections struck down – criminalizing applying for a job (gee, that sounds like ghetto politics), punishing failure to carry papers, warrantless arrests for deportable offenses – the first two are unworthy laws. I could see an argument in support of the third, but in a world where a warrant can be obtained by telephone, that is not insuperable when the crime supports the warrant.

JDW

June 25th, 2012
11:54 am

The interesting bit of this is that Roberts voted to strike the over reaching parts. Could it mean that sanity is returning to the court? We will see on Thursday.

Seems to me that the only intact portion of the law is what they could do already…check status on someone detained for another crime, with probable cause and notify INS.

I think that any hint of profiling will get whomever smacked again.

yuzeyurbrane

June 25th, 2012
11:56 am

Pleasantly surprised to see Chief Justice Roberts align with more progressive members of the Court on Arizona case. Maybe we can have decisions based on the law rather than politics? As to Lanier case, this just gives us time to work on our still existing water problems. Let’s not squander the opportunity.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

June 25th, 2012
11:57 am

In very big local news, however, the justices declined to hear an appeal by Alabama and Florida of the 11th Circuit’s ruling in the long-running “water wars,” meaning metro Atlanta can still take drinking water from Lake Lanier.

Better put kookman on suicide watch.

JDW

June 25th, 2012
11:59 am

@ragnar…”Arizona, as a sovereign entity, may empower its police to inquire whether one is a citizen.”

Only if investigating another crime. They can’t stop them on the street.

ragnar danneskjold

June 25th, 2012
11:59 am

The Montana “corporate political donations” case is an interesting expansion of Citizens United. Look forward to that discussion here.

Peace

June 25th, 2012
12:01 pm

“Optional and situational” enforcement is a fact of life. People should be honest why they’re crying over eye-legals and not hide behind BS about how much they love the law.”

AG: Let’s see how you feel about that statement when a few caucasions brandishing night sticks prevent a couple of black citizens from exercising their right to vote….

ragnar danneskjold

June 25th, 2012
12:02 pm

Dear JDW @ 11:59, agree, just as they cannot stop anyone else. We do not want a world where we are subject to being stopped by the police without a reason.

md

June 25th, 2012
12:04 pm

So Aqua…..you also a believer in “survival of the fittest”??

What do you say to the many more out there around the globe that are possibly living in not so stellar conditions as they wait patiently to enter the country by the rules of the game?

“Tough luck, you should have crossed the border illegally”??????

That my dear is the true asshattery…….

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 25th, 2012
12:06 pm

“Could it mean that sanity is returning to the court?”

In typical liberal fashion, you’ll claim it is if they rule for Obamacare, and claim it isn’t if they rule against it JDW.

iggy

June 25th, 2012
12:06 pm

“Better put kookman on suicide watch.”

LOL…absolutely!

JDW

June 25th, 2012
12:08 pm

@ragnar…yep that would be a bad thing…looks like Kennady warned on doing anything out of the ordinary even while investigating another crime….from Jay…

“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.”

My guess is that this will also clear up the nonsense about witholding college attendance from undocumented persons quite quickly.

Maybe now that the landscape has been cleared relative to where responsiblity lies the do nothing Congress will get thier act together and DO THIER JOB.

iggy

June 25th, 2012
12:10 pm

With this immigration/any thing goes mentality the Dems are attempting to obtain voting rights for illegals…

JDW

June 25th, 2012
12:11 pm

@tiberius…”In typical liberal fashion, you’ll claim it is if they rule for Obamacare, and claim it isn’t if they rule against it JDW.”

I know you can’t see the forest for the trees but, based on prior rulings, there really isn’t any gray area as to whether or not the federal government can make healthcare laws under the Commerce Clause. I think the issues involved are very similar to the ones here and would not be surprised to see a 6-3 decision in favor.

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
12:14 pm

What do you say to the many more out there around the globe that are possibly living in not so stellar conditions as they wait patiently to enter the country by the rules of the game?

I’d say “sorry your case isn’t moving faster because nutcases here want to spend money on dumb crap like a mythical fence instead of a reasonable immigration system that doesn’t take years for routine cases. I don’t like our xenophobic fruitcakes either. I wish we could trade them for you, America would be a better country.”

JDW

June 25th, 2012
12:15 pm

Looks like Mittens just doesn’t get it…

“I believe that each state has the duty–and the right–to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities. ”

He has been clearly smacked down. The court has said they have neither the duty nor right.

md

June 25th, 2012
12:15 pm

“My guess is that this will also clear up the nonsense about witholding college attendance from undocumented persons quite quickly.”

And that has not been the issue per se…….the issue is more about in state vs out of state tuition. Students coming in on student visas pay out of state…..why should someone who snuck in get in state??

JDW

June 25th, 2012
12:18 pm

@iggy…”With this immigration/any thing goes mentality the Dems are attempting to obtain voting rights for illegals…”

You might have missed this part…

“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.” ”

Civil does not equal illegal…that terminology is now quite improper. They are undocumented.

md

June 25th, 2012
12:19 pm

“I’d say “sorry your case isn’t moving faster because nutcases here want to spend money on dumb crap like a mythical fence instead of a reasonable immigration system that doesn’t take years for routine cases. I don’t like our xenophobic fruitcakes either. I wish we could trade them for you, America would be a better country.””

Just as I thought…….”tough luck loser…..the next time you should not play by the rules” is exactly what I thought you said………..

There are a lot of laws out there that many of us do not agree with, but to start picking and choosing which we will follow is a recipe for disaster…………

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 25th, 2012
12:19 pm

JDW, your reading comprehension is a bit weak.

Romney’s statement is consistent with the ruling, insofar as being able to determine the status of the perp and shuffle him/her off to the Feds if they so choose, which appears to be Constitutional according to the SCOTUS.

JDW

June 25th, 2012
12:20 pm

@md…”the issue is more about in state vs out of state tuition. Students coming in on student visas pay out of state…..why should someone who snuck in get in state??”

Under this ruling it would be unconsitutional to even check status therefore all you can check is address just as they do in the primary schools.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 25th, 2012
12:21 pm

“I think the issues involved are very similar to the ones here and would not be surprised to see a 6-3 decision in favor.”

While that wasn’t the issue I wrote about, JDW, it appears you did not listen too well to the oral arguments and responses from the justices on Obamacare.

However, my observation still stands. You claim sanity when the ruling goes your way, and will excoriate the court if Obamacare doesn’t, in typical liberal fashion.

JDW

June 25th, 2012
12:26 pm

@Tiberius..”JDW, your reading comprehension is a bit weak.”

I think not…

The court was quite skeptical of such maneuvers. Read my 12:08 for Kennedy’s comment. Mitt says “I believe that each state has the duty–and the right–to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law”

The Court has clearly said no they do not…that is the responsiblity of the Federal Government. The most a state can do, at their discretion no right or duty inferred is ask INS to run a check. Based on Kennedy’s comment if they were to hold a suspect for one second longer than normal during that process that would be a violation.

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
12:26 pm

There are a lot of laws out there that many of us do not agree with, but to start picking and choosing which we will follow is a recipe for disaster…………

I’m sure you’re tormented by businesses with wheelchair ramps a half-inch too short. Cons are well known for their obsession that we enforce every civil code on the books, even if we must spend billions of dollars.

md

June 25th, 2012
12:27 pm

“Under this ruling it would be unconsitutional to even check status therefore all you can check is address just as they do in the primary schools.”

And I’ll ask again, why is it “right” to charge visa holders out of state rates while not doing the same for those that came in illegally??