Scalia Leaves Little Doubt

Justice Antonin Scalia has left little doubt which side of the aisle he will come down on Thursday when the Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act.

In today’s ruling on Arizona’s anti-immigration “Papers Please” law SB1070, Scalia spent most of his dissent getting basic facts wrong, attacking the Obama administration, and showing his partisan ass.

In his point-by-point defense of the Arizona legislation, the avowed law-and-order conservative surmised that the Obama administration “desperately wants to avoid upsetting foreign powers.” He accused federal officials of “willful blindness or deliberate inattention” to the presence of illegal immigrants in Arizona.

“[T]o say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind,” Scalia wrote. “If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.” […]

“We are not talking here about a federal law prohibiting the States from regulating bubble-gum advertising, or even the construction of nuclear plants,” he declared. “We are talking about a federal law going to the core of state sovereignty: the power to exclude.”

Broccoli. Bubble-gum. Where does the nonsense end?

Apparently it ends at the sovereign right of states to regulate freed slaves, as Yglesias points out.

Notwithstanding “[t]he myth of an era of unrestricted immigration” in the first 100 years of the Republic, the States enacted numerous laws restricting the immigration of certain classes of aliens, including convicted crimi­nals, indigents, persons with contagious diseases, and (in Southern States) freed blacks. Neuman, The Lost Century of American Immigration (1776–1875), 93 Colum. L. Rev. 1833, 1835, 1841–1880 (1993). State laws not only pro­ vided for the removal of unwanted immigrants but also imposed penalties on unlawfully present aliens and those who aided their immigration.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that based on this defense of SB1070, Scalia believes the abolition of slavery was an affront to state’s rights. Because he’s using the regulation of immigration of “freed blacks” as precedent for the state of Arizona to preside over its own immigration policy. You know, because state’s rights!!

Scalia’s opinion on healthcare reform will surely be a sight to behold.

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  • Draxiar

    Scalia harumphed at the idea of actually reading the bill on which he is to judge. If he still hasn’t read it (which he more than likely hasn’t) he’ll be making a judgment on something he knows little about. If he actually upholds ACA it may be due to that “finger of God” that Beck claims to have seen flicking Scalia in the head.

  • joseph2004

    Scalia aside for a moment, the lefy talking point that the “Roberts court” is committed to securing conservative policies seems vacuous at this point. After all, Roberts himself found with the majority on this case, along with the so-called liberal justices.
    More interesting is the so-called liberal justices joining with the so-called conservative ones to uphold the provision at which the histrionic Left has focused so much of its derision – the “papers please” 2B provision. Funny that.

    Remember Kelo v. City of New London? Here was a case in which you might have expected the “liberal” justices to defend the property and property owners whose property was taken and given to a private development group. But they did not. The so-called conservative justices, however, did.

    Can’t count on anything these days.

    AZ (I’m sure too many here will be cheering about) has been laid out to dry in the desert sun. Scalia’s dissent included a chronology of states’ powers since the formation of the union (which included what Ashby so casually dismisses as proof Scalia favored slavery on some level – so dumb, Ashby, even for you). He summarizes by showing how, since then, states’ powers to regulate immigration have been taken away, and while he doesn’t dispute the ultimate authority of Federal Law over state law, he questions the veracity by the majority in concluding that current Federal immigration laws make explicit their jurisdiction over the AZ sb1070 provisions under consideration. And, he lamments a federal system that makes laws that it so opening, even officially, refuses to enforce.

    While today’s ruling is disappointing on a number of levels to me, the majority made a decent case for its decision. In doing so it also included a sort of reprimand vindicating, if not the way AZ went about this issue, AZ’s view that the Federal Gov’t has failed in its responsibilities to AZ in particular and to the rest of the states as well.

    • D_C_Wilson

      “AZ’s view that the Federal Gov’t has failed in its responsibilities to AZ in particular and to the rest of the states as well.”

      If it weren’t for the niggling little details like illegal immigration has been down since the Great Recession and deportations have been up under Obama, I might think you had a point there.

      When you take those two facts into account, the Arizona law looks more like republicans trying to fear-monger old white people.

      Nah, they wouldn’t do anything like that, right?

    • JMAshby

      Per usual, you ignore the topic and deliver your concerns about us “leftys.”

      Vindicating the view that the “federal government has failed” is a political statement, not an interpretation of law. Math isn’t even on Scalia’s side.

      Illegal immigration is currently at record lows. Yeah, Arizona has been “laid out to dry in the desert sun.”

      Empirical reality does not corroborate your politics.

    • i_a_c

      This shouldn’t be a liberal/conservative policy issue. It’s abundantly clear that immigration issues are in the hands of the federal government and that states are not allowed to have their own immigration policy. Oodles of precedent make this clear.

      Regarding “papers please,” the Justices said that as written the law could stand, as it wasn’t preempted by federal law, and that they didn’t know how it would be enforced, but left the door open for a challenge later down the line, for example on equal protection grounds. Given the kind of lawsuit being filed, this is not really surprising and the Court was 8-0 on the matter.

      Scalia is a States Rights fetishist who laments the fact that nobody (but Alito and Thomas) takes his point of view seriously anymore.

      • nathkatun7

        “Scalia is a States Rights fetishist…” Well, i_a_c, I am not so sure about that. Scalia “States Rights” fetishism is very, very selective. For example his decision in “Bush v. Gore” and his decision today in overturning the 100 years old Montana law banning corporate money in elections. In my humble opinion, Scalia is simply a rabid (I would even argue a raging mad) right wing ideologue that can always count on his poodles, Thomas and Alito, to back his extremist partisan rulings.

        • Brutlyhonest

          I thought everyone knew that “States Rights fetishist” meant, by default, when it supports a right wing cause :P

          • nathkatun7

            I didn’t know so I apologize for ignorance.

          • Brutlyhonest

            I was attempting sarcasm at the wingnuts, so I apologize to you!

        • i_a_c

          Yes, he’s a partisan hack, but at least he claims to love that tenth amendment.

  • JimmyPete

    This is the man touted as a genius by the pundits. When you can say anything you damn well please without fear , you certainly can seem like a genius to the sheep.

    • nathkatun7

      JimmyPete, I completely agree with you. In my humble opinion, Antonin Scalia is the most rabid ideologue in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. Sure he may be a good writer, but I’ve yet to see him render decisions that are based on law and not on his right wing ideology.

  • Brutlyhonest

    scalia would fit in quite well in one of the right-wing dictatorships the rwnjs like to prop up around the world. Reading his dissent aloud so everyone had to hear it is classic asshat. He’s no better than the proudly ignorant shithead down the street that repeats right wing talking points without regard for facts.

    Sadly though, he is in a position where his complicity in politicizing law hurts us all.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Literally and figuratively, Antonin Scalia is the Ugly American.

  • mrbrink

    Scalia’s mind is rotten fruit.

    We’re not talking about a federal law prohibiting those blessed fascist Republican-Jesus-loving Confederate States from regulating bubble-gum advertising, or even the construction of nuclear plants! We’re talking about Federal law that is in clear agitating violation of the White Supremacy Clause of the states! If securing the White Supremacy Clause is a crime… get over it.

    Which reminds me, has anyone tried Nu-Clear’s New Cho-King Kool Red Radiation Burst Time-release Bubblegum? I hear it is what all the coolest and best people are chewing/smoking. Have you seen the commercials? It’s a totally safe and worry free chewing/smoking experience. How can you argue with what’s best for our children’s future government debt? It’s their future government debt we’re chewing/smoking for, here.