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.