Isn’t it time to ask the real, lingering question?
Isn’t it about time for Justice Antonin Scalia to get his own show on Fox News? Talking Points Memo:
In his aggressive defense of Arizona’s immigration law, Justice Antonin Scalia pointedly went after President Obama’s recent immigration policy shift and accused him of deliberately refusing to enforce immigration statutes.
Justice Scalia wrote a 22-page barnstorming dissent against the court’s 5-3 decision Monday which found major provisions of S.B. 1070 violate the Constitution. The conservative jurist accepted the premise that the federal government has supremacy on immigration, but declared that the Arizona law is “in complete compliance” with federal statutes.
We really have to run a lot of this post here to take it all in. Just remember this is coming from a supposedly cool, neutral member of the Supreme Court rather than someone hosting a cable talk show or filling in or writing below in a blog comments section. To wit:
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.
And TPM gives us this quote from Scalia:
It has become clear that federal enforcement priorities—in the sense of priorities based on the need to allocate “scarce enforcement resources”—is not the problem here. After this case was argued and while it was under consideration, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced a program exempting from immigration enforcement some 1.4 million illegal immigrants under the age of 30.
[For certain illegal immigrants] immigration officials have been directed to “defe[r] action” against such individual “for a period of two years, subject to renewal.” 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 nonenforcement program envisions, will necessarily be deducted from immigration enforcement. The President said at a news conference that the new program is “the right thing to do” in light of Congress’s failure to pass the Administration’s proposed revision of the Immigration Act. Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so. But to 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.
There is more, so go to the link to read the rest.
Will Scalia soon fill in for Rush?
The bigger question is this: when it comes to wearing your politics unabashedly, pointedly on your sleeve and acting on it, when it comes to the health care reform ruling, will the enough other justices go along with the highly-predictable Scalia and in effect say: “Ditto..”?
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.