Monday, June 25, 2012

What Does The Supreme Court Ruling On Arizona's SB 1070 Mean?

Today the United States supreme court in a 5-3 decision struck down three of the four critical components of the Arizona immgration law known in shorthand as Arizona SB 1070.
The four provisions of the law that the court ruled on as follows.
1) Whether or not it can be a state crime to be an illegal alien in Arizona.
2) Whether or not it can be a state crime to be an illegal alien and seek and or perform work.
3) Whether or not it can be a state crime to be an illegal alien and not complete and or carry immgration documentation.
4) Whether or not law enforcement in the state can verify the immigration status of suspects stopped during investigating another crime.
So, the supreme court, led by the erratic justice, Anthony Kennedy, struck down the first three and allowed the last one to stand.
Although three of the four provisions were struck down, the fourth one being allowed to stand means that there is still a half a mouth of teeth in this law.
Now here is the ruling from the supreme court.
I admit, I am not a legal eagle, and would love commentary from some actual legal eagles.
But my understanding is that the majority believe the the state of Arizona overstepped in assering the right to actually enforce, no assist, federal law.
Yet somehow, the majority said, well it is still OK for local law enforcement, during routine traffic stops primarily, to ask suspects to prove their immgration status.
To me, it is a convoluted split decision that should make no one happy.
Yes, it is obvious that we need to have real immgration reform. It does not nor should it be all comprehensive. It should be in stages. Absolute control of all borders, north, south and the coasts. Once that is acheived, then also in stages deport those here five years or less. Period. Those who have been here five to ten years, they should be able to get work permits, but not a path to citizenship. And those who have been here 11 years plus should be on a pathway to citizenship. No, I have not thought the logistics of it all. But if a lot are deported, we would be dealing with less people in seeking a serious reform. And having the borders secure will make what I propose palatable.
There will never be a perfect plan to please all.
But what we are doing now is almost pointless.
What Arizona did in passing SB 1070 in the first place was react to the inaction of the federal government to the situation along the border of Arizona and Mexico. Throw in New Mexico and Texas and to a lesser extent California.
The federal government did not do its duty according to the state government. And they have been correct.
And the not so dirty secret is this.
NOTHING will be done this year. This is an election year. Once the election is over and it depends on the outcome, then maybe something will be done.
While some aspects of the Arizona law is out, state and local law enforcement will still be able to question the immigration status of suspects in overal determining of a situation in a traffic stop.
Oh, and another thing to count on.
More and more demogogary and misinformation and fear mongering during this presidential campaign season.
The supreme court split itself in trying to have it all ways on this issue and did nothing to bring clarity to the issue of illegal immigration.
Let's hope that they do a better job in their decision regarding Obamacare.


Amy said...

Maybe I missed it because I'm a big lame-o today (102 deg. fever--mystery bug), but how about birthright citizenship? Keep, toss?

An Unmarried Man said...

half a mouth of teeth

Sounds like you're describing my mouth.

I haven't read any "expert" opinions about this ruling, but my poor-man's Perry Mason interpretation seems to tell me that the USSC is basically saying an illegal alien's status is beyond the purview of the state. However, the state can still somewhat enforce or investigate federally mandated legal status. Best of both worlds, have your cake and eat it too legalese.

Amy, seems I've heard of so many people being sick in the past week or two!

Righty64 said...

@Amy, birthright citizenship was not at issue in the case. But I hope that it is in the future.
@An Unmarried Man, this is pretty much a weasley decision. Although Obamacare is worse. The three issues shot down by the court were the state ASSISTING federal law enforcement.