As we anticipated, the United States Supreme Court has reversed and upheld the Ninth Circuit in part in the immigration case. Most parts — Sections 3, 5, and 6 — are preempted. In this case, Justice Kagan recused herself and the opinion is written by Justice Kennedy. Both sides can claim some victory, though the Administration can claim the invalidation of most of the law. Yet, the most controversial provision remains unpreempted.

Only the provisions requiring a check of papers is found not to be preempted. The Court is fractured on the aspects with multiple opinions with Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito each filing opinions. However, Kennedy carries the day. He simply rejects the claims of cooperation in enforcing sections like section 6:

In defense of §6, Arizona notes a federal statute permit­ ting state officers to “cooperate with the Attorney General in the identification, apprehension, detention, or removal of aliens not lawfully present in the United States.” 8 U. S. C. §1357(g)(10)(B). There may be some ambiguity as to what constitutes cooperation under the federal law; but no coherent understanding of the term would incorporate the unilateral decision of state officers to arrest an alien for being removable absent any request, approval, or other instruction from the Federal Government.

The majority expresses sympathy with Arizona but ultimately little support:

The National Government has significant power to regulate immigration. With power comes responsibility, and the sound exercise of national power over immigration depends on the Nation’s meeting its responsibility to base its laws on a political will informed by searching, thought­ ful, rational civic discourse. Arizona may have under­ standable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.

Yet, most of the attention of the public was focused on the “show me your papers” part of the law that requires state and local police to perform roadside immigration checks of people they’ve stopped or detained. This is the “reasonable suspicion” and will continue — though the Court cautions that it must be used with restraint.

The invalidation of the other provisions does not bode well for states and cities in passing a host of laws involving illegal immigrants. Ruled preempted are is (1) Section 3 making it a state crime to be here illegally; (2) Section 5(C) making it a state crime for undocumented immigrants to apply for a job or working in the state and (3) Section 6 allowing state law enforcement officials to arrest without a warrant any individual otherwise lawfully in the country when they have probable cause to believe the individual has committed a deportable offense.

Here is the opinion: 11-182b5e1


  1. Shano,
    That’s certainly true in Tucson. My friend there say so.
    Her family spent some time south of the border in the same area as Willards grandpa did before he sold out anc came home. Some didnät learn much there.

  2. Betty Kath,

    Try coming to a new language and country and learning the relative strengths of cuss words. In Sweden, fan, the devil (also djävul) is very strong. To call an elder woman “kärring” is very offensive, although it
    was accepted once upon a time and means only old
    Remember when a frenchman says “merde” it is only he who knows where and when it is acceptable.

    Not to mention kids who come home with as yet unvalued four letter words. Quslle choc!!!

  3. Scalia is an ass if he thinks Arizona is not breathing a huge sigh of relief with the Dream Act kids getting a blessing & some breathing space from President Obama.

    My niece is a school teacher who has seen terrible things: a top engineering student not being able to accept a full scholarship because ‘no papers’.
    Another top student who could not go to college in Mexico as planned (her Aunt teaches at this college) because right now, sending a child to Chihuahua is like sending them into a war zone.
    Now working crappy part time jobs as an ‘illegal’, taking some community college classes, anything she can afford all the while trying to stay out fo the radar of any policeman.

    These students have never known Mexico, have never lived there, and if you want to send them to Mexico, you are sending them into a war zone that is more dangerous than Afghanistan.

  4. The “papers please” portion of the statute may be subject to further judicial review once it has been implemented. I am waiting to see how the State of Arizona figures it can enforce that provision without unlawful profiling. My guess is that it can’t.

  5. The city limits of this blog are determine by its rules.

    The city limits of the are determined by Arizona, so sez again and again.

    There aren’t any published laws to back up …

    So bloggers here like anon and Frankly, do the Arizona and try to define parameters to gain the favor of other bully worshipers (e.g. bdaman).

    That is why many people do not like The City Limits of Their-topia

    They are so “Maggie’s Farm” out on Highway 61:

    Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
    Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
    God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
    God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
    The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
    Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”
    God says, “Out on Highway 61”

    The names have been changed to protect the rule makers who want to make all of the rules as they go.

    Like Mitt’s RULE 1: “I did not say whatever I said.”

  6. This is a GREAT victory for illegal aliens, foreign terrorists, and drug dealers, allowing them free movement in and out of the US without having to be hampered by government regulations that nobody pays attention to anyway. Isn’t America great or what?

  7. woody voinche 1, June 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I have tried to leave a new comment about Vance v. Rumsfeld the site will not post or is there a wiretap on this site???

    NSA has is a wiretap on all sites.

    Moderation kicks in if you have more than two links in your post and if you use certain words. I think there are 4 or 5 words. Most folks here can figure out the outlawed words if you spell them funny, like with $@$% character. Just get a letter or two right. Somehow those forbidden words aren’t so offensive when they aren’t spelled out. We get to vent w/o so much offense.

  8. “”The President has said 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 laws. Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so,” said Scalia. “But to say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of federal immigration law that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind.”

  9. The reason the “papers please” section (1 of 4) was not cast down is that it has not been implemented yet (it has not taken effect), and the challenge was an “one the face of it” challenge.

    The court does not like facial challenges as to constitutionality, rather they like “as applied” challenges.

    Since you can’t determine how a law will be applied until it takes effect, that decision is upcoming.

    I say it is going down too.

  10. bettykath 1, June 25, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Does this mean I have to carry my birth certificate if I go to Arizona?
    Depends on your skin color, the bumper stickers on your vehicle, and whether or not the cop stopping you says your taillight is out.

  11. I have tried to leave a new comment about Vance v. Rumsfeld the site will not post or is there a wiretap on this site???

  12. Anon and others,

    BettyKath answers it pretty well. Whitey gets a pass, That also is profiling. As for the guy I’m sitting hext to—he’s carrying. So my rectum gets examined too? ANON? Great logic.

    As for GATT, in Geneva I banged a couple of times (had sexual intercourse if you prefer) the daughter of the chief architect in ’67. She used to slum at the Bar Commerce. Exclusiveness does not exclude sluttiness.
    Is that why our politics are so bad?

  13. If a police officer stops someone for a traffic violation and asks for license and registration and the person hands them a consular id card, perhaps that might be enough to wonder if the person was in the country illegally.

  14. I’m not so much into draconian measures to deal with symptoms. I’d much rather go after the root cause. Repeal NAFTA and GATT and much of the problem will disappear on its own.

  15. The only way to get around racial profiling is to have everyone provide “papers” or to ask no one for “papers”. I don’t see any other way around it. See Dallysdad’s experience.

  16. “How would a LEO base his decision….”

    The smart cops will just avoid this still questioned portion of 1070 that remains. There are plenty of other law violations that will keep them busy enough, especially with the reduction of police officer numbers because of budget cuts.

  17. “How would a LEO base his decision if not on appearance? Ant then that is profiling?”

    The authors of the bill claim it’s possible….

    I’ll give you one example.

    I don’t have to notice that you are brown to ask for your papers if I notice that the person you are sitting next to is brown. See, so I’m not profiling you, I am looking at other aspects of the context you find yourself in.

    Does that help?

  18. I’m descended from 17th century western Europeans. No one would mistake me for anything else unless I wore a burka. Guess I get a pass. And isn’t that racial profiling?

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