The Supreme Court has ruled unfavorably on Arizona’s SB1070, with which it attempted to secure its border with Mexico and the safety of Arizona citizens (the ruling, with the dissents, can be read here). Sort of letting stand a provision that required Arizona police to check the immigration status of those they suspect may be in the country illegally (the Court sent this back to the lower court for further argument), they struck the rest of the law making it a crime for immigrants to look for work without work permits (never mind that Federal law requires the permits), to not carry their immigration papers (never mind that Federal law requires legal aliens to carry these papers), and let police arrest those whom they suspect committed crimes for which they could be deported.
Justice Scalia, in his dissent (to, apparently, a 5-3 decision, with Justice Kagan having recused herself), had the right of it:
Arizona has moved to protect its sovereignty — not in contradiction of federal law, but in complete compliance with it. The laws under challenge here do not extend or revise federal immigration restrictions, but merely enforce those restrictions more effectively. If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.
As did Justice Thomas, for a different, narrower, reason:
I agree with Justice Scalia that federal immigration law does not preempt any of the challenged provisions of SB 1070. I reach that conclusion, however, for the simple reason that there is no conflict between the ‘ordinary meaning’ of the relevant federal laws and that of the four provisions of Arizona law at issue here.
And Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority has revealed an appalling mindset for an American judge:
Some discretionary decisions involve policy choices that bear on this Nation’s international relations.
This is a domestic law, and a domestic concern. Foreign opinion has no bearing. But this Progressive administration gave their view of American sovereignty when it encouraged 11 foreign nations to join the suit at the Appellate level.
We badly need an election, so this error can be corrected legislatively. Oh, wait….