Supreme Court Rules on Arizona Immigration Law

The president said at a news conference that the new program is `the right thing to do’ in light of Congress’ 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

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas both voted to rule the entire law constitutional.  From the bench Scalia delivered a scathing indictment of the majority’s ruling:

The president said at a news conference that the new program is `the right thing to do’ in light of Congress’ 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.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor joined all of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion that struck down provisions requiring all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers, making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.  Justice Samuel Alito would have allowed police to arrest undocumented immigrants who seek work, and also make arrests without warrants.

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