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Monday, June 25, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: The Supreme Court Rules on Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070

In a widely anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court has ruled that most parts of the controversial Arizona immigration law SB1070 are unconstitutional, striking down 3 of 4 major parts of the law. It did uphold perhaps the most important and most controversial part of the law: that law enforcement can check a person's immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion that the suspect is in the US illegally.

See the Supreme Court's decision here:

My quick opinion:

I've read through Twitter and have seen that many on the right are saying this is a "major victory" for Arizona and a "major defeat" for the Obama administration. I'm a little confused by this. I'm pretty darned conservative, but not to the point of spinning away truth. I'm looking for clarification, because to me, all feelings about immigration and Arizona's handling of it aside, this ruling seems like a victory for the Obama administration.

Why do I feel that the right is already "over-trumpeting" this as a victory? Well, the rulings are:

- The SCOTUS overturned the part of the law that would require aliens to carry immigration papers.
- The SCOTUS overturned the part of the law saying that prohibited illegal aliens from trying to obtain work claiming federal law overrode state law.
- The SCOTUS overturned the part of the law police cannot arrest someone based solely on the suspicion they are in the country illegally.
- The SCOTUS upheld the part of the law that says law enforcement can ask to see immigration status papers if a suspect is arrested as part of another crime, but the SCOTUS made this clear it was was upheld based on procedural issues.

So, my case is right there. In all honesty, I'm not seeing this as a strong "victory" for conservatives or Arizona. Am I off base? Let me know. This is an interesting debate for certain.

Be sure to share your opinions on the ruling below.


  1. A victory for AZ! I don't eeven know how this was contested. It is illegal to be in the country illegally. If you ask EVERYONE their immigration status, you are not discriminating or racially profiling. If you get pulled over for speeding and a cop asks you (white or black) what's your immigration status and let me see your papers, what is the problem?

    1. the problem is that not everybody is asked and even if they were, what if someone doesn't have papers, are they at risk of being detained until their status can be verified? What if I, a white native of this country, was in a car that was pulled over and I didn't have my wallet. Am I at risk of going to jail for not having documentation on me?

    2. Your example is silly. If you got pulled over as a white guy (or any colored guy for that matter), it would have to be for some traffic violation (nothing changed here). If you didn't have your wallet, and because of that, you didn't have your license, you'd be arrested because of that. Again, nothing new there. So there is no issue. Now, if you want to take it one step further, if you don't have your immigration paperwork (and true, if you're a white, native-born US citizen, you might not have one), it depends on how the law was structured. If the law mandates that everyone carry it just as it mandates everyone must carry a driver's license when they drive, then you'd be breaking the law. I'm not sure how AZ would regulate the carrying of papers, but it would be the same as a driver's license, I'm sure.

    3. I've never heard of anyone being arrested for not having their driver license. But, in my scenario, I am a passenger. So now you want to force people to carry identifying documentation. Why not a tatoo bar code? This is a FREE country where we shouldn't be forced to carry documentation because a few are scared of the big bad immigrants (such as your parents or grandparents). Asking everyone for documentation is absurd. The reality is, only dark colored folks would be asked (hispanics and blacks). Accent has nothing to do with it because you don't have to say anything to an officer (it is a right we all have). I would imagine if AZ passed a law requiring identification, it too would be shot down by SCOTUS.

  2. I kind of feel you on this one LME. I don't see this as a major victory for conservatives either. I appreciate "level headed" conservatism.

  3. LME - I see this as a victory for liberty and as not so much a loss for republicans as they, as a group (perhaps more tea partiers than run-of-the-mill republicans), have been very vocal about being supportive of this law but rather a black-eye. It is another example of a Republican bill that has been shown as trampling on the liberties of the people.

    1. Whatsamattausa - I can definitely see your point, but I don't have as much of an opinion on SB1070 as many people do. On the surface, getting into the basics of immigration itself, I tend to think that the states and the country as a whole should strongly and strictly enforce immigration laws. I'm not against immigration at all, but I'm against illegal immigration as I am against illegal anything.

      I can see where racial profiling and similar law enforcement maneuvers can arise from this law, so I certainly respect that aspect. Again, I don't have a strong opinion on this, but I don't see a problem with requiring every citizen to carry some form of ID while the basis for obtaining that ID is to be a legal citizen of this country. If that is a driver's license or a personal ID card, either of those should require citizenship to obtain, so by merely having one would imply citizenship. I don't see how carrying IDs is a bad thing. If I'm walking around the street breaking car windows (or committing any kind of crime) I'm going to be detained. If I get arrested, I will have to prove who I am. If I refuse, the government has a right to do it one way or another. If someone doesn't feel they should be forced to carry an ID, that's fine... but if they're detained as a suspect in a crime, or if they want to enter a federal building, they will need it anway. If this is applied to all citizens, I don't see it as a problem. I do respect the Constitution, but I do see this document as the key for protecting its citizen's rights, not the rights of non-citizens. Of course, like I said, I can see racial profiling becoming an issue, and obviously I don't stand for that. But being a citizen in this country and having to prove it, to me, isn't a violation of liberty or rights.

    2. As is not unusual, you and I will agree and disagree (respectfully)to certain points. I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing to have to carry identification. However, I would never support such a measure because I believe that, in a FREE country, I should also be free to live anonymously if I so choose. Just as I can request public records anonymously, I enjoy my ability to walk down the street anonymously. Additionally, if everyone were to be forced to carry ID, the crime rate for simple theft would likely shoot through the roof. Illegals immigrants would know that everyone is carrying ID so why not mug them and take their ID for yours. I'm sure we could go round and round but I prefer liberty over giving up same out of fear or whatever reason. As an example, what if I'm going to a pool or the beach (areas where one wouldn't generally bring a wallet - at least not me). I don't think I've given up my right from unreasonable seizure. Just as I don't think it's a bad idea to drug test every citizen in the country on a daily basis but, I'm not going to support a law like that.

      I think you are 100% right that, if we want to stop illegals that we should beef up border seurity quite heavily. I don't know, let's say we use some of OUR military for US (a crazy liberal idea i know!) rather than for the folks all over the world (in other words, let's do what that babbling lunatic Ron Paul says we should do). Increases security and provides a cost savings to Americans. Then, as much as conservatives hate it, offer amnesty to those already here and give them until such a date to begin naturalization processes. The idea on immigration is to stop the bleeding, kicking out those that are here already is a waste of time and money. Also, we should stop issuing work visas until the issue is under control. As for visas, someone needs to keep better track of who's here on one and whether they are still here or left as they should've. Make employers verify citizenship or hold them accountable. There are alot of ways to skin the cat and I just think doing it the way AZ wants to do it is simply asking the people to give up liberty(ies) to catch a few bad apples... As I see it, it's not much different than pissing for welfare (spending lots of money to catch the very few - with the drug testing, they were getting between 2%-4% positives).

      The best way to end a problem is to solve it, not simply to put a band aid on it which is what this AZ law does. It's a lot of show and not much substance. It becomes, as almost everything that requires giving up privacy, an issue as to where does it end?

    3. Whatsamattausa - Trust me, I can definitely see where you're coming from. To live in a truly "free" land, one should be able to live as freely as they want. If that means being free from having to carry some piece of paper or plastic as required by a powerful body, so be it. (I think that's it) :-)

      I do respectfully disagree with that notion. Well, maybe not fully because like I said, I can see where you're coming from. Perhaps there is a compromise. We don't have to carry ID (like not carrying it wouldn't be considered breaking the law), but, if it is needed, you should have to present it. You cited a beach example, and I am the same way. I would also never need it there. Now say for some reason I was intoxicated in public after going to the beach (of course, not me... I don't drink :-P ) and I was detained. If in this instance I didn't have a way to identify myself (this prevents me from giving someone else's name), I would have no problem with law enforcement holding me for a reasonable period of time as I provide some kind of proof (maybe they can take me back to my residence, etc). I'm just thinking of a middle ground where one isn't breaking the law simply for not having an ID on them (especially in unnecessary situations) and where society can still maintain law and order on an "as needed" basis (arresting suspects as needed and positively IDing them so that the right person is charged and so that the right person can defend him/herself). What do you think?

      But yes... no matter what, I do support the lawful abiding of American laws, and to me, that does include lawfully securing our borders.

    4. LME -

      Good evening. I am fundamentally against forced identification. I think, if that is the mandate, than I would just say to fingerprint or retinally scan everyone. I would never endorse such a radical plan but it would be a system that would be VERY hard to cheat, unlike a card system which college kids cheat every day. It would serve multiple purposes, fingerprinting especially (think of the time it would save detectives). Although you'll likely disagree, I don't see the difference between the two. If the goal is to be able to easily identify people, don= f*%# around, get it done, 'make us all safer' or don't do it at all.

      Before the government, again, begins messing with individual liberties, let's first do the job of stopping the flow if illegals in this country (including abolishing florida's so called 'wet foot/dry foot' rule for cubans... talk about discrimination!). If that doesn't work, let's put some more things on the table. Don't ask me to give up liberties because you're (the gov't) unwilling to do your job.

      Hope you, Mrs. LME and pup are enjoying your evenings!

  4. Citizens should not be required to carry ID. If someone is arrested for a crime, when they are booked into jail, that is when their identity should be investigated to see if they are wanted for another crime. That is also where it would be determined if they are a citizen, visitor, or illegally in the country.