Immigration Ruling Nixes State Sovereignty; Americans Have No Recourse When President Disregards the Law

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 3, 2012 | Go to article overview
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Immigration Ruling Nixes State Sovereignty; Americans Have No Recourse When President Disregards the Law


Byline: Tom Tancredo, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Supreme Court twice last week abandoned the Constitution to give new powers to the federal government and the Obama administration. The question for conservatives and patriots is: What can be done about it?

In Monday's Arizona ruling, the majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, creates a totally novel and illogical doctrine of federal pre-emption. In Thursday's Obamacare ruling, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. goes through unprecedented contortions to effectively rewrite the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a taxation measure, not an unconstitutional expansion of the commerce clause.

It will strike many Americans as especially noxious and foolhardy to give Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his Justice Department lawyers such broad discretionary powers of law enforcement when Congress is moving toward removing him from office.

There also is a weird irony and alarming disconnect at play when the Supreme Court says the executive branch may defer to the feelings and interests of foreign governments in enforcing our immigration laws at the same time the Justice Department is under investigation for running an arms-smuggling operation in flagrant violation of Mexico's sovereignty.

The Arizona ruling is overshadowed by the more far-reaching Obamacare ruling, but it has implications far beyond immigration law. That ruling looks into the constitutional history of pre-emption doctrine and discovers new territory never mapped before. States are forbidden not only to enact laws that go against federal law in the realm of immigration, but to enact laws that are totally consistent with federal law and, in fact, support and enhance federal enforcement.

According to the Supreme Court's ruling, the federal government is justified in not enforcing a law - and forbidding a state government from such enforcement as well - if its enforcement might trespass on the federal government's foreign-policy interests. This doctrine opens up a huge can of worms for law enforcement generally, and not just immigration law enforcement.

Mexico and other nations in the people-export business are objecting to enforcement of U.S. immigration law because it adversely affects Mexican nationals living unlawfully in our country. The Supreme Court says this is a legitimate concern of the federal government and therefore a legitimate reason to not enforce laws.

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