Thoughts on Today’s Supreme Court Rulings
Just the higher-profile ones.
The Arizona Immigration Law: The court struck down 3 of the 4 provisions, and upheld the portion that requires police to check the immigratio status of someone they think is here illegally. However…
The court struck down these 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.
Governor Jan Brewer is trying to put the best face on it, by saying:
“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for the 10th Amendment and all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens,” Gov. Brewer said in a statement. “After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.”
This, however, isn’t necessarily the end of the road for legal challenges of this particular provision, and the Justices said as much. So the governor is really trying to do damage control.
I understand that we don’t necessarily want 50 different standards on immigration to this country, but the federal government, in picking and choosing what laws it will enforce, forces states to do the job that the people’s representatives said the Fed ought to be doing. Arizona may have overstepped its constitutional authority somewhat, but I expect (I hope) that this will get the people to start electing a federal government that will indeed enforce the laws that are passed.
No automatic life without parole for juveniles: This does not mean that life without parole entirely; only that states cannot impose that penalty automatically for certain crimes. The liberal justices said it was "cruel and unusual", the conservatives ones said, "Neither the text of the Constitution or our precedent prohibits legislatures from requiring that juvenile murderers be sentenced to life without parole." Tough call. Constitutionally, can see both sides, but in practice, it does seem that life for a minor without the possibility of parole is very harsh. But since the ruling does allow it for individual cases, I can get behind it.
Rejects corporate spending limits: This was basically a reaffirmation of the Citizens United case from 2010, but saying that it applies to the states as well. Corporations have interests in how elections go, and should be allowed to contribute to issue-oriented campaigns. Restricting speech, especially political speech, is a slippery slope away from government accountability. Money is a corrupting influence in Washington, no doubt, but that’s mostly what politicians can do with taxpayer money. Political speech, should it be restricted by Washington, could make it more corrupt, since it would then get to decide what others say about them. The solution to bad speech is more good speech, not curtailing all speech.
Coming Thursday, the big ObamaCare ruling. Expect a frenzy around 10am Eastern Time on Thursday.
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