Everyone Is Ripping Supreme Court Justice Scalia For His Arizona Immigration Dissent

Antonin Scalia

Photo: Getty

In his dissent of the Supreme Court’s opinion on the Arizona immigration law today, justice Antonin Scalia ripped President Barack Obama and the administration’s recent policy shift on deporting some young illegal immigrants.This is provoking everyone to rip the conservative-leaning Scalia for an over-the-top dissent.

Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, told Talking Points Memo that “Scalia has finally jumped the shark.

“He claims to respect the founding fathers, but his dissent channels the opponents of the Constitution. Back then, opponents argued that the Constitution denied states their sovereignty by giving too much power to the federal government, as with immigration. Now Scalia echoes their complaints that states are being denied their sovereignty. States are not sovereign when it comes to powers vested in Congress, such as the authority over immigration and naturalization.”

Kathleen Kim, a Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) professor, slammed Scalia for inappropriately using the Arizona immigration case to “get across his personal opinion about immigration.” 

“It was very reactive,” Kim said. “It wasn’t as nuanced and careful as the majority opinion or the other dissenting opinions. Justice Scalia used his opinion as a platform to get across his personal opinion about immigration matters. That isn’t really appropriate in the context of this opinion.”

Slate’s Matt Yglesias, meanwhile, tweeted this nugget:

Antonin Scalia

Photo: Twitter/@mattyglesias

Which is true. Here’s the relevant bit, from Page 4 of Scalia’s dissent:

In the first 100 years of the Republic, the States enacted numerous laws restricting the immigration of certain classes of aliens, including convicted crimi­nals, indigents, persons with contagious diseases, and (in Southern States) freed blacks. Neuman, The Lost Century of American Immigration (1776–1875), 93 Colum. L. Rev. 1833, 1835, 1841–1880 (1993). State laws not only pro­vided for the removal of unwanted immigrants but also imposed penalties on unlawfully present aliens and those who aided their immigration.

Finally, lawyer NYC Southpaw took to Twitter to tear apart one paragraph from Scalia’s dissent:

Antonin Scalia

Photo: Twitter/@nycsouthpaw

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