Scalia Slams Obama In His Arizona Immigration Dissent

Antonin Scalia

Photo: Getty

In a scathing dissent of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down key provisions of the Arizona immigration law today, Justice Antonin Scalia advocated keeping the entire law in effect and took a shot at President Barack Obama‘s recent policy shift on deporting some young illegal immigrants.Here are some of the highlights from his 7-page dissent:

On Obama’s new immigration directive:

The President said at a news conference that the new program is “the right thing to do” in light of Congress’s 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.

On the Supreme Court’s decision, Scalia wrote that states would have “rushed to the exits” if the Constitution contained the court’s ruling:

A good way of answering that question is to ask: Would the States conceivably have entered into the Union if the Constitution itself contained the Court’s holding? Today’s judgment surely fails that test. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the delegates contended with “the jealousy of the states with regard to their sovereignty.”

Scalia goes on to argue that Arizona was in “complete compliance” with federal law because it had moved to “protect its sovereignty.” 

“The laws under challenge here do not extend or revise federal immigration restrictions, but merely enforce
those restrictions more effectively. If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State. I dissent,” Scalia concluded.

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