Is the Arizona Immigration Law unconstitutional?

Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments concerning this issue. Actually, there are four separate pieces of the law that are before the Court.  The remainder of the law is not being challenged by the administration.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stopped the enforcement of the sections of the law that:

  • require the police to verify the immigration status of anyone they stop for lawful reasons, if they suspect that person may be in this country illegally,
  • authorize the arrest of any foreign national who the police believe may have committed a deportable offense,
  • make it a crime for any foreigner to not carry their registration documents, and,
  • make it a crime for an illegal immigrant to look for or perform work in this country.

The Court could find all of the above, some of the above, or none of the above to be unconstitutional based upon the “supremacy clause” of the Constitution.  That is a fancy legal term that basically means, if the federal government has the power to regulate something under our Constitution, the states cannot pass laws interfering with the government’s power.

Much like Obamacare, a decision is expected by the end of June.

But, let me leave you with this. 

Remember the President’s comments about the Court and its review of Obamacare?  If the Court finds some or all of this law to be unconstitutional, would that be an “unprecedented and extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected” Arizona legislature?

Just asking…


12 replies
  1. stinkfoot
    stinkfoot says:

    Is the federal government’s refusal to enforce the laws already on the books (on which the AZ law was closely patterned after) dereliction of duty?

  2. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    SOS, to your last question: I would say, “Mr. President, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.”

  3. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    Nullification of Federal laws by states in disagreement was one of the states’ rights theories that lead to our Civil War.? Clearly that issue was settled by 1865.
    Immigration enforcement and border security are and should be Federal responsibilities.? If the Federal government discharged its border security responsibilities, no state would pass immigration laws.?
    The porous border with Mexico has been a problem since the 1950s.? Is it any wonder the border states want to protect themselves??
    If states are allowed to enact laws replacing lax Federal enforcement, is it a constitutional crisis of national proportions?? Should we look at the selective enforcement practices of the Holder Department of Justice?? Just asking….

    • Shock and Awe
      Shock and Awe says:

      PV local and state police assist in federal investigations all the time.? They aren’t making the decisions they’re just gathering the information to pass along to the decision makers

  4. OkieJim
    OkieJim says:

    I wonder if Mexican President Calderon’s claim that the net migration rate of his citizens to the US has gone to zero is true or not (see …GoogleTranslate is your friend). Of course, the Pew Hispanic Center says he’s full of frijoles, but I wonder if this subject (Arizona’s effort to enforce) and Calderon’s claim are related.

  5. RoBrDona
    RoBrDona says:

    One of the tests for being a nation-state is secure borders. Ours aren’t.? So if the feds abrogate the major federal function of securing our borders, each state has defacto been given the right to do so.? DOJ will fight any ID issue tooth and nail however, and that particular issue is of interest to me, as it has far reaching consequences.

  6. k9vicesquad
    k9vicesquad says:

    Obama Attorney?s Challenge to Arizona Immigration Law Baffles Justices? Justice Antonin Scalia was among those in the court’s conservative wing who articulated a constitutional right for states to “police their borders,” saying Arizona was closely following federal immigration law.

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