- The decision seems mostly correct. I'm a little concerned about the Court upholding Section 2, not because of their reasoning (which I think was spot on) but because Arizona is very likely to abuse the privilege. One of my concerns is the last sentence, which says anyone who is arrested shall have his immigration status determined before he is released. Good drafting would have made it clear that this sentence only applies in the event of a good-faith suspicion that the person arrested is not entitled to be present in the United States. But this isn't good drafting. What it actually does is require them to hold everyone, regardless of suspicion--reasonable or otherwise--until they can determine the immigration status. My immigration status is the same as probably about 90 percent of the people arrested in Arizona: Born Here. Now I know that a light-skinned native English speaking guy with an American sounding first name (William) and a French last name probably isn't going to be held for long while they try to ascertain my status. But now I still have another reason to be careful not to be arrested in Arizona, and indeed a good reason not to go there in the first place if I can help it. Bananaberry has some interests there, though, so I can't avoid it forever.
- Kennedy ends his opinion with a stirring patriotic flair, including the language, "[w]ith power comes responsibility." He should have gone ahead and made it "[w]ith great power comes great responsibility" and cited to a Spider-Man comic book. I understand Voltaire actually said it first, but he didn't credit Spider-Man's uncle Ben Parker with the quote either.
- Scalia's dissent is scary, as usual. It reminds me of why we need to amend the Constitution. He quotes from Art. I Sec. 10 "except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws." He didn't have the balls to put [sic] in the Constitution. I would have. I'd have said "except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's [sic] inspection laws.", It's the Constitution, but it's wrong. We need a Constitutional amendment to correct that embarrassing grammatical error and also to correct "chuse" to "choose", correct the spelling of Pennsylvania in the signature part of the Constitution, and to add the language "and damn it we really mean it this time" at the end of the First Amendment.
The long-awaited decision came down today. Since I have to deal with some of these issues from time to time (as in people ask me what they mean, not as in I actually argue Constitutional cases at the United States Supreme Court), I had to read the decision. Here are my thoughts.
O. Will Laquelle
Busy practicing law. Specialize in Motions for Extension of time.