Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Scalia is a Hack


Antonin Scalia isn't even making an effort to disguise his partisan hackery.
In his dissent on the SB1070 "papers, please" decision, he not only takes gratuitous swipes at Barack Obama's immigration policy, he says ridiculous things like this:

"If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state." 

Yes, we should. Except no one does. No one refers to Arizona as a sovereign state, because Arizona is not a sovereign state. Arizona, like every other state, is subject to the laws of the US Federal government. That's why, even though California has legalized medicinal marijuana, anyone who uses medical pot is still running the risk of arrest by the D.E.A. Because Federal Law supercedes State law. It's Article VI, Clause II, the "Supremacy Clause."

And this:
"Arizona bears the brunt of the country’s illegal immigration problem. Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants. . .
What I do fear—and what Arizona and the States that support it fear—is that ‘federal policies’ of nonenforcement will leave the States helpless before those evil effects of illegal immigration. . "

Because, as any law professor will tell you, the first step to determining the constitutionality of a law is to consider how people feel about it.

And this:
There is no doubt that “before the adoption of the constitution of the United States” each State had the authority to “prevent [itself] from being burdened by an influx of persons.”

Great. Before the adoption of the Constitution. How is that relevant to our reality in which the Constitution has been adopted?


And this:

The Articles of Confederation had provided that “the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States.” Articles of Confederation, Art. IV.

The Articles of Confederation? You mean the document that was scrapped and replaced by the Constitution? That Articles of Confederation? Does Scalia really think that they have any relevance?

And this:
Two other provisions of the Constitution are an acknowledgment of the States’ sovereign interest in protecting their borders. Article I provides that “[n]o State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws.” Art. I, §10, cl. 2. This assumed what everyone assumed: that the States could exclude from their territory dangerous or unwholesome goods.

Hey, at least he's referring to the actual Constitution this time. Of course, the part he quotes deals with imports and exports, not people, and severely limits the states' ability to restrict those. But still. . . it's something? I guess?

And this:
Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?
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?

Yes, speculation about what might have happened 200 years ago under different hypothetical circumstances is probably the best way to answer thorny legal questions!

And the capper:

. . . in the first 100 years of the Republic, theStates enacted numerous laws restricting the immigra- tion of certain classes of aliens, including convicted criminals, indigents, persons with contagious diseases, and (in Southern States) freed blacks.

Yeah, states used to be allowed to keep the blacks out, so why not the browns? Seriously? This is your precedent? You know states were also allowed to have slavery during the first 100 years of the Republic. Should we bring that back, too? No, don't answer that.

Kings and Queens

Recently, dimwitted senator Scott Brown (R-MA, how weird is it to type that?) had this to say about his busy busy days:

"Each and every day that I've been a United States senator, I've been discussing issues, meeting on issues, in secret meetings and with kings and queens and prime ministers and business leaders and military leaders, talking, voting, working on issues every single day," he said on the Jim Braude and Margery Eagan Show.  

Secret meetings with kings and queens? Really?
I'm quite sure Queen Elizabeth is not interrupting her Jubilee to schlep across the pond to hold a secret meeting with a first-term backbencher who might possibly throw her majesty's tea into Boston Harbor, and I have to figure that Queens Noor and Latifah both have better things to do with their time, so who are these kings and queens (and possibly Czarinas?) with whom Brown is secretly meeting? One can only speculate. . .

maybe the Burger King?

Or the Queen Mary?
King Cobra would make sense.
Or the King of Cartoons?
I suppose Brown might be hunky enough to lure 
Priscilla Queen of the Desert into a private meeting.

Or the ghost of Freddy Mercury
But no. Brown's spokesman cleared up the mystery:
Brown spokesman Colin Reed said in an e-mail that "Senator Brown was speaking generally about private meetings he has had with foreign and domestic leaders." He later acknowledged that Brown, who has made his reputation as a truck-driving everyman, has not met with any royalty. "He misspoke when he said kings and queens," Reed said.
He misspoke. He said "kings and queens" when he meant to say "wings and beans" which is what he has each and every day for lunch?
With a side of Lime Sinister?
(cuz he also said prime ministers)

Still, we're supposed to believe that this doofus:

is meeting each and every day with world leaders of some sort?  I would think this putz would have trouble getting a meeting with Mitch McConnell.