Supreme Court hears Oral Arguments in Arizona Immigration Case

By
Real Estate Agent with Carmody and Associates LLC

It takes a while for a dispute to reach the Supreme Court of the United States.  But the second challenge to Obama Administration policies came before the Court last week.  The first major challenge concerned the Constitutionality of the ObamaCare attempt to revise the health care insurance structure.  The second  Supreme Court confrontation is the defense of the Government's incredible decision to sue the State of Arizona to prevent SB1070 from becoming law.

SCOTUSI expect that if the Administration continues to attempt to impose policies by regulation  that they couldn't pass in Congress that we will see more Supreme Court cases in the future. 

Arizona, because of geography, is on the leading edge of illegal activity along the Mexico/US border in the American Southwest.  This activity has included aliens crossing the US border into Arizona, illegal smuggling, drug trafficking and other violent activity by Mexican drug cartels.  The US Southern land border extends along Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. 

Arizona citizens face trespass, theft, violent assault and monetary impacts to pay for heightened law enforcement efforts and compassionate health and social services for illegal aliens who flood into the state.  After years of asking for assistance from the Federal government to secure the borders and protect the citizens in the border areas, Arizona took steps to bring state law enforcement resources into closer alignment with the federal immigrations laws. 

The Federal government complained that the Arizona action was improper and pre-empted by Federal authority in the area of immigration policy.  The Department of Justice brought suit against The State of Arizona raising issues of Federal Supremacy and State Sovereignty under our Federal Constitution. 

JusticeAs with the ObamaCare case oral arguments  Solicitor General Donald Verrilli faced tough questioning from the Justices.  Attorney Paul Clement argued against the government in both cases.  Only eight Justices were on the bench for the Arizona arguments.  Justice Elena Kagan recused herself because she was serving as Solicitor General when the DOJ filed suit against the State of Arizona.  Aggressive questioning toward one side or another do not necessarily signal the eventual outcome of the case.  The Court has a complex process of discussion and negotiating over written opinions before the final outcome is decided.  Look for a decision in June near the end of the current Term of the Court before the results of these cases are announced. 

For additional detail of the oral arguments for Arizona v US, take a look at Liz Goodwin's post on Yahoo News <link here>

For the real enthusiasts C-Span has the 80 minute oral argument audio track with identification of which Justice is speaking for questions.  This is a fascinating display of the process of an appellate court.  Written briefs have been submitted previously by all sides and by many “Friends of the Court” Amicus briefs –  legal briefs from persons or organizations who are not a party to the case.  The oral arguments highlight the strongest arguments of each side but the Justices interrupt the attorneys with questions arising from the arguments or from the written briefs.  It takes a quick witted and articulate advocate to stay on message when they are being interrupted with questions from the top Justices in the land.  Audio file available on C-Span <link here>   Enjoy. 

 

 

 

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Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Dyersburg Tn Real Estate

Ted, so how do you think they will rule? For Arizona?

Apr 30, 2012 12:35 PM #1
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Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

I believe the Court will rule against the government in both the health care case and the immigration case.  Wishful thinking? maybe.  It is not reliable to try to predict the outcome of the case from the questions asked by the Justices during oral argument but it seemed to me that they seemed to be wary of the Solicitor General's arguments in both cases.  I also believe Paul Clement did an exceptional job in both cases.  I also believe that we may benefit from having only 8 Justices on the Arizona case.  Justice Elena Kagen is not participating in the Arizona case.

It is worth noting that the cases that come to the Supreme Court are not simple cases.  They typically involve original and complex questions that may take the Constitution to places that it has not previously gone and may sometimes change previous paths of precedent because of a slightly different fact pattern.  

If you believe, as I do, that the Constitution is a document of limitation on the scope of federal government authority then the ObamaCare case is of vital importance.  The so called elastic clauses in the constitution (reasonable and proper clause and commerce clause) have been stretched beyond all recognition and have created a federal government with no limits at all.  The mandate that persons must buy health insurance and that it must be from sources approved by the government is not acceptable to me - and I hope the Court will agree.  And, by the way, if the mandate falls, I believe the entire law should fall.  It was the universal mandate that was promised to insurance companies to obtain promises of additional coverages such as pre-existing conditions coverage.  Also, I believe the usual severability language does not appear in the ObamaCare bill.  I do not want my government telling me I have to buy an electric car from Government Motors - or what kind of light bulbs are approved or what kind of toilet I must install.  The government is picking winners and users in our economy - possibly with an eye to paying back campaign contributors or unions.  It is wrong and corrupt in my view.  The ObamaCare legislation exceeds the authority that exists in the Constitution, I believe.  Incidentally, I might not object to state legislation that was similar.  I would have to view the circumstances and the State Constitution in that case.

The Arizona case is different.  I believe that immigration policy is logically placed in the hands of the Federal Government (one of the few functions I think belongs there.)  But where the Federal government has refused to act - and the results are ruinous to the individual States - something must be done.  Governor Brewer in Arizona, it seems to me, has carefullly crafted legislation that does not interfere with the Federal rules - but that enable the State and  local law enforcement agencies to take part in solving the problems.  They do not present different criteria for immigration policies but they facilitate the enforcement of the Federal rules.  We are a federal system with various responsibilities among the tiers of government.  But the failure of the Federal government to protect the State of Arizona along it's international border does not relieve the State of Arizona from their responsibility to protect the health, safety and morals of the State.  State sovereignty may need to be recognized along with doctrines of federal pre-emption.  Justice Scalia commented in his questioning during oral argument that there are Federal laws against robbing a national bank.  There are also state laws prohibiting bank robbery.  Nobody has argued that the enforcement of the state laws interfers with federal enforcement action.  

I believe that in the face of the lack of effective action by the feds to protect Arizona and to control illegal immigration it is unconscionable for the DOJ to sue the State of Arizona.  I hope the Supreme Court agrees with me.

One thing I can tell you, Mike - we will know the results of both cases before the end of the current Court term in June.  Although it is possible there could be new questions not covered in briefs and arguments where the case could be set for additional argument in the next term - I do not expect that in these cases.  

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Apr 30, 2012 02:14 PM #2
Rainmaker
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Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

It's common sense that anyone in another country should have papers on them proving that they are in the country legally.  If an American is travelling abroad, they need to have their passport on them at all times.  The lack of enforcement of our immigration laws is yet another thing eroding the foundations of our country to the point of no return.

Apr 30, 2012 02:59 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Dale Terry
Yadkinville, NC

Ted, it is my belief and hope that the SC calls Obamacare unconstitutional as to the mandate and the AZ law constitutional in its implementation.  Both will have an effect on the next few decades for sure.

Apr 30, 2012 03:00 PM #4
Rainmaker
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Dale Bledsoe
Crown Key Realty - Tracy, CA
Realtor in Tracy, California

Ted, I agree with you. Two decisions for common sense and to protect us from the failings of this administration. 

May 03, 2012 04:26 PM #5
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Steve Hoffacker
Hoffacker Associates LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
New Home Sales Trainer/Coach, Sales Books Author

Ted,

An early read says that the Court favors allowing the police to do what the law provides. :)

Steve

May 06, 2012 02:11 PM #6
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John Mosier
High Country Realty - Prescott - AZ - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot REALTOR & Land Man 928 533-8142

Good post, Ted. I agree with much of what you wrote, but not with the point you made in your long comment #2 giving credit to Governor Brewer. Governor Brewer "stewed" about the decision to sign or veto SB 1070 which precipitated this conflict. She is NOT on the conservative side on much of what is happening in Arizona. She has vetoed some of the best legislation that has passed the state house and senate leading to greater freedom to Arizona Citizens and that reduce the power of public sector unions in our state.

State Senator Russell Pearce was the author of SB 1070 and has been at the forefront in taking on the Federal Government as they push Obama's Agenda. He was recently taken out of office on a recall election.

Another "unsung hero" in Arizona is Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. His Cold Case Posse has proven that Obama's birth documents are forgeries. He has also found a witness, a postman who delivered mail to Bill Ayres' parents, who testified that the Ayres family sponsored Obama as a student.

May 11, 2012 01:44 PM #7
Rainmaker
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Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

John - I appreciate your local view as you are closer to events than I.  I was not aware of Senator Pearce and his local recall election.  Most of the national attention is focused on the June recall election of Governor Walker in Wisconsin.  

I have been a fan of Sheriff Arpaio.  He has been a blunt speaker of truth for a long time.

I welcome two types of dissent on my posts.  First I welcome those who disagree with me if they present a rational argument that can be discussed.  Second, and you seem to be in this group, I welcome those who agree with me but want to correct my facts.  You know I won't hear the truth from the media ! So thank you for your expertise in your local political environment.  I may learn something here, if I am not careful. 

Thanks, John for stopping by.

 

May 11, 2012 03:33 PM #8
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Steve Hoffacker
Hoffacker Associates LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
New Home Sales Trainer/Coach, Sales Books Author

Ted,

Congratulations. This post is now featured in "The Law Of The Land." :)

Steve

May 12, 2012 12:18 PM #9
Rainmaker
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John Mosier
High Country Realty - Prescott - AZ - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot REALTOR & Land Man 928 533-8142

Ted -- Thanks for your kind words toward me and for the wisdom of your post. I am a TEA Party organizer in Yavapai County, AZ. I have met Joe Arpaio and Russell Pearce. I know the Speaker of the AZ House and the President of the AZ Senate. both of whom come from Yavapai County. My TEA Party is organizing a GOTV effort. TEA Party coalitions, of which I participate, are doing everything we can to get true Conservatives elected to EVERY office. Republicans have a supermajority in both the state House and the Senate. However, we have enough RINOs among them that we are having trouble with all the "fixes" we Conservatives want. Gov. Brewer cannot be depended upon due to her loyalty to the unions and the education sector.

Arizona is a true battleground state. We are working to reduce the power of the public sector unions in a way similar to what is happening in Wisconsin. The stakes are quite high in Arizona, especially if there is a collapse of the government in Mexico. Can you immagine how many refugees would cross into Arizona? I think this is a part of the plan of the Obama administration.

The federal government has already conceded the part of Arizona south of Interstate-10 to illegals.

May 12, 2012 07:16 PM #10
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Ted Baker

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