I just read Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion on the Arizona illegal immigration ruling, which confirmed that yes, it is unconstitutional to demand to see someone’s proof of citizenship based on the color of their skin.
This should serve as proof (and I’m looking at you North Carolina) that when a state tries to do something unconstitutional, the Supreme Court will (or should) strike it down.
So if you get yourself confused and think that a vote on an amendment to limit civil liberty is a referendum on public opinion, you will wind up wasting your time. Therefore it’s best not to get confused. Listen to me instead.
But back to Antonin Scalia. Here’s an excerpt from his opinion:
“Arizona bears the brunt of the country's illegal immigration problem. Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy. Federal officials have been unable to remedy the problem,and indeed have recently shown that they are unwilling to do so. Thousands of Arizona's estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants—including not just children but men and women under 30—are now assured immunity from enforcement, and will be able to compete openly with Arizona citizens for employment.”
Well friends, it’s sad testament to the state of the legal system but it appears that Antonin Scalia - a Supreme Court Justice since the 1980s; is just as confused about the nature of law as the majority of North Carolina voters were with amendment 1.
He is making the mistake of thinking that Arizona’s law is ABOUT illegal immigration, the same way North Carolina voters thought amendment 1 was ABOUT gay marriage.
His minority opinion is therefore underpinned by his feelings about the issue of illegal immigration and NOT whether or not Arizona’s law is CONSTITUTIONAL!!!!
His dissent above is a diatribe about the evils of illegal immigration and how hard it is for Arizona and what a rotten situation it is, all of which may be 100% true, but that’s not the issue before the court.
I made the point in my first blog entry, that it does not matter what your personal feelings on gay marriage are. You can be FOR IT or you can be AGAINST IT, it is simply not relevant.
Amendment 1 was disguised as a referendum. A simple, straight talkin’, good ol’ common sense question. So people just put their pencil on that ballot based on what their opinion was. Sounds simple enough, right?
Our opinions are not supposed to be expressed by legislation just because they're our opinions, even if a majority of us share the same opinion. Laws have to pursue liberty in order to be good. If they don’t, they belong in the garbage can, regardless of how noble or holy or moral they’re dressed up to be.
Here’s another example:
Apparently the good, decent, God fearin’ folks of Middleborough, Massachusetts were asked to vote on an ordinance making it illegal to swear in public.
This should be really simple y’all.
The Constitution of the United States of America protects all speech that does not harass, threaten or incite lawlessness. This is not new. We’ve been around the block on this one, it should be cut and dry.
Well . . . a majority of the people of Middleborough got confused, and thought their vote was a simple demonstration of their opinion on the topic of profanity.
“Gee, I don’t like profanity. I think profanity is bad. If I vote “no” that means I’m condoning profanity and I don’t condone profanity, therefore I vote “yes”!!! – Majority of Middleborough
“Gee, I don’t like gay marriage. I think gay marriage is bad. If I vote “disagree” that means I’m condoning gay marriage and I don’t condone gay marriage, therefore I vote “agree”!!! – Majority of North Carolina
And now . . .
“Gee, I don’t like illegal immigration. I think illegal immigration is bad. If I vote “strike” that means I’m condoning illegal immigration and I don’t condone illegal immigration, therefore I vote “uphold”!!! – Antonin Scalia
These questions are not simple referendums asking you to share your feelings.
No one . . . regardless of how strongly they oppose foul language, should support a fundamentally UN-AMERICAN law that restricts Constitutionally protected speech.
No one . . . regardless of how strongly they oppose gay marriage, should support a fundamentally UN-AMERICAN law that impedes civil liberties and disregards the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution.
No one . . . regardless of how strongly they oppose illegal immigration, should support a fundamentally UN-AMERICAN law that violates the Constitutionally guaranteed right to equal protection under the law (i.e. you can’t ask brown skinned Spanish speakers to carry documents and produce them at will if you don’t require the same of white skinned English speakers).
Stop getting confused by what you think is the issue in these cases. What you think is the “big question” or the “hot topic” is absolutely 100% irrelevant!!!
The only important question you need to be asking yourself is:
‘Do I condone truth, justice and the American way?’
If the answer is “yes”, I have two things to say to you.
- You may actually have to vote in favor of something that you don’t support once in a while.
I know how hard it is to imagine doing that. It feels internally dissonant, I hear you. But it’s okay!!!!
You can continue to oppose profanity . . .
You can continue to oppose gay marriage . . .
You can continue to oppose illegal immigration . . .
You just have to make sure you’re not misusing the rule of law in the process. Oppose whatever you want, but do so within the confines of Constitutionality. If you can check that box first, by all means vote exactly as your opinion dictates.
The same goes for you Justice Antonin Scalia!!!
“Who the heck do you think you are?!?!” Scalia shouts at his computer screen. “I’m a Supreme Court Justice! I was appointed by the President and confirmed by the legislature after a long and admirable legal career! You aren’t even a lawyer! You’re just a blogger! Who are you to lecture me on the nature of law?”
I’m nobody you fat, greasy Italian!
I’m just some dude spouting an opinion.
The difference between my opinion and yours is that mine is the MAJORITY opinion of the Supreme Court and yours AIN’T!!!!
So bite me.