The Court, Arizona, & the Constitution: The Obama Response

The Supreme Court yesterday, in a much-anticipated ruling, upheld the central feature of the Arizona illegal immigration law that has been the center of controversy for the last few years. Yes, the Court did strike down other features of the law, but they were minor in comparison to the provision that allows police to check the immigration status of citizens who happen to be stopped under suspicion of breaking a law. Although the Obama administration, spearheaded by Eric Holder of the Department of Justice [it still has the name, but not the substance of the name] has branded the law racist, the phoniness of that charge was laid bare in this decision. Why? The Court ruled unanimously in favor of that so-called controversial provision—both liberals and conservatives on the Court declared it valid, which, in a sane world, would put to rest the idea that racism was behind the law.

In my view, the entire law should have been upheld, and Justice Scalia wrote a stinging dissent making that very point. He stated that the law didn’t create anything new, but simply mirrored federal laws that were not being carried out by the federal government, thereby forcing the state of Arizona to try to make up the difference. States have a right to defend themselves. The three most conservative justices all agreed on this.

So what did the Obama administration do immediately upon hearing of the Court’s decision? The Department of Homeland Security [another agency that is quickly becoming an oxymoron] suspended its cooperative agreement with Arizona for border security. In effect, it has said the state is now on its own in protecting its borders and dealing with illegal immigration. Further, it has published a phone number for Arizona citizens to call to report on police attempting to do their duty. Obama and his people have decided that Arizona is the criminal and must be punished. The federal government will do even less of its job in the future. It will refuse to execute the law of the land.

This is almost breathtaking, if you really stop to consider what’s happening at the highest levels of our government. In a series of actions and/or inactions, the president has trampled the entire concept of separation of powers and has taken it upon himself to be the government, purposely ignoring the constitutional limitations of his office and relegating the legislative and judicial branches to irrelevance. Here are examples of what he has done lately:

  • He has adamantly refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, duly passed by Congress, and has declared his approval of same-sex marriage.
  • He has unilaterally suspended the rules on how to handle illegal immigrants aged 16-30 and substituted his own agenda, again without any congressional act to authorize it.
  • He has misused the right of executive privilege to shield himself and his attorney general from potentially embarrassing information in documents needed by a congressional committee investigating Fast and Furious.
  • Fast and Furious itself was an out-of-control operation by the Justice Department that led to hundreds of deaths with guns deliberately passed to organized crime in Mexico.
  • Now, with the denial of help for Arizona in policing illegal immigration, the president once again has violated his own oath of office, which says that he pledges to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution and the laws passed under its authority.

And it’s all politics. Hispanics, on the whole, seem to be in favor of his “new” rules for illegal immigrants, despite the damage this does to the rule of law. He has solidified their votes for November. His “evolving” view on same-sex marriage mollified a segment of society that has money to burn in the upcoming election. He now has greater access to those funds.

With this man, everything is political. But why should anyone be surprised? He was weaned on corrupt Chicago politics. He never was a genuine hope and change kind of guy; it was all political theater that worked amazingly well in the wake of a disillusioned electorate that, without thinking rationally, just wanted to take out its angst on Republicans. Few listened to the voices that were warning of the true nature of the candidate. I only hope eyes have now been opened and ears are more willing to hear.

America doesn’t crown monarchs, and when a president tries to act like one, the voters can let him know they won’t abide such arrogance. At least the voters who aren’t on the public dole won’t abide it. Are there still enough of those to make a difference?