Some say it was highly unusual, and perhaps out of line, for Justice Antonin… (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty…)
Re "Justice Scalia went too far this time, some say," June 27
When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks, we should listen carefully. His opinion reflects the constitutional philosophy of originalism, the belief that the Constitution should be interpreted as the founders intended at the time it was written — when only white males could vote and property ownership elevated one's civil rights above those of others.
When Scalia launches into a diatribe, it means that 21st century democracy has prevailed. On Monday, Scalia was so unhinged about the court's opinion in the Arizona immigration law case that he attacked President Obama specifically, an indignity rarely indulged in by Supreme Court justices.
Hooray for the five justices (with one recusal) whose evenhanded decision drove Scalia to respond as he did. For when Scalia is disaffected, we know that modern democracy is still functioning.
To quote Scalia's dissent, "As a sovereign, Arizona has the inherent power to exclude persons from its territory." Evidently, this "sovereign state" concept does not extend to states' rights
vis a vis the Citizens United decision and the Montana campaign law on corporate spending, which the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional.
Although federal law trumped state law in both the immigration and Citizens United issues, it is very clear that Scalia picks and chooses when states' rights prevail, as do other conservative members of the Supreme Court.
I'd like to thank Scalia for the policy discussion on illegal immigration. There is obviously little conflict between the Arizona law and our Articles of Confederation.
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