Supreme Court Justices Legally Right and Ethically Wrong on Immigrants

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The United States Supreme Court has struck down Arizona’s voter ID law. In doing so, the court my be legally right, but they are ethically wrong on requiring immigrants to show proof of citizenship in order to vote. Their decision is based on the principle that a states cannot pass a law which, essentially, over steps the boundaries of federal law. Those who are loyal to the spirit – and the letter – of the United States Constitution have to accept that parts of it cannot be interpreted to suit what they happen to believe. Liberals are constantly guilty of this and they, too, need to learn that the Constitution is not open to either negotiation or to interpretation: It is the supreme law of the land and any law – be it a federal, state or local one – that conflicts with the Constitution is, by definition, unlawful.

Legality aside, the Supreme Court is ethically wrong in their decision; not that Supreme Court justices should be making decisions based upon ‘ethics’, which is a largely subjective term. The decision is wrong because the justices, just like everyone else in the United States, must surely understand that the federal government makes no attempt whatever to enforce the federal immigration laws already on the books. The common refrain, particularly from the political Left, is that the immigration system is broken; this is true, only because the laws are not enforced. Arizona has taken measures to enforce these laws, where the federal government will not. Legally and Constitutionally, the state is wrong to do so, but ethically – and, indeed, morally – Arizona is right.

SCOTUS rules that Arizona cannot require a person to provide documents proving their citizenship because federal law requires merely that a person swear, under penalty of perjury, that they are a citizen. The flaw in the court’s reasoning, here, is that no Democrat-controlled administration and no Democrat-controlled Federal Election Commission (FEC) has the slightest intent to ever follow-up on anyone’s sworn testimony that they are, indeed, a citizen; to do so would be to disenfranchise their own voters. The Supreme Court also allowed Arizona to, in the future, request that federal forms require an individual to produce additional documentation to prove citizenship. Once again; so long as the FEC is controlled by the party that relies on the votes of illegal immigrants, they are never going to approve such a request. Thus, the court, whilst being legally right, was ethically wrong on the issue of immigrants and their voting rights.

Whilst those on the Left, who have no regard for, or understanding of, the Constitution, will see this as a victory, those on the Right will, again, be deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court decision. If the federal government actually enforced the federal laws pertaining to immigration, Arizona would never have been even considering such measures, to begin with.

So long as the Democratic Party controls Washington and the White House, immigration law will never be correctly enforced. That is not to say, of course, that these laws were correctly enforced under President Bush or under any of his recent predecessors – going back to, and including, Ronald Reagan. Unlike Republicans, however, the Democrats disregard federal immigration law precisely because to do so grows their voter base. The discourse on immigration today has nothing to do with human rights, voting rights, disenfranchisement or discrimination; it is about politics. Whilst the Constitution should be respected and followed, even when it produces results that one side or another in the political arena does not care for, the federal government has a legal and ethical duty to uphold federal law; therefore , the Supreme Court, in delivering their ruling, should have included a caveat that Arizona be permitted to reinstate its voter ID law, should the federal government continue to refuse to enforce the immigration laws. The Justices may have been legally right with their decision, but they were ethically wrong because, on the question of immigrants, the federal government is displaying a willful disregard for the law.

Written by Graham J Noble

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One Response to "Supreme Court Justices Legally Right and Ethically Wrong on Immigrants"

  1. Stephen Erwin   June 18, 2013 at 7:33 am

    In fact the Court was clearly wrong legally..Article one section 2 clearly gives voter requirements to the states. The Court cites section 4 which gives Congress power over the actual election as giving it authority over voter requirements which it does not.

    However, the Seventeenth Amendment trumps the argument above by clearly saying that the states have authority over voter requirements.

    It is a sad day when seven justices choose past precedent over the clear words of the Constitution.

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