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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia delivers his keynote address at Utah State University's conference called
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (R) not only took a gratuitious shot at President Obama's new policy against deporting DREAM Act kids in his dissent on today's Supreme Court decision striking down much of Arizona's SB1070, he also laid bare his remarkable standard for judging the constitutionality of state laws:
But there has come to pass, and is with us today, the specter that Arizona and the States that support it predicted: A Federal Govern­ment that does not want to enforce the immigration laws as written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected against immigrants whom those laws would exclude. So the issue is a stark one. Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?

A good way of answering that question is to ask: Would the States conceivably have entered into the Union if the Constitution itself contained the Court’s holding? Today’s judgment surely fails that test. [...] If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.

So according to Scalia's logic, SB1070 is constitutional because Arizona wouldn't have entered into the Union if it weren't. Brilliant! Well, except for the fact that Scalia's glib assumption about what Arizona would have done is undercut by the fact that Arizona isn't seeking secession in the wake of today's ruling.

But even if Scalia is right, that Arizona wouldn't have entered the union, or if it tries to secede once its idiot governor figures out what it means, haven't we already answered the question of what happens to states that try to leave the union? And isn't it remarkable the Scalia, as a sitting justice, is taking the side that still calls it the War of Northern Aggression?

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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