The Corner

Supreme Spin

I’m in the delightful South Carolina low country, looking out at egrets in the marsh, and the kids are asking when we’re going into town — so I have more important things to do than hold forth at length on the Supreme Court’s Arizona decision. But the initial headlines on Twitter tell you something about the news sources. Reuters: “U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Key Part of Tough Arizona Immigration Law, in Defeat for Obama”; Univision: “Supreme Court Strikes Down Most of Arizona Immigration Law.”

Reuters is right. Ask the man on the street what he thinks the Arizona law is about (whether he’s for it or against) and he’d say the requirement that police check legal status of people they encounter in lawful stops — and that’s the part that was upheld by the Court. The other three provisions that were challenged were preempted by federal law, according to the Court, but could you even name what those parts are? Making it a state misdemeanor for an illegal alien to apply for employment would be nice, for instance, but it’s not even a federal crime yet.

In any case, the core of the law was upheld, and will no doubt start being implemented. So let the next wave of lawsuits begin!


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