Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA School of Law, piles on his criticism of Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent against the Supreme Court's decision Monday to invalidate major parts of the Arizona immigration law.
Scalia has finally jumped the shark. He claims to respect the founding fathers, but his dissent channels the opponents of the Constitution. Back then, opponents argued that the Constitution denied states their sovereignty by giving too much power to the federal government, as with immigration. Now Scalia echoes their complaints that states are being denied their sovereignty. States are not sovereign when it comes to powers vested in Congress, such as the authority over immigration and naturalization.
It's mind-boggling to see Scalia rail against the Executive's power to enforce the law. That is the core role of the president. He, not the state of Arizona, is the enforcer of our laws. Due to limited resources, every executive -- state, federal, municipal -- must make choices about how aggressively to enforce the law. Cities don't uniformly ticket every car that parks illegally. States don't lock up everyone who ever commits a crime. And the federal government simply can't use its limited funds to enforce every immigration violation without costs to other, more important laws.
Scalia is an originalist: he has his own original view of the Constitution, ungrounded in history and steeped in conservative politics.