Justice Scalia rips Obama's deportation directive in dissent on Arizona case

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday ripped President Obama’s new deportation directive when he offered his minority opinion on the Arizona immigration ruling.

The court tossed out most of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, but in his dissent Scalia raised eyebrows by blasting the Obama administration’s directive to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants though that policy was not a matter before the court in the Arizona case.

The conservative justice accused Obama of selectively enforcing only those immigration laws that he deems appropriate and said states would never have joined the union if the framers of the Constitution had intended for the executive branch to wield power in such a way.

“The delegates to the Grand Convention would have rushed to the exits,” Scalia wrote.

Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the high court, was not arguing that the administration’s policy was unconstitutional.

“The President said at a news conference that the new program is ‘the right thing to do’ in light of Congress’s failure to pass the administration's proposed revision of the Immigration Act.7,” Scalia wrote. “Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so.”

Rather, Scalia questioned the administration’s motives, arguing that it didn’t make sense for the U.S. to sue to prevent a state from implementing partial immigration reform while unilaterally enforcing another set of partial reforms.

“But to say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforc­ing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind,” Scalia wrote.

Scalia also seemed to knock Obama’s deportation law for creating a new burden for states in dealing with immigration.

“The husbanding of scarce enforcement resources can hardly be the justification for this,” Scalia wrote. “Since the considerable administrative cost of conduct­ing as many as 1.4 million background checks, and ruling on the biennial requests for dispensation that the non-enforcement program envisions, will necessarily be deducted from immigration enforcement.”

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