Look How Much You’ve Grown, Constitution

For those few readers who don’t make Fox News Latino a daily staple, I wanted to pass along some recent news documented there. The story involves an exciting constitutional vein discovered under the scenic natural vistas of Montana.

Montana state officials are not allowed to report the immigration status of people seeking state services, the state’s high court ruled on Tuesday.

In a unanimous decision, the court struck down the last piece of a voter-approved law meant to deter undocumented immigrants from living and working in the “Treasure State.” It upholds a 2014 ruling stating that the law denying unemployment benefits, university enrollment and other services to people who are in the country illegally was unconstitutional.

It’s fascinating to watch terms that previously enjoyed a broad social consensus evolve to highly specialized uses. Unconstitutional used to mean something at plain odds with a section of visible text in the constitution. That it now means insufficiently liberal or contrary to the meanderings of Anthony Kennedy is a subtlety I think few people fully appreciate.

That is unless one wishes to stand on the presumption that 18th century colonial Englishmen conceived a governmental framework in a manner to ensure their posterity would be obliged to subsidize the incursions of parasitic Mayan squatters. I suppose it’s possible, though the preamble and Federalist Papers are both coyly silent as to the intent. Fortunately that piece of paper’s penumbras are not at all so reticent, and provide modern jurists with a generously well-lit path.

The Montana Supreme went further, rejecting the one remaining position that required state workers to report to federal immigration officials the names of applicants who are in the U.S. undocumented.

“The risk of inconsistent and inaccurate judgments issuing from a multitude of state agents untrained in immigration law and unconstrained by any articulated standards is evident,” Justice Patricia Cotter wrote in the opinion.

I do hope Fox Latino is translated into Chinese. For our inscrutable yellow friends must be smirking under their sedge hats at this. It is unconstitutional to inform immigration officials of matters pertaining directly to their function. More egregious still, state agents are allegedly untrained in making phone calls and “unconstrained by any articulated standards” for doing so. The risk of “inconsistent and inaccurate judgements” is simply too great. So the vacated whole of Central America is just going to have to be accommodated at your expense. Or are you perfectly willing to live with inarticulate standards weighing on your conscience? Well the Montana Supreme Court is not. And the Constitution is their guide…or something like that.

The Montana Legislature sent the anti-immigrant measure to the 2012 ballot, where it was approved by 80 percent of voters. The new law required state officials to check the immigration status of applicants for unemployment insurance benefits, crime victim services, professional or trade licenses, university enrollment and financial aid and services for the disabled, among other things.

The law required state officials to deny services to people found to be in the country illegally, and to turn over their names to immigration officials for possible deportation proceedings. The law used the term “illegal aliens,” which is not found in federal immigration laws and became the focal point of the lower and higher courts’ rulings.

It defined “illegal alien” as a person who is not a U.S. citizen who unlawfully entered or unlawfully remained in the United States. In the lawsuit brought by the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance, several plaintiffs said they arrived in the U.S. illegally but have since obtained permanent residence status.

They argued they would still be considered “illegal aliens” under the state law, even though the Department of Homeland Security considers them lawful immigrants.

The courts ruled the state was attempting to meddle in an area of federal jurisdiction using a term that is unconstitutional because it conflicts with the federal laws.

It’s probably sheer pedantry to hold simple supreme court justices to a highly technical application of terms. Though one of the little-known aspects of federal laws in America is that they must be passed in a bicameral legislature and subsequently signed by the executive (unless his veto is overruled). This isn’t actually what took place. And the fact that Obama issued a directive to the DHS instructing it to ignore federal law does not constitute a federal law in and of itself. But perhaps his standards in doing so were sufficiently well-articulated to satisfy the Montana court.

And so again the people’s primal scream is squelched by a condescending star chamber that finds its expediencies in legal astrology. An 80% referendum flushed away with only a peremptory sneer. The concept of judicial review has become one of the most pernicious elements of our national decline. No wonder it was the court itself that granted the privilege.


14 thoughts on “Look How Much You’ve Grown, Constitution

  1. It is the duty, meaning something that’s supposed to be done but won’t be, of the Montana government to disregard the Court’s wishes and uphold the law as approved by 80% of those who voted on the provision. However what is duty compared to the mandate of the Mandarins.

    Supposedly we live in a democratic republic. Clearly this is not the case. Yet when the President, the leader of the inner party, had a healthcare bill and wants to implement it in a way inconsistent with the letter of the law, his Mandarins create a justification.

    Being a member of the inner party himself, the Montana governor is no doubt more than pleased to dispense with the irrelevant “will of the people.”

  2. “whereupon ingesting this latest morsel of foul cheese, he made post-haste for the thunderbucket, to perform his daily constitutional” Staple, flushed.

  3. Pingback: Look How Much You’ve Grown, Constitution | Reaction Times

  4. Wow, I never knew they could be so blatant. It’s nothing less than a judicial coup. If that’s the way their going to be, maybe the legislative and executive arms should respond in kind, by rounding them up the Hughes and jail then without trial.

  5. The Constitution is growing in all kinds of directions. Just yesterday a federal judge ruled that the republicans have permission to sue HNICUS for misappropriating unappropriated funds to subsidize his Apochryphal Care Act.

    Under the old Caterpillar Constitution, Congress would have impeached the bastard; but under the new improved Butterfly Constitution, they can just let the lawyers handle it.

    The judge didn’t mention in what court the Judicial branch might sue its step-sister branches, should the need ever arise. It must surely be unconstitutional for them to sue in their own courts with their own judges.

  6. There is one method to get these states to comply with the will of the people in this case 80% of the people; the method is force. Looking at Montana’s finances 37% of general revenue comes from the Federal Government. If we had a president that was anti-illegal immigration the hammer could be dropped by holding back on all Federal Aid to sanctuary cities and states.


  7. Justice Patricia Cotter’s husband is Michael Cotter, the US Attorney for the District of Montana, an Obama appointee.

  8. Porter, Where did you ever find that new photo of the scary women in the purple top? It’s got to be one of the most disturbing photos I’ve ever seen. Would you be willing to remove it? I almost feel like it’s tainting my iPad screen – and my brain.


    • That was from an article breathlessly anticipating white eradication in America. The photo model being a particularly ghoulish example of “won’t it be wonderful when we all look like that.” Not really, no.

      Of course this sort of grisly flimflam would seem pretty transparent if a publication yearned for an Israel that looked like Chiwetel Ejiofor. That it is perfectly accepted mainstream fodder for us only shows how world-class our tolerance truly is.

  9. Pingback: Look How Much You’ve Grown, Constitution – The way I see things …

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