Tuesday, June 26, 2012

All this and lifetime tenure too

It's one thing to call yourself an "originalist" as a jurist, but one would think a Supreme Court Justice in the 21st Century would not treat a "State's Right" to harass ethnic groups like Roger Taney would. But Antonin Scalia is determined to ignore that whole Civil War thing, let alone Amendments 13 through 15 and -- in short and only with a little irony --about the last 3/5ths of American history:
Notwithstanding "[t]he myth of an era of unrestricted immigration" in the first 100 years of the Republic, the States enacted numerous laws restricting the immigration of certain classes of aliens, including convicted crimi­nals, indigents, persons with contagious diseases, and (in Southern States) freed blacks. State laws not only pro­vided for the removal of unwanted immigrants but also imposed penalties on unlawfully present aliens and those who aided their immigration.
Okay, where to start? Amongst those restrictions in the nation's first century are the kind of laws that discriminated against ethnic groups like, oh I don't know, Italians because they were predominantly Catholic. Yet Scalia just throws these laws out there like, hey they were good back then, so how can they be bad now?

And then, of course, there are those tasteful references to the repression of African-Americans.
But hey, at least Rush Limbaugh approved.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]


Montag said...

One of the most interesting examples was the wave of anti-immigration legislation that swept California around 1870--after the intercontinental railroad line had been completed and the gold rush had begun to peter out--and which particularly targeted the Chinese, who had been brought to the U.S. in huge numbers to do coolie work (the old expression, "a Chinaman's chance" referred to the danger implicit in the jobs given the Chinese, such as dynamiting). The California legislature even tried to pass state laws requiring the deportation of natural-born U.S. citizens of Chinese extraction (mostly because these Chinese had owned businesses and land that were coveted by white settlers).

So, it's always been the case that anti-immigration sentiment crests after booms are over, and that's the point which Scalia is doing his very best to obscure here.

Anonymous said...

Montana's anti corruption corporate political giving law was over 100 years old. Tony Fats had no problem throwing it out.

pansypoo said...

the kind of catholic to worry about.