Wednesday, October 06, 2010

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Hasn't a Clue.

First of all, thanks to everyone who checked in with me to make sure I was OK during this unannounced break from posting.  I'm attending a course back in the US that's kept me busier than I expected, but all is well.  Thanks for asking.

Now, in case you didn't know already, the infamous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to allow foreign nations to file amicus briefs in the case being built by the Department of Justice against Arizona's new law - the one that requires state law enforcement agencies to follow already-existing laws regarding determination of suspected criminals' immigration status.  (If you're reading this on my blog, you can click on the title of this post to read the original article.)

Yes, that's right; the Justice Department has nothing more pressing on its agenda than suing a state for having the temerity to expect its law enforcement agencies to uphold the law, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, famous for the number of times its decisions have been overturned, is allowing foreign governments input into the suit.  All of that is bad enough, but what makes it worse is the 9th Circus's apparent ignorance of the Constitution. Article III, Section 2 doesn't require a genius to decipher, but just in case it's confusing for the good justices in San Francisco, I've underlined the pertinent parts:
In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.
In other words, the neither the 9th Circuit nor any other federal court short of the Supreme Court has any jurisdiction in this case, because the Constitution itself spells out that fact in Article III, which is the part that describes the powers and responsibilities of the Judicial Branch. 

In case that weren't enough, the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution confirms the sovereignty of states, and their immunity from suits in federal court without their consent when it says:
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
It took me about 20 minutes to look up this information, although I will grant you, I may have had an unfair advantage over the justices of the 9th Circuit because I already knew that Article III of the Constitution deals with the Judicial branch.  Even so, wouldn't you think that someone who'd made a career of the law would have been able to figure this out? 

Hey wait a minute - you don't think they knew it but decided to ignore it, do you?  Say it isn't so...


christian soldier said...

This Californian cringes when ever I read 9th because I know the words -Circuit Court of Appeals is nest to come...

Ran said...

Good to hear things are going well, Steven. I didn't want to ask why you were Stateside - sometimes it ain't all fun.