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Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion Use Pro Slavery Argument Suggesting 14th amendment is unconstitutional



With the recent ruling by the Supreme Court pertaining to the Arizona immigration law, most pundits have focused on the subject of the “show me your papers” clause. However, for African Americans what is more interesting and significant is the dissenting opinion proffered by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

In his own words, Scalia wrote: “Today’s opinion, approving virtually all of the Ninth Circuit’s injunction against enforcement of the four challenged provisions of Arizona’s law, deprives States of what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there,” Scalia’s opinion said.

“In other words, the naturalization power was given to Congress not to abrogate States’ power to exclude those they did not want, but to vindicate it.” What is interesting is that to support this, Scalia criticizes Obama’s immigration policy by relying on pro-slavery laws excluding free persons of African descent from much of the south to justify allowing Arizona to target undocumented immigrants: “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.”

This means that Scalia believes that the passing of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868 during the Reconstruction era along with the 13th and 15th amendments, which are collectively known as the Reconstruction amendments, are unconstitutional. Four principles were asserted in the text of the 14th amendment which state that “State and federal citizenship for all persons regardless of race both born or naturalized in the United States was reaffirmed, No state would be allowed to abridge the “privileges and immunities” of citizens, No person was allowed to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without “due process of law, and No person could be denied “equal protection of the laws.”

It is clear how Scalia perceives individuals that are not white and even worse, that he remains in a faltered world view in which the laws of pro-slavery America are in the best interest for the America of 2012.

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