Monday, April 18, 2016

Illinois or Indiana – which way will our Supreme Court lean on immigration

The Supreme Court of the United States is going to hear oral arguments come Monday that will wind up determining just how effective our current president will wind up being in terms of trying to revamp our nation’s immigration policies.

We all know that Barack Obama hasn’t been able to come close to fulfilling the promises he made of comprehensive immigration reform while campaigning for president. The actions that have happened over-emphasize the desires of those who think our policy ought to be one of increased deportation.

OBAMA DID MAKE that effort involving use of his personal orders to impose certain policies – although those changes do not last any longer than his presidency. And it’s a good bet that the next conservative ideologue Republican president will make repeal of those executive orders his highest priority.

As things are, attorneys general of 26 states that have Republican officials in those posts filed a lawsuit in federal courts challenging Obama’s authority to use executive orders to try to alter immigration policy.

As things pan out, Illinois is among the 24 states that think there are better things to focus attention on than federal immigration policy. While Indiana and Wisconsin, our neighbors, are among the 26 who feel compelled to take up this issue as a crusade of sorts.

Then again, Indiana is a state still trying to fight against gay people – viewing any sympathetic acts toward them to be discrimination against religious people. Whereas we in Illinois moved well beyond this quite a while ago.

ILLINOIS IS A place that cooperates fully with the Affordable Care Act, whereas Indiana is a place that still fantasizes about doing away with health insurance for certain of its citizens.

Indiana is a place where one can find cheap smokes (usually at places with names like “Smokes” and “Ciggies”), whereas Illinois tacks on so many local taxes for tobacco purchases and strictly limits where one can light up because we respect the rights of people who have to be around smokers.

So the idea that State Line Road is some sort of barrier where people can glare across each other with such radical thoughts and differing perspectives is not unusual. Not even for immigration.

For Obama was trying to come up with something that would let the people now in this country without a valid visa remain – if it can be shown they make worthwhile contributions to our society. And most of them do, regardless of whatever nonsense people like Donald Trump spew.

OF COURSE, THE ideologues want to believe they don’t. They want to think their very presence in this country ought to be regarded as criminal.

So Republican attorneys general filed a lawsuit in federal jurisdictions where the courts are inclined to back them up. The end result is that the lawsuit was upheld and an appeals court backed the federal court.

Now, it will be up to the Supreme Court to determine what ultimately becomes of this overly partisan measure that has nothing to do with real immigration reform. We have the potential for a real mess to occur because of the fact that the ideologues in our Congress are refusing to fill the vacancy on the high court that already has been in place for several months.

It could easily turn out to be a 4-4 ruling by the high court --- which would mean that the appeals court ruling would remain in place. It would take five supreme court justices to rule to overturn for Obama to prevail.

WE’LL HAVE TO see how this prevails. Will this become a Supreme Court partisan mess? Will real justice have to wait for some point in the future when we cease having a federal government overly anxious to play partisan politics?

It is only if you regard all states as equal and not some containing the bulk of our society while the rest being places where those who want to live in isolation prevail. It wouldn’t matter if those in isolation wanted to be off by themselves. Instead, they want to be sure their isolationist approach to society is the one that prevails over all of us.

Which is why this fight literally winds up being a national version of the fight we often see between Illinois and Indiana – and we’ll have to see which perspective the Supreme Court winds up backing!


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