The Supreme Court decision yesterday was a big loss for conservatives. Justice Thomas agreed with everything I previously wrote on this topic (maybe he has been reading my blog), and Justice Scalia came up with a totally surprising argument about State sovereignty which I had never thought of before.
The takeaway from this case is that it’s OK for states to pass laws that are more liberal than federal laws, for example no one cares that California has tougher environmental laws than the federal government, or that many states have higher minimum wages are greater penalties for violating the labor laws. In fact, it’s especially hard to see how the Justices could find Arizona’s tougher sanctions for employers hiring illegal aliens to be preempted by the federal statutes because there’s such a long history of states imposing tough laws on employers, and penalizing employers is not penalizing illegal aliens.
I always figured that conservatives had a much greater chance of winning on the Arizona case than they did on the review of Obamacare; the Supreme Court hasn’t found a major piece of economic legislation unconstitutional for violating the enumerated powers of Congress since the 1930s. Maybe Obama has some secret means to get the Roberts and Kennedy to do what he wants, so it’s likely that this same crew will support Obamacare which is even more important to Obama than overturning the Arizona immigration statute.