Cardinal Mahony, Supreme Court observer

Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles attends high court hearing on Arizona immigration law, offers his impressions

The following comes from an April 26 entry on “Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs L.A.,” the cardinal’s “official blog.”

On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Arizona v. United States. It was my privilege to be present for the entire time of the oral arguments.

The Federal government was suing the State of Arizona because the Federal government reads the U.S. Constitution as giving full authority and competence on immigration issues to the Federal government, not the individual States. 

The Justices did not seem to be persuaded that one part of the Arizona law violated Federal law: the inquiry about immigration status after a person has been stopped for another violation of the law, and when there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person might not have legal residency. It would seem that this section could survive.

However, questions by the Justices were presuming a quick check with the Federal data bases would be carried out, and that persons would not be held longer than for the original reason for the stop.

The Justices had far more serious questions about other sections of the Arizona law, especially those sections which make it a crime for an undocumented person to seek employment, to fail to register, or to take employment. One will just have to wait until the Court decision to learn its scope and application for Arizona and for other States.

We must keep in mind that there are other challenges to Arizona’s S.B. 1070 in the Federal courts — not on the grounds of the Federal government preempting State involvement in immigration issues, but rather, the great danger of ethnic and racial profiling because of the “reasonable suspicion” of not having legal residential status language. Since the vast majority of people who will be questioned about their immigration status are dark-skinned or Hispanic, one can just imagine who will be checked.

Chief Justice John Roberts was well aware of this fact and that those issues may eventually come to the Court. When Solicitor General Donald Verrilli began his oral argument, Chief Justice Roberts intervened at once:

“Before you get into what the case is about, I’d like to clear up at the outset what it’s not about. No part of your argument has to do with racial or ethnic profiling, does it? I saw none of that in your brief.”

Verrilli responded: “That’s correct.”

This issue, however, is surely a major problem with the Arizona law. Who else will law enforcement officers inquire about their legal residency status if not people of color, those who don’t speak English well, and Hispanics?

But the Justices cannot be oblivious to the implications and practical effects of the Arizona law. In my opinion, they simply must analyze the implications on individuals and their families when they render their final decision.

The Catholic Church will continue to stand with all of our immigrant brothers and sisters, regardless of legal residency, and will continue our efforts to extend earned paths to legal residency for all categories of these people.

 

READER COMMENTS

Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 2:52 AM By JOHN
It was near impossible to get a seat at this hearing. Cardinal Mahony must have had special treatment from the Leftist organizations arguing against the Arizona law.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 6:12 AM By Sue in soCal
This, in my opinion, is exactly why we are in such a pickle with the HHS mandate. Our hierarchy has encouraged all of us to ignore the rule of law with immigration. The bishops are now crying foul with the Obama administration’s overstepping of their legal authority under the constitution with HHS mandate, ignoring the foundation of our rule of law. You either encourage people to work within the system – and work for change if needed – or you end up with mob rule. The philosophy of mob rule is now at the highest levels of our government. The HHS mandate, unenforced immigration laws and class warfare are just the beginning. The bishops have danced with the devil of mob rule and have now been bitten by the HHS mandate yet they still persist in insisting that it’s not the devil, it’s the angel of compassion. And the mob grows. . .


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 6:28 AM By Sawyer
SB 1070 is a well-written bill that will pass Constitutional and moral muster. The Catechism teaches that immigrants must respect the laws of the country to which they immigrate. Illegal border crossers violate our laws. The Democrat-controlled federal government has signaled that it is unwilling to enforce immigration laws with respect to illegal border crossers from Mexico. States must step in to show some responsibility and maturity.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 7:33 AM By Angelo
In a case like this, every human being in the US should carry documentation pertaining to their status in the US. Law enforcement must carry out their duties. If one does not carry documentation then they must be detained. Who knows what terroists we are harboring? And I’m thinking of those who invented these laws in the State of Arizona, let them be the first to carry documentation, or face deportation. Race against race will flare up on this thread, so I must excuse myself for obvious reasons.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 7:59 AM By tom
Cardinal MaHony loves to head the parade of half truths. In fact, if every bishop were to measure up to the first two principles of the moral code, ie, 1) do good, avoid evil, 2) you cannot do evil, to bring about good, humanity would have wonderful example to follow. In his book on page 55, Canon Francis Ripley lists nine ways one can cause or share in the guilt of another’s sin. In God’s nature there is only one. One truth, one set of virtue’s. Virtue’s will be in Heaven, vice’s will be in Hell. Countries and property sometimes have the same dilemma, the grass may look greener on the other side. Both governments and property owners are called to invest in the future, by rewarding those who take intellect with free will, and create good.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 8:28 AM By FRC
Forgive me Father for I have sinned. I am racial profiling most of the commenters here. May the Lord soften my heart and theirs.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 9:05 AM By JLS
Angelo, your post at 7:33 moves beyond racism into the necessity that man, all of us, is required to deal with if he does not want to be enslaved.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 9:06 AM By Elaine
Ah, Cardinal Mahoney, enjoy your retirement. Play golf. Go fishing. Go sailing. Go camping. Just GO.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 9:58 AM By Catherine
“Cardinal Mahony loves to lead the parade of half truths.” tom, Thank you for that truthful statement. Sue in socal, You have also hit the nail on the head! Thank you both for your very wise posts. Sadly, there will always be those who continue to either ignore or continue to praise half truths and they often find clever ways to excuse themselves from dealing with the real issue.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 10:16 AM By Maryanne Leonard
Angelo, I’m sure you know that there are already laws stating we must show identification to authorities upon request in the United States, something which was resisted for a long time and seen by many as outrageous, an imposition on our personal freedom as Americans to just walk around free of demands to carry IDs. The increase in criminal activity led to eventual acceptance of this concept. It is now possible that we will all be required to prove our right to be in America due to the phenomenal number of illegal aliens who have just chosen to ignore our laws and barge across our borders from all directions, but particularly from Latin America, without respecting legal requirements to visit, live and work here. It is a breakdown in basic human respect for the law that reflects the breakdowns in society on every level today.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 10:20 AM By Abeca Christian
JLS and Catherine I agree. Also I always feel let down when I read an article on Carindal Mahoney, well most of the time. It’s sad that we have such leadership.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 10:38 AM By Catherine
FRC must stand for…. *Frequently Reinventing Catholicism*


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 10:39 AM By Just sayin’
May it enter the heart and head of the Cardinal even now to become actively anti-abortion. If only he would do something to stop the vicious, racist abortionists who prey upon Hispanic preborn babies and their moms, undocumented and otherwise. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, lead us all to save the babies!


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 11:08 AM By k
Angelo, that is what they did in the Communist countries!


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 11:09 AM By John F. Maguire
At issue before the Supreme Court is whether or not Arizona deviated from the rule of law, namely, constitutional law. In this light, Sue, one cannot misconstrue the occasion of the Supreme Court’s decision to grant certification to this important case as a grant that comports with such outlandishness as the hierarchy supposedly “encouraging us to ignore the rule of law,” let alone as a grant comporting with the hierarchy puportedly encouraging “mob rule.” Quite the contrary. ~ The issue in this case is an issue that sounds in the domain of federalism: Is not immigration law, in the first place, a question of federal jurisdiction, not state jurisdiction.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 11:18 AM By John F. Maguire
In reply to Sawyer: The Supreme Court inquires whether a law or a provision of a law is constitutional, not whether the law is well-written, that is, except in cases, for example, where the law is subject to the judgment *void for vagueness*.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 11:22 AM By MIKE
I would rather hear the Cardinal’s impression of the teaching of the Church which requires that immigrants are OBLIGED to OBEY our immigration LAW. CCC – QUOTE: ” 2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him. Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens. ” UNQUOTE.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 11:31 AM By MAC
Open borders add to not only illegal immigration, but murder, sexual slavery, and the illegal drug trade. All of these destroy many lives. When are the Bishops going to support closing the Border except for LEGAL immigration and LEGAL trade ? ? ? The USA is no longer a prosperous Nation and has a $15.5 TRILLION dollar debt, and no excess of jobs any more. According to the CCC without commutative justice (#2411) which includes paying debts, no other form of justice is possible.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 12:19 PM By JLS
Why do we “always” (it seems) find a divide between social concern and religious concern? Why are those devoted to helping the poor also those not interested in stopping abortion?


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 2:12 PM By PETE
Arizonia is NOT making any NEW immigration law. They are simply enforcing existing FEDERAL law. There is nothing in the US Constitution that states any State may not enforce Federal Law. And Federal law requires NON-citizens to carry IDs at all times. Next – any immigrant who is in this Country LEGALLY should have no problem showing appropriate ID when asked. For example, I have a concealed carry permit, and would be happy to show it to any law enforcement officer who might like to see it for any reason.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 3:44 PM By Anne T.
Angleo, I am light skinned, and I am asked for my indentification all the time. I have to present my driver’s license to pay by check, to get healthcare or into a hospital, if a police officer stops me and on and on. I even have to present my birth certificate at times or Social Security number. I am asked for my indentification just as much as my brown-skinned relatives. I have even been finger printed because I have worked with other people’s children even though I have never committed any crime, including buying, selling, transporting or using illegal drugs. So what else is new? There are many ways of helping those across the border, legally. By the way, I have been to Mexico serveral times, and I have never taken anything or any one in or out of it illegally. If the laws are unfair, we should try to peaceably chain them but not break them.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 3:52 PM By John F. Maguire
Your post, Elaine, is disrespectful and impertinent (“Go camping. Go fishing. Go sailing. Just GO”). In justice to Cardinal Mahony, Elaine, you would be well advised to go — to Cardinal Mahony’s website, “Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs L.A.” Since Cardinal Mahony was present at oral argument in the Supreme Court case Arizona v. United States, there, at Cardinal Mahony’s website, you’ll find an eyewitness account of how the argument before the Supreme Court went. “The Justices,” Cardinal Mahony reports, “did not seem to be persuaded that [to begin with] one part of the Arizona law violated Federal Law: the inquiry about immigration status after a person has been stopped for another violation of the law, and when there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the person might not have legal residency. It would seem that this section could survive. […] The Justices had far more serious questions about other sections of the Arizona law, especially those sections which make it a crime for an undocumented worker to seek employment, or to take employment.” […] We must keep in mind that there are other challenges to Arizona’s S.B. 1070 in the Federal Courts — not on the grounds of the Federal government preempting State involvement in immigration issues, but rather, the greater danger of ethnic and racial profiling because of the ‘reasonable suspicion’ of not having legal residential status language. Since the vast majority of people who will be questioned are dark-skinned or Hispanic, one can just imagine who will be checked.” The racial profiling aspect of this case was neither brief nor argued before the Court; still, this issue, Cardinal Mahoney avers, is “surely a major problem with the Arizona law.” In fine: “The Catholic Church will continue to stand with all of our immigrant brothers and sisters, regardless of legal residency, and will continue to extend earned paths to legal residency for all categories of these people.” Roger Card. Mahony, Posted April 26, 2012.


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 3:57 PM By cjo
1) Did Eric Holder or Obama get the Cardinal a seat at the hearing ?? 2) Who paid for the Cardinal’s trip to DC???


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 4:10 PM By Sue in soCal
John F. Maguire! It’s been so long since we posted on the same article. Once again, I could not have known what obfustication you were perpetuating on the unsuspecting in your contorted reposte to my ruminations if I had not the very thing before me. And, once again, you miss the point. But that is your point, isn’t it?


Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 4:19 PM By Anne T.
Angelo, we can help the Mexican people by buying their products and buying products made by Mexican-Amreican companies, so they can help people over there legally. We can give to the missions there. Why do so many people of all races, feel that they have to do illegal things. I am including those white Americans who go to Mexico to get illegal drugs and bring them across the border, etc. We should all try to respect the laws of our and other countries, unless they are blatantly wrong.

Comments

comments

To add a comment, click on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ icons OR go further down to the bottom of comments to the Post your comment box.
COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.

Speak Your Mind

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.