The news earlier this week was all about the Supreme Court rulings on immigration and an update to Citizens United. Immigration got most of the attention, as the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona’s papers-please law, except for the “papers please” bit. Still, because the Supreme Court struck down the part of the law that makes being an illegal immigrant a state crime, as well as the bit that says state and local police have the authority to arrest an illegal immigrant for a crime that may lead to deportation, the papers please part is largely toothless. Still, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona called the ruling a victory, of course. In any instance in which the Supreme Court doesn’t entirely strike down 100 percent of a law, the losing side will claim a moral victory. And even when the court does excise an entire law, the losers still usually say things like “We’ll keep fighting” or “This is just the beginning” or “We’re taking our fight to the constitutional amendment process” or some other asshattery that will never happen in a thousand years. Face it: When the Supreme Court rules, it’s the final say in the matter. That’s why you don’t hear any Democrats spouting off about gun control anymore. They had their day in court, and they lost. And now we’re all packing heat.
bigots illegal-immigration hardliners, the Supreme Court decision means they no longer can take their case to state Legislatures. Immigration will have to be handled as it was meant to be — through the federal government. And since the federal government can no longer accomplish anything, mainly due to the Senate now needing 60 votes to approve of breathing, we won’t be having any meaningful immigration reform for a while.
But despite that loss, conservatives scored a bigger win, even if it wasn’t as well-covered in the press. Montana had a century-old law, dating back to the days of the robber barons, that made corporate political donations illegal. In a 5-4 ruling that broke down along the same lines as the original Citizens United case, the Supreme Court summarily rejected the Montana state Supreme Court’s upholding of that law. Summarily … as in there was no hearing, no arguments were heard, the Supreme Court just handed the Montana State Supreme court its collective ass. The end. It was hardly a surprising decision — states have to abide by the Constitution, and unlimited political donations by corporations are now protected by the First Amendment. (Man, it feels stupid to even have to write that. But whatever.)
Here in Florida, our own governor should be especially happy with that decision, because it’s going to take several oceans of cash to get him re-elected in 2014. In fact, I’m starting to think that Rick Scott’s entire tenure as governor of Florida is some sort of Andy Kaufman-esque prank. At this point there’s really no other explanation. No person could possibly hold higher office and be such a buffoon. In other court news, K. Michael Moore (no relation to that other Michael Moore), a federal judge with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, has temporarily blocked Gov. Moon Lizard’s highly touted, and subsequently highly reviled, law that bans state and local government entities from awarding any company a government contract worth more than $1 million if that company also does business with Cuba or Syria. Cuban exiles at first applauded the measure, until they learned that even the governor considered it to be so much window dressing. So, maybe this court decision was a win for the governor after all. Now, he can say he wanted so badly to pander to the Cuban exile community, but the damned court wouldn’t let him. Of course, after dismissing the law as unenforceable, the guv will have a hard time selling that.