Guest Blog by: Donald Balla Justices shot their questions. Lawyers responded. Bloggers wrote commentaries about oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court over Arizona Senate Bill 1070. The justices are now pouring over all the evidence and ideas. Expect a written decision in June. This article is about what that U.S. Supreme Court decision will NOT contain. United States v. Arizona is a lawsuit brought by the federal government against a state—one government seeking to disadvantage undocumented aliens against an even harsher government. No one in this lawsuit is arguing to benefit undocumented immigrants. So don’t expect the decision to resolve the dilemma of aliens in America. Expect rulings over narrow issues like federal law pre-empting state law. The Supreme Court writes opinions only on issues argued by the parties. So don’t expect the decision to clarify of the rights of undocumented immigrants. Neither side made such arguments. Therefore, expect no decision about whether:
- The ex post facto clause of the Constitution forbids adding new punishments for past immigration crimes.
- The excessive punishments clause invalidates laws that remove the right to work, drive and contract as punishment for small offenses.
- The equal protection clause annuls laws that criminalize working—a behavior that is good and healthy when the rest of the population does it.
- The bill of attainder clause forbids laws denying driver licenses to a blacklisted group.
- The Constitution forbids punishing children for the offenses of their parents.
- States may arbitrarily redefine “resident” for purposes of charging extra tuition for unpopular groups.
- There is such growing evidence of legal prejudice against undocumented immigrants that they should gain “protected class” status for equal protection purposes.