Alien Enemies on the Bench

In Arizona, a federal judge has lifted his two-month-old restraining order on a popular ballot initiative. This is remarkable because of growing rogue judicial tendencies in immigration-related cases.

Just as a federal judge blocked the clear will of Californians a decade ago with Proposition 187, this judge in Arizona had single-handedly stopped a similar ballot initiative.

Proposition 200 won almost three-fifths of the vote (56 percent), including nearly half (47 percent) of Latinos’ votes. That’s a much stronger showing than President Bush’s re-election. The Arizona initiative requires proof of legal immigration status in order to get certain government services and proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote.

Proposition 200 has only begun its judicial journey because the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund – ACLU-like legal terrorists on immigration matters – plans to appeal this decision. It is difficult to imagine common sense taking hold of the appellate bench.

Liberals, who can’t win fair and square in political processes, tread the well-worn path to the courthouse. There, many unelected judges willfully stomp on the rights of the majority and on the principles of self-government.

Activist judges arrogate power to themselves, second-guessing elected legislators. The tools developed to invent new “rights” for criminals, evict all semblance of the Founders’ Christian civic religion and legalize the murder of the unborn are now used to set immigration policies from the bench.

Judicial activists aren’t satisfied with the many ways they’ve already usurped authority, undermined self-government, and upset constitutional checks and balances. Black-robed tyrants increasingly encroach on Congress’ plenary power over immigration.

Rogue jurists willingly, unilaterally rule in favor of forcing taxpayers to provide aliens – including illegal ones – public services to which foreigners have no inherent right. They create new “rights” neither Congress nor the Constitution ever gave aliens.

At the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where Prop 200 will go on appeal, judicial fiat seems the rule – especially and increasingly where non-U.S. citizens are concerned. This court routinely reverses deportation orders.

There, a three-judge panel last December ruled a provision of the PATRIOT Act “unconstitutional.” The law penalized giving a terrorist organization material support. Apparently these jurists on the Left Coast believe James Madison & Co. intended to extend to enemies of the state a right under the Constitution to commit treason with their checkbooks.

The Seventh Circuit in Chicago has taken a page from the Ninth Circuit’s activism playbook. This court is overturning deportation orders with as much enthusiasm for judicial overreach as its Left Coast brethren.

What is most galling about this onslaught of judicial fiat is that the deportees are, of course, aliens. They aren’t Americans. They aren’t citizens.

These foreigners have no right to enter or remain in America. If they came legally, they are admitted on certain terms and conditions with which they agree to abide. They are to possess and display “good moral character.” The United States reserves the right to send them home.

Well, here come the arrogant judges. They ignore the laws on the books. They disregard the fact that each alien ordered deported – who not being U.S. citizens do not have the same rights to due process – have in fact already been afforded due process. The aliens ordered deported through immigration proceedings (as opposed to judicial branch courts) have already been tried – and found wanting.

That’s true even for aliens whose immigration appeals have been denied with succinct or no dicta. It’s true even in asylum cases. As hard as it may be for federal judges to grasp, the asylum system is regularly abused and is fraud-ridden.

Immigration judges know, for example, that many foreigners claiming asylum were coached. These aliens never faced persecution within the meaning of the law, but instead had a coach give them a plausible story to relate. Their coach showed them how and when to get emotional. Their coach provided them with manufactured “facts.”

Nobody wants to send legitimate asylum-seekers back to their persecutors. That’s why scam artists get into this country. But when their sham unravels in immigration proceedings, there’s no excuse for judicial activists to prolong their stay, clog up American courts and feed public skepticism toward all who claim to be refugees.

Activist judges would start serving the public good if they would respect Congress’ broad power to set immigration policies and defer to the political process. Judicial muggings of the processes of self-government only feed frustration, while stoking the public’s ire toward immigrants.

Self-government works. The nation could prove it if judicial fiat were squelched.