I’m stymied. For days, I have been pondering the question of why United States vs. State of Arizona was filed in Federal District Court in Arizona instead of the Supreme Court in D.C. I cannot come up with a reasonable answer. Is the fact so obvious that the District Court has no jurisdiction in this case that everyone assumes that everybody connected with the case must be aware of it, and therefore, there must be a valid reason why the case was filed in a District Court instead of before the Supreme Court?
According to the American Bar Association, there were 1,143,358 lawyers in the U.S. at the end of 2007. My guess is that thousands of them have had some exposure to the U.S. Constitution at some time during their career. Many of them may have actually read it, and some of them are surely intimately familiar with its requirements. Yet, from what I can find out, only one lawyer, a retired attorney in Tennessee has raised the question. In an article in the Canada Free Press, Publius Huldah asserts that only the Supreme Court has the authority to hear the Case involving Arizona and its law, SB1070.
Ms. Huldah bases her theory on Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution which reads.
“In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.”
The Framers intent and purpose is expressed so concisely and clearly in this clause, it is hard to imagine that even the most skilled lawyer could find a loophole invalidating its meaning. This clause is not affected by the Eleventh Amendment giving states sovereign immunity from suits brought by citizens of other states or countries in federal courts. In fact, this clause has never been amended under the Article V process.
By trying this case before a lower court judge rather than before the Supreme Court, as the Constitution requires, the status of state legislatures and the states in general, is significantly diminished in relation to the federal government. By precedent, it further damages the concept of federalism and state sovereignty. More importantly, it marks the end of Constitutional government in the United States. I cannot think of any case in which the clear wording of the Constitution has been so brazenly ignored.
In most instances of judicial activism, hidden meanings, nuances, or heretofore-undiscovered meanings or principles, are found in the Constitution to lend some justification to the court’s activism. This clause does not lend itself to such speculation. To make matters worse, Governor Brewer has indicated a willingness to “tweak” the law in order to make it more palatable to the federal government.
It seems to me, the best course of action by Arizona would be to simply ignore the ruling of the lower court and continue with its plans for enforcement. Doing so would not be in defiance of “the rule of law”; to do otherwise will be. Since the Constitution is the ultimate authority for or against actions by the federal government, to submit to the authority of a lower court in this case is a denial of constitutional law. If there is no constitutional law there is no law, period; and without law, there can be no liberty.