Justice Scalia on Arizona Immigration Case (C-SPAN)
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Published on Jul 26, 2012
During a C-SPAN Q&A interview, Justice Antonin Scalia discusses the Court's recent decision in the Arizona v United States case and comments on criticism of his decision to speak out on the administration's current handling of immigration. Excerpts below. Watch the complete interview on Sunday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET on C-SPAN.
SCALIA: She's right about that.
C-SPAN: You will be doing what you do. But, what about -- can you explain ...
SCALIA: What's this going outside the record stuff?
C-SPAN: That was at ...
SCALIA: There were innumerable cases in which we cite newspaper articles; innumerable articles. There's no rule that you cannot cite any public materials in opinions and only cite the record. I mean, if it's a factual matter that is up for decision, of course, you can only use the matter set forth in the record to determine the facts.
But that's not the purpose for which I used it at all. And, we use public records all the time. The point I was making there had nothing to do with a factual determination. I don't want to -- people should read the opinion to see whether my use of that so-called non-record material was -- was proper or not.
C-SPAN: Were you surprised at the reaction after you mentioned President Obama in your remarks at the -- on the day -- the last decision on the Arizona decision when E. J. Dionne said you ought to resign.
C-SPAN: A columnist for the Washington Post.
SCALIA: Oh. I don't know that. I was surprised that anyone would have thought that the purpose for which I used the President's statement -- and did not criticize the President's statement, in fact I said it might be right.
But, the only point I made from it was -- well, the Attorney General had argued before us that the only reason the government wasn't enforcing the immigration laws more rigorously was simply enforcement priorities; it didn't have enough money, it had to decide who goes first and what not.
And, the point I made was, "Well, even if that was true, in my view, a sovereign state ought to be able to supplement the inadequate enforcement funds with its own funds if it wants to." And then I added, "Moreover, it has since come to light that the problem is not just an inadequacy of enforcement funds, but rather, simply the unwillingness, perhaps for good reasons, of the government to enforce the law."
And for that purpose I cited the President's statement, which seemed to me perfectly fair. I did not say the President's statement was wrong. I just said that what the Attorney General had told us, concerning enforcement priorities, was simply, as the public record shows, not -- note the sole problem.
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