The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that illegal immigrants may continue to be eligible for in-state tuition rates at the state's colleges and universities rather than pay the higher rates charged to those who live out of state.Here's that LA Times blog post, by the way. The Trib dutifully quoted the first paragraph. Know what happens in the second?
Thus began a Nov. 15 Los Angeles Times blog post about a ruling in a case whose very existence shows how ridiculously off-base the terms of America's immigration debate are these days.
The court upheld a California law that allows in-state college tuition for illegal aliens who attend California high schools for at least three years and graduate there. It ruled that law doesn't conflict with a federal ban on residency-based educational benefits for illegals.[italics in original]
Here it is:
In a ruling written by Justice Ming W. Chin, one of the panel's more conservative members, the state high court said a California law that guarantees the lower tuition for students who attend California high schools for at least three years and graduate does not conflict with a federal prohibition on giving illegal immigrants educational benefits based on residency. [emphasis added.]Huh. The Trib used the term "Left Coast Supremes" - a pun of sorts. Because if you look at a standard map of the US, California is on the left side of the page. The Trib is punning that the Supreme Court of California is also on the left politically.
It certainly is compared to the arch-conservativeness of Scaife's braintrust. But then again so is most of America.
In any event, who is Justice Ming Chin? He was initially appointed to the bench by former Governor George Deukmejian (a Republican) and elevated to the Supreme Court by former Governor Pete Wilson (another Republican). Before that this commie pinko soft-on-immigration liberal was a Captain in the US Army in Vietnam where he was awarded a Bronze Star.
You can read his bio here, if you don't believe me.
But what of the opinion itself? You can read that here. The interesting paragraph, it seems to me, is this one:
This court has received many briefs making policy arguments for and against section 68130.5's tuition exemption. We have received arguments that section 68130.5 affords deserving students educational opportunities that would not otherwise be available and, conversely, arguments that it flouts the will of Congress, wastes taxpayers' money, and encourages illegal immigration. But this court does not make policy. Whether Congress's prohibition or the Legislature's exemption is good policy is not for us to say. Rather, we must decide the legal question of whether California's exemption violates Congress's prohibition or is otherwise invalid. We must decide the statutory question by employing settled methods of statutory construction.Which is, of course, another way of saying that had they're saying that they decided the case based on policy they'd be guilty of (now wait for it) JUDICIAL ACTIVISM.
But that's precisely what the Trib wants.
It's not their job to judge the merit of the law, just whether it conflicts with the federal law. And in this case, they found that it didn't.
Since when does the Trib favor JUDICIAL ACTIVISM?
That's right - only when it suits their right wing agenda.