Conservative justices stuck together once again, ruling in a 5-4 decision that states can prosecute illegals who stole identities of American citizens Tuesday.
After a separate 5-4 ruling to uphold the administration’s public charge rule, which critics call a “wealth test” for legal immigrants, liberal justice Sonia Sotomayor accused conservative justices of bias.
“Today’s decision follows a now-familiar pattern,” Sotomayor wrote “The Government seeks emergency relief from this Court, asking it to grant a stay where two lower courts have not. The Government insists—even though review in a court of appeals is imminent—that it will suffer irreparable harm if this Court does not grant a stay. And the Court yields.”
Breitbart reports in a 5-4 decision — with liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissenting — the Supreme Court ruled against three illegal aliens who were prosecuted for stealing the identities of American citizens to work illegally in the state of Kansas.
Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch wrote in their majority opinion that states do have the authority to prosecute individuals for crimes that overlap with federal law.
The Justices wrote:
The mere fact that state laws like the Kansas provisions at issue overlap to some degree with federal criminal provisions does not even begin to make a case for conflict preemption. From the beginning of our country, criminal law enforcement has been primarily a responsibility of the States, and that remains true today.
In recent times, the reach of federal criminal law has expanded, and there are now many instances in which a prosecution for a particular course of conduct could be brought by either federal or state prosecutors.
Our federal system would be turned upside down if we were to hold that federal criminal law preempts state law whenever they overlap, and there is no basis for inferring that federal criminal statutes preempt state laws whenever they overlap. Indeed, in the vast majority of cases where federal and state laws overlap, allowing the States to prosecute is entirely consistent with federal interests. [Emphasis added]
The ruling overturns a Kansas Supreme Court decision where justices claimed that because state and federal law overlap on the issue of federal immigration law and identity theft, states do not have the authority to prosecute such cases.
At hand were the prosecutions of three illegal aliens — Ramiro Garcia, Donaldo Morales, and Guadalupe Ochoa-Lara — who stole the identities of American citizens by taking their Social Security Numbers in order to illegally work in the state of Kansas against federal law.