Slate on how the Supreme Court killed a vicious law, and the conservative Justices are furious they do not have an opportunity to overturn the lower courts ruling as the case will not be heard:
The case for Proposition 100, then, largely rested upon groundless, probably prejudiced assertions made by a man who “outrageously exploited power.” Yet Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito thought that the Supreme Court should consider ruling in favor of Arizona. On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to review Lopez-Valenzuela, allowing the 9th Circuit’s ruling to stand and effectively killing Proposition 100. The court doesn’t release a vote count when it turns down cases, but Scalia, Thomas, and Alito all went out of their way to announce that they voted to hear the case. (This trio has been on bad behavior lately.) Only four justices’ votes are necessary to take up a case, so it’s a safe bet that the other six justices all voted to let Lopez-Valenzuela die of natural causes.
Thomas, joined by Scalia, wrote an opinion castigating his colleagues for letting the 9th Circuit’s ruling stand. Thomas decided to seize the opportunity to explain why Proposition 100 is definitely constitutional. Criticizing the lower court’s ruling as “dubious constitutional analysis,” Thomas implied that the 9th Circuit’s ruling was based not on law but on “public policy.” He then implied that the decision was akin to courts using the due process clause to strike down minimum wage laws and price regulation, since both of those violate “liberty” as well.
At this point, it’s difficult to tell whether Thomas believes his own arguments or whether he’s just trolling.
Arizona is one of the wackiest states in the country, passing all kinds of crazy, unconstitutional laws these days. If you thought the Bible Belt was nuts, you have never been to Arizona.