- The Washington Times - Monday, February 7, 2005

A former Justice Department official has accused the Supreme Court of abusing its limited authority over immigration law to become the “architect” on how illegal aliens enter and remain in the country, and whether they are entitled to public benefits.

“For the last several decades, the Supreme Court has effectively trampled on Congress’ constitutionally mandated, separate and exclusive power and taken upon itself the task of rewriting America’s immigration laws,” said Mark R. Levin, former chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese.

Mr. Levin’s book, “Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America,” was published this week.

He said the fewer than 100 “unelected and virtually unaccountable” justices who have served in the nation’s history have involved themselves in nearly every aspect of modern life — regularly vetoing the decisions of elected federal and state authorities.

Mr. Levin, president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, said the high court has given noncitizens the right to a taxpayer-paid education, access to government benefits, tuition assistance and the right to compete for civil service jobs and to practice law. The foundation is a public interest law firm based in Virginia.

“The attacks of September 11 underscored that we needed greater government scrutiny over our borders and immigration,” Mr. Levin told The Washington Times. “The role of Congress in drafting immigration law and the executive branch’s authority to enforce it has never been more important.

“Interference with these constitutionally mandated roles by the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, has never been more dangerous.”

Mr. Levin also condemned the Supreme Court’s interference with the president’s role as commander in chief, saying the court “for the first time in our history, has conferred due process rights on enemy combatants, caught on the battlefield, and now detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”

He called it “the latest example of judicial overreaching.”

“From same-sex marriage, illegal immigration and economic socialism to partial-birth abortion, political speech and terrorists’ ‘rights,’ judges have abused their constitutional mandate by imposing their personal prejudices and beliefs on the rest of society,” he said. “No radical political movement has been more effective in undermining our system of government than the judiciary. And we, the people, need not stand for it.”

Mr. Levin, who also hosts a radio talk show on WABC in New York, argues that the Constitution creates co-equal branches that are supposed to check one another’s power.

“Today, the court acts as it wishes, often supplanting congressional and presidential authority, state prerogatives, and undermining popular sovereignty,” he said.

His comments on immigration come at a time when as many as 10 million illegal aliens are thought to be living and working in the United States, although some estimates have ranged as high as 15 million.

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