This has got to be one of the dumbest the Supreme Court has ever agreed to hear.
An illegal alien from Mexico is working in a steel mill in Illinois since 2000. He’s using an assumed name, a fake Social Security Number, and a fake green card. Six years later, the guy decides he wants to use his real name, spills the beans about the assumed name to his employer, and submits new identification information. The new identification information under his real name includes someone else’s Social Security Number and yet another person’s green card number. The employer is awfully suspicious, contacts authorities, and ICE picks the guy up. He’s indicted on five counts, including two counts of aggravated identity theft, and an ICE detainer is placed on the guy. So far, so good you’d think.
But no. Some idiot lawyer dreams up the goofball idea that this guy shouldn’t be convicted of identity theft because he didn’t know that stealing other people’s identity was a crime. All they wanted to do was create fraudulent documents, and they didn’t know that someone else’s identity was assumed when they selected the victim’s Social Security number and started taking a machete to the victims credit record with it. And some judge out there apparently bought into this goofy idea, and this has been appealed up to the Supreme Court after the 8th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals exercised a little common sense and ruled against Ignacio Carlos Flores-Figueroa.
If for some crazy reason this guy gets off the hook during a moment of utter psychosis on the part of the Supreme Court, one might well wonder whether it will only be illegal aliens who can benefit by claiming ignorance of the law, or at least ignorance of the certain effects of their behavior when they break the law, or whether ignorance will be a new defense in criminal cases for everyone else as well. “How was I to know that pulling this trigger thing would actually cause a bullet to fire out of this gun thing and strike some random guy three inches away in the temple and kill him?” What a recipe for disaster.
That this case got anywhere near the Supreme Court really makes me wonder whether the courts have entirely been flushed down the toilet. If they can’t apply the same wisdom regularly imparted (one would hope) in a middle school Social Studies class, our judicial system is in big trouble.
Federal appeals courts based in Atlanta and Richmond also have ruled in the government’s favor in similar cases, while the appeals court in Washington, D.C., has sided with defendants.
Maybe that answers the question. Wouldn’t you know it was a DC appeals court that screwed this up.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.