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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Showdown on Arizona immigration law goes to Supreme Court

    The case has major implications for the presidential campaign and other states where similar crackdowns on illegal immigrants are being challenged.

    By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau

    April 21, 2012, 4:58 p.m.

    Los Angeles Times


    A U.S. Border Patrol unit monitors a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. The Obama administration's challenge of Arizona's tough law on illegal immigration will be heard by the Supreme Court on Wednesday. (Guillermo Arias, Associated Press / July 28, 2010)

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court and the Obama administration are set for another politically charged clash Wednesday as the justices take up Arizona's tough crackdown on illegal immigrants.

    It will be a rematch of the attorneys who argued the healthcare case a month ago, and another chapter in the partisan philosophical struggle over states' rights and the role of the federal government.

    And once again, President Obama's lawyers are likely to face skeptical questions from the high court. Last year, the court's five more-conservative justices rebuffed the administration and upheld an earlier Arizona immigration law that targeted employers who hired illegal workers.

    To prevail this year, the administration must convince at least one of the five to switch sides and rule that the state is going too far and interfering with the federal government's control over immigration policy.

    The election-year legal battle goes to the heart of the dispute between Republicans and Democrats over what to do about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.

    Arizona and five other Republican-led states seek a stepped-up effort to arrest and deport illegal immigrants. They say the federal system is broken and fault Obama for what they consider a "relaxed" enforcement policy.

    If cleared by the courts, Arizona would tell its police to check the immigration status of people they lawfully stop and suspect of being in the country illegally. If they were unable to show a driver's license or other "proof of legal presence," they would be arrested and held for federal immigration agents. Arizona also would make it a crime to lack immigration papers or for illegal immigrants to seek work.

    For its part, Obama's administration favors targeted enforcement, not mass arrests of illegal immigrants.

    The administration has gone after drug traffickers, smugglers, violent felons, security risks and repeat border crossers. Last year, nearly 400,000 people were deported, a record high. At the same time, the administration says mere "unlawful presence" in this country is not a federal crime, and it opposes state efforts to round up and arrest more illegal immigrants.

    Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Utah also have adopted tough immigration enforcement laws. But judges have blocked many of their provisions, awaiting a ruling from the high court.

    Washington lawyer Paul Clement, President George W. Bush's solicitor general, will argue for Arizona and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday; Obama's solicitor general, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., will argue the Democratic administration's case.

    Clement is arguing for a stronger state role in enforcing the immigration laws, traditionally a federal function. Verrilli is contending that Arizona's "maximum enforcement" policy for immigration goes too far and conflicts with federal policy.

    The court's decision, expected by the end of June, could ignite the immigration issue in the presidential campaign.

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he supports laws in Arizona and elsewhere that seek to drive away illegal immigrants. "The answer is self-deportation," he said in one debate.

    Obama, on the other hand, has expressed concern about the effect on millions of normally law-abiding Latinos, including those with U.S. citizenship.

    The Arizona law "potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption," Obama said in a recent interview. The president also supports the Dream Act, a proposal that would offer a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who earn diplomas or serve in the military.

    Two years ago, Obama's lawyers sued in federal court in Phoenix to block Arizona's law. They argued that the federal government's exclusive power over immigration preempts the state's law. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton agreed, as did the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Its 2-1 decision put on hold four key parts of Arizona's law, including the stop-and-arrest provision.

    Romney has pledged that if elected president, he would "drop these lawsuits on day one."

    The Supreme Court, however, may revive most or all of Arizona's law by the summer.

    Last year, the court, in a 5-3 decision, upheld the Arizona law that would take away the business licenses of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. The Obama administration, civil rights groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had contended this state enforcement measure clashed with federal immigration law.

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. disagreed and sounded a states' rights theme. He said the law sets a "high threshold" for striking down a state law as "preempted for conflicting with the purposes of a federal act." Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. agreed.

    Three liberal justices supported the administration's view. Justice Elena Kagan sat out last year's case and also has withdrawn from this year's, apparently because of her role as solicitor general during Obama's first year in office. Her absence could lead to a 4-4 split, which would affirm the 9th Circuit's decision.

    If the high court reverses the 9th Circuit's decision, Latino advocacy groups say they will go back to court in Phoenix and seek to block the law on civil rights grounds.

    Showdown on Arizona immigration law goes to Supreme Court - latimes.com
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    Obama, on the other hand, has expressed concern about the effect on millions of normally law-abiding Latinos, including those with U.S. citizenship.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    REALITY CHECK: If you're Latino and here illegally, YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Arizona set to defend SB 1070 in pivotal Supreme Court case

    Arizona set to defend SB 1070 in pivotal Supreme Court case

    by Alia Beard Rau on Apr. 21, 2012, under Arizona Republic News

    Arizona will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to defend its immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, in a case that will determine the future of immigration enforcement nationwide.

    National legal experts predict the high court’s ruling will be a landmark decision that determines whether states have the right to enforce federal immigration laws as they see fit.

    It is unusual for the Supreme Court to accept a case that hasn’t yet been fully adjudicated by the lower courts, but the court appears to want to resolve the issue sooner rather than later. Several other states have passed laws similar to SB 1070, prompting conflicting legal rulings in various appeals-court districts.

    “This could be one of the most significant immigration decisions of the last 20 or 30 years,” said University of California-Davis School of Law Dean Kevin Johnson. “It raises all kinds of issues that make for great cases: Immigration is an issue of great public importance, it raises issues of state versus federal power and it comes at a time when there is a lot of attention being focused on what’s going on on the border.”

    SB 1070, among other things, made it a state crime to be in the country illegally and stated that an officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest must, when practicable, ask about a person’s legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally.

    The key issue before the Supreme Court is whether Arizona has the right to enforce federal immigration laws the way it chooses. The U.S. Department of Justice in its lawsuit argued that immigration is an issue that only the federal government can address. The state argued that SB 1070 mirrors federal law and assists the federal government in enforcement.

    The Supreme Court’s ruling will affect laws nationwide, both the copycat SB 1070 laws that states such as Alabama have passed and future immigration-enforcement regulations that Arizona and other states may push. That ruling likely won’t come until this summer.

    Law history

    Arizona lawmakers had tried unsuccessfully for years to get pieces of what later became SB 1070 passed. It took the alignment of the political stars in 2010 to get it done, most notably a Legislature dominated by conservative “tea party” Republicans, a Republican governor in need of political clout to win re-election and growing concern about the violence of Mexican drug cartels.

    Lawmakers were ready to wage war against illegal immigrants. As the written intent of the law states, its goal is to deter the unlawful entry and presence of illegal immigrants in Arizona through a policy of “attrition through enforcement.”

    Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070, which was sponsored by former Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, into law on April 23, 2010. The result was an international political firestorm. Hundreds of supporters and opponents rallied at the state Capitol. Opponents called for a boycott of Arizona that resulted in canceled conferences. Supporters sent Brewer hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund the law’s legal defense.

    The U.S. Department of Justice sued, as did several individuals and groups.

    Average Americans — and Arizonans — seemed to have mixed feelings about the law. Polls from 2010 indicated that a majority of both Arizonans and Americans supported SB 1070. But at the same time, polling indicated that a majority of Arizonans supported allowing working illegal immigrants with no criminal record to remain in Arizona.

    Hours before it was scheduled to go into effect on July 29, 2010, Arizona federal Judge Susan Bolton stopped it.

    Bolton ruled that immigration is the responsibility of the federal government, not individual states. She issued injunctions stopping five parts of the law: requiring a law-enforcement officer to check a person’s immigration status in certain situations; making it a crime to not carry “alien-registration papers”; allowing for a warrantless arrest if there is cause to believe a person committed a crime that makes him or her removable from the U.S.; making it a crime for illegal immigrants to work; and making it a crime to impede traffic while picking up or being picked up as a day laborer.

    That November, Arizona voters supported those behind SB 1070. Brewer won overwhelmingly, as did Pearce. Republicans won a supermajority in both the House and Senate, and within that majority were even more self-proclaimed tea-party Republicans.

    Brewer pushed ahead with her support of the law. She appealed the injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which later upheld Bolton’s injunction. She then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to overturn the lower-court rulings and allow the entire law to go into effect.

    The law’s 10 provisions that Bolton had allowed to go into effect seem to have had minimal impact on how law enforcement does business. Some law-enforcement agencies have said they’ve made a handful of arrests under the law, but others have said they are not enforcing any portions of the law. There has been no outcry from immigrants that law enforcement is using the law in a way that violates their rights.

    Pearce has said the most important portion of the law allowed to go into effect requires local governments to enforce federal immigration law and eliminate “sanctuary city policies” that limited law enforcement’s ability to question someone about their legal status.

    Pre-emption argument

    It is somewhat unusual for the Supreme Court to take up a case at the preliminary-injunction stage instead of waiting for the lower courts to rule on the full merits of the case.

    The underlying lawsuit the federal government filed challenging SB 1070, as well as several of the other cases filed against the law, is still awaiting trial before Bolton. But legal experts on both sides of the issue say that in this case, the injunction — and the legal reasons given for its necessity — is the case.

    “If the justices thought the details of what might come out at a full trial would make a difference, they wouldn’t have taken the case. There were a number of reasons to wait, but they took the case,” said Jack Chin, a University of California-Davis School of Law professor who studied SB 1070 while teaching at the University of Arizona. “They want to rule.”

    While legal experts agree that pre-emption will dominate Wednesday’s arguments, they differ over what the details of that debate will — or should — address.

    Carissa Byrne Hessick, a professor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, said attorneys may focus not on whether the state can enforce federal immigration law but how many and which legal cases to pursue.

    “The federal government has made it clear that their priority, when it comes to immigration enforcement, is people who are both here unauthorized and have a criminal background,” she said. “Arizona is saying the federal government should have 100 percent enforcement and because it doesn’t, we are going to enact our own laws that allow us to enforce in situations where the federal government doesn’t.”

    Paul Bender, also a professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, said the federal government’s best chance may be to focus on the real-life impact of allowing the law — and similar laws in any other state — to go into effect.

    “If any state can do something like this, you would have the possibility of every state in the country having some sheriff’s deputy or city policeman going up to someone who looks Hispanic and saying, ‘Show me your papers,’ ” Bender said. “That’s really the strongest argument for the government to make.”

    And on the other side, Bender said, Arizona’s most powerful argument is to show the impacts of the federal government not effectively enforcing federal immigration laws.

    Chin said the legal argument goes beyond pre-emption. He said the federal government, even before there was federal law on immigration, determined the issue of immigration was within the federal government’s purview.

    “Pre-emption generally means some sort of conflict with federal statute,” Chin said. “But this is a deeper issue about whether states have any power at all over the area, even if there is zero pre-emption because a law is completely consistent with federal law.”

    National impact

    The U.S. Supreme Court chooses cases on issues that affect the country as a whole and those that have arisen in more than one state. For example, before the high court heard arguments last year about the Arizona employer-sanctions law, which imposes civil sanctions against hiring undocumented workers, circuit courts issued differing rulings on similar cases in other states.

    As other states passed laws similar to SB 1070 this year and lower courts differed in their rulings on the laws, the debate over what role states play in immigration enforcement has elevated.

    Alabama’s law overtook Arizona’s as the toughest in the nation. The Alabama law mimics SB 1070 and then adds additional legal requirements, including requiring schools to document students’ legal status.

    “There has been more action on immigration at the state level than at any time ever before,” Johnson said. “This case, if there’s a majority opinion, sets up the ground rules and framework for what states can do when it comes to immigration enforcement.”

    Technically, the Supreme Court at this point must focus on the preliminary injunction. The court could lift the injunction and allow the entire law to go into effect, it could lift part of the injunction and allow portions of the law to go into effect or it could uphold the lower courts’ ruling and keep the injunction in place.

    Its decision is final on the injunction in the U.S Department of Justice case, but the ramifications of the ruling could go beyond that.
    Bolton still needs to resolve the underlying case in this lawsuit, and another filed by civil-rights groups. She will have to base her decision on those underlying cases on whatever the Supreme Court rules on the injunction.

    If the Supreme Court lifts the injunction, SB 1070 and every other law like it could go into effect. It would also open the door for new state laws enforcing federal immigration law. Supporters of these laws say they are vital to protecting national security at a time when the federal government has dropped the ball.

    American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona Legal Director Dan Pochoda said if the court lifts the injunction, the loser is not the federal government but millions of Latinos who could face harassment because someone thinks they may be in the country illegally. The ACLU has filed a court brief to the Supreme Court opposing the law, and also has its own lawsuit pending before Bolton.

    “We are certainly concerned,” Pochoda said.

    The Supreme Court’s ruling is likely to have implications in the national political arena as well, particularly since a ruling would come only a few months before the presidential election.

    A win for the U.S. Department of Justice would be a win President Barack Obama could tout, particularly with the Obama campaign’s recent announcement that Arizona could be in play in the presidential election because of a Latino voter population outraged by SB 1070.

    Pearce has endorsed likely Republican candidate Mitt Romney, saying that Romney also supports SB 1070′s policy of attrition through enforcement. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the attorney who helped Pearce write SB 1070, is a Romney adviser.
    But in this particular case, there is a distinct possibility that nobody wins.

    Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from the case because she was Obama’s solicitor general when the federal government filed the lawsuit against Arizona. That leaves the possibility of a 4-4 tie.

    In that situation, the 9th Circuit ruling enjoining the law is upheld but it may apply only to this particular case and sets no precedent for other cases or states.

    “Then the Supreme Court is likely to get the issue again because it will percolate in the 11th Circuit, which governs Alabama,” Johnson said. “So if the court punts in this case, we’ll just have the second half later.”

    source: Arizona set to defend SB 1070 in pivotal Supreme Court case - News from The Arizona Republic
    Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 04-22-2012 at 08:01 AM. Reason: format
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  4. #4
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    Arizona's SB1070: Supreme Court will hear 2 strikingly different views

    by Robert Robb, columnist - Apr. 21, 2012 02:26 PM
    The Republic | azcentral.com


    For Arizonans, SB 1070 is about illegal immigration. For the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear arguments about the constitutionality of some of its provisions on Wednesday, the issue is federalism -- the respective authority and roles of the federal and state governments.
    The court will hear starkly different views about that.

    The Brewer administration's stance

    Because of distrust of the attorney general at the time (Terry Goddard), the Legislature gave Gov. Jan Brewer unusual control of litigation regarding SB 1070.

    According to the Brewer administration, Arizona is disproportionately affected by illegal immigration and has a sovereign right to try to address those effects.

    The Brewer brief to the Supreme Court acknowledges the singular right of the federal government to determine who can be in the country legally and under what conditions. But it asserts the right of the state to supplement enforcement of federal law so long as state efforts don't directly contravene federal law.

    The Obama administration's stance


    The Obama administration has a radically different view of what states can and cannot do regarding illegal immigration.
    According to its brief, Congress has given the executive branch broad discretion regarding the enforcement of federal immigration laws so that a variety of objectives can be balanced and harmonized, including relations with foreign governments.
    States can assist with the enforcement of federal immigration laws, but only in cooperation with and under the direction of the federal government.

    States cannot unilaterally take actions that conflict with how the executive branch has decided to exercise its discretion regarding enforcing the immigration laws.

    In oral argument, these contrasting views about the authority of state governments to take action regarding illegal immigration will battle it out over four provisions of SB 1070 that lower courts have enjoined as probably being unconstitutional.

    Checks at police stops

    The most controversial provision of SB 1070 was the requirement that local law enforcement follow up on reasonable suspicion of illegal presence in the course of a stop for some other purpose, if practical and not a hindrance to an investigation. This is also the provision most likely to be reinstated by the Supreme Court.

    This requirement may not be a wise use of local law-enforcement resources, but that's hardly a federal issue or concern.
    The Obama administration argues that responding to such inquiries will detract from its immigration-enforcement priorities. But federal law requires a federal response to such inquiries.

    Hard to argue that federal law pre-empts local law enforcement from asking when federal law requires the federal government to answer.

    Illegal presence a crime

    The harder question is, what happens when local law enforcement is told that someone in their custody is in the country illegally?
    The Obama administration has made it clear that its priority is deporting illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes. Others are likely to get a pass.

    There is a federal law making it a crime for foreigners to enter the country without timely registering with the federal government. Virtually everyone who is in the country illegally is in violation of this federal criminal statute.

    The federal government has long ignored this statute and treated illegal presence as a civil matter, subject only to deportation.
    And the Obama administration has basically said that, except for those who commit serious crimes, deportation isn't even likely.
    SB 1070 makes failure to register federally a state crime, with penalties that mirror those of the federal statute.

    I have long thought that the Supreme Court would frown at a state setting up its own enforcement scheme for violations of federal immigration laws. Now, I'm not so sure.

    It's hard to argue that Congress intends for the federal statute not to be enforced. If so, Congress could repeal it.
    And it would seem hard for the Obama administration to argue that because it doesn't have the resources or inclination to enforce the federal statute, states should be prohibited from doing so with their own resources.

    The Obama administration has a stronger argument on a smaller point.

    Under federal law, some people are in the country with the approval of the federal government but without formal authorization, while various applications are being considered. These people could be caught in the maw of the state law.

    State crime for working

    SB 1070 makes it a state crime for someone in the country illegally to work or seek work.

    There is no analogous federal crime, so this is a case in which SB 1070 doesn't just enforce federal law, as supporters endlessly claim.
    Federal law makes knowingly hiring illegal workers a crime but makes working illegally just a deportable civil offense.

    According to the Obama administration, this distinction is purposeful, and the legislative history seems to support that.
    If there is such a thing as implied pre-emption -- and the Supreme Court has said that there is -- this would appear to be a case of it.

    Warrantless arrests

    SB 1070 gives law enforcement state authority to arrest someone, without a warrant, if there is probable cause to believe that the person has committed a deportable public offense.

    This is a problematic provision. It's not clear how a local arresting officer would acquire such probable cause, and there is a large gap between offenses that, on paper, could result in deportation and offenses that, under administration policy, will result in deportation.
    But it's also hard to see how it's facially unconstitutional or pre-empted. It's a power granted to local law enforcement by state law.

    What would happen after arrest would be up to the federal government.

    Who wins?

    How I see it may not, of course, be how the Supreme Court sees it.

    The court did uphold Arizona's employer-sanctions law against very similar arguments as are being made against SB 1070. But, in that case, allowing enforcement through state licensing provisions was expressly allowed by federal law.

    In this case, Congress has neither specifically allowed nor prohibited the state actions in SB 1070.

    In the end, the disposition probably hinges on the extent the justices buy the Obama administration's argument that executive-branch discretion is a fundamental and pervasive element of congressional intent, and state actions must therefore comport with administration policy as well as federal statutes


    Read more: Arizona's SB1070: Supreme Court will hear 2 strikingly different views
    Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 04-22-2012 at 08:17 AM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member southBronx's Avatar
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    I still say this is aLL Obama doing he want every illegal Immigrants In our country only for the vote .
    & they can not see this well get your head out of the sand .I don't care who get in as long as it not Obama
    No amnesty or Dream act

  6. #6
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Added Arizona Republic Article to ALIPAC HOMEPAGE News with amended title ..

    http://www.alipac.us/content/showdow...eme-court-410/
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    Senior Member grandmasmad's Avatar
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    Sooooo bottom line....robbing a bank is a Federal crime.....so.....state police officers cannot arrest a bank robber...as this is stepping on Fed powers??????????????
    I think NOT!!!!!!!!!
    The difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is the equivalent of the difference between a burglar and a houseguest. Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  8. #8
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    This should not be necessary and would not be happening if our federal government just enforced their own laws.
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  9. #9
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    Power is top prize in Arizona immigration battle

    Voters back state over feds

    By Stephen Dinan

    The Washington Times

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    The Supreme Court's health care showdown last month was all about Constitution theory and prerogatives. Wednesday's arguments between Arizona and the Obama administration over the state's tough immigration law looks to be all about power.

    Arizona argues that the federal government has failed to enforce its laws on the books and says states should be free to enforce their own laws as long as they complement the national goals. Obama attorneys say the Constitution gives power over immigration to the federal government, and there can be no infringement.

    The electorate is clearly on the side of Arizona: A Quinnipiac University Poll last week found that 62 percent of voters said they want the court to uphold the law.

    But what the justices do is another matter altogether.

    The law at stake, known as S.B. 1070, would grant state and local police the power to check the immigration status of those with whom they come into contact who they suspect are in the country illegally. It also requires legal immigrants to carry their papers — a mandate of federal law.

    First a district court and then the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked those parts of the law, sending S.B. 1070 on to the Supreme Court.

    In the meantime, other states — including South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Utah — have followed Arizona's lead in granting police enforcement powers.

    Michael Wildes, an immigration lawyer in New Jersey, said filling in where the federal government is failing is not a constitutional reason to tread on federal prerogatives.

    "The problem is that you can't have a patchwork — we can't have a quilt made of different patches in different states," he said. "We need a seamless federal immigration law that will treat everybody equally."

    Mr. Wildes said the polling that showed most Americans favor Arizona's law is a testament to frustration with the federal government on immigration. He said voters, egged on by "the xenophobia the media has created," are beginning to take an us-versus-them approach to immigration that he said would shock the country's founders.

    Kris Kobach, who helped write S.B. 1070, said the law was designed to help the federal government, not to compete with it. He said there is no federal law that conflicts with Arizona's, but rather a federal policy by the Obama administration, which enforces the law selectively.

    Mr. Kobach, who was elected secretary of state in Kansas in 2010, said that would set a troublesome precedent.

    "If the 9th Circuit decision is affirmed and Arizona loses, then we would be in a situation where the president or any minor official in the executive branch could simply invalidate dozens of state laws by issuing a formal statement or order," he said. "They literally are saying that unelected officials can pre-empt state laws merely by saying the state law doesn't meet their preferences."

    While President Obama and his advisers criticized the law in 2010 for leading to potential racial profiling, the lawsuit they filed asking the court to block it relies not on discrimination claims but on issues of government power and decision-making.

    In one claim, the administration says the law interferes with the federal government's ability to control foreign relations. Underscoring that claim, the government's legal brief filed with the Supreme Court is signed by the State Department's legal adviser, Harold Koh.

    Mr. Kobach called that laughable, and the dissenting judge in the 2-1 decision at the appeals court level, Judge Carlos Bea, said to accept that argument would give other countries a "heckler's veto" over state laws.

    Brian Bergin, an attorney for Sheriff Larry A. Dever, whose Cochise County includes 83 miles of the Mexico border in Arizona, said he will be watching to see what the justices say about that during oral argument.

    "If the administration prevails in its argument that state law can be pre-empted by virtue of the objections of foreign interests, we've put ourselves in a position where I guess foreign policy becomes more important than homeland security," Mr. Bergin said.

    Last year, the Supreme Court upheld an earlier Arizona law that requires all businesses in the state to use E-Verify, the federal government's voluntary database that checks potential hires' Social Security numbers to determine whether they are authorized to work in the U.S.

    In that case, the court, in a 5-3 decision, said Congress specifically left the door open to states to enact business licensing schemes.

    Mr. Wildes said the two cases are different and that the E-Verify decision won't set a precedent for the law enforcement case, but Mr. Kobach said it is an example of concurrent enforcement by states using a federal tool. He also said since that case is now official precedent, he will be looking to see whether the justices who dissented will now feel bound by it.

    The list of those who have officially intervened to keep tabs on the current case reads like a who's who of the immigration movement: Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who supports the law; two former Arizona attorneys general who opposed the law; the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union, who have taken the lead as the labor movement has embraced legalization; the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which also pushes for legalization of illegal immigrants; and Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

    Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case in December, presumably because of her work as solicitor general.

    Arguing on behalf of Arizona is Paul D. Clement — the same man who argued the recent case for challengers to Mr. Obama's health care law.

    Power is top prize in Arizona immigration battle - Washington Times
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  10. #10
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    Showdown on Arizona immigration goes to Supreme Court


    David G. Savage - Tribune Washington Bureau (MCT) | Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012 12:09 am | No Comments Posted



    WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court and Obama administration are set for another politically charged clash Wednesday as the justices take up Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants.

    It will be a rematch of the attorneys who argued the health care case a month ago and another chapter in the partisan philosophical struggle over states' rights and the role of the federal government.

    And once again, Obama's lawyers are likely to face skeptical questions from the Supreme Court. Last year, the court's five more-conservative justices rebuffed the administration and upheld an earlier Arizona immigration law that targeted employers who hired illegal workers.

    To prevail this year, the administration must convince at least one of the five to switch sides and rule the state is going too far and interfering with the federal government's control over immigration policy.

    The election-year legal battle goes to the heart of the dispute between Republicans and Democrats over what to do about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.

    Arizona and five other Republican-led states seek a stepped-up effort to arrest and deport illegal immigrants. They say the federal system is "broken" and fault Obama for a "relaxed" enforcement policy.

    If cleared by the courts, Arizona would tell its police to check the immigration status of people they lawfully stop and suspect of being in the country illegally. If they were unable to show a driver's license or other "proof of legal presence," they would be arrested and held for federal immigration agents. Arizona also would make it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek work or to fail to carry immigration documents.

    For its part, Obama's administration favors targeted enforcement, not mass arrests of illegal immigrants.

    The administration has gone after drug traffickers, smugglers, violent felons, security risks and repeat border crossers. Last year, nearly 400,000 people were deported, a record high. At the same time, the administration says mere "unlawful presence" in this country is not a federal crime, and it opposes state efforts to round up and arrest more illegal immigrants.

    Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Utah also have adopted tough immigration enforcement laws. But judges have blocked many of their provisions, awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court..

    Washington lawyer Paul Clement, President George W. Bush's solicitor general, will argue for Arizona and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday; Obama's solicitor general, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., will argue the Democratic administration's case.

    Clement is arguing for a stronger state role in enforcing the immigration laws, a traditional federal function. Verrilli is contending that Arizona's "maximum enforcement" policy for immigration goes too far and conflicts with federal policy.

    The court's decision, expected by the end of June, could ignite the immigration issue in the presidential campaign.

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he supports laws in Arizona and elsewhere that seek to drive away illegal immigrants. "The answer is self-deportation," he said in one debate.

    President Barack Obama, on the other hand, has expressed concern about the effect on millions of normally law-abiding Latinos, including those with U.S. citizenship.

    The Arizona law "potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption," Obama said in a recent interview. The president also supports the DREAM Act, a proposal that would offer a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who earn diplomas or serve in the military.

    Two years ago, Obama's lawyers sued in federal court in Phoenix to block Arizona's law. They argued the federal government's exclusive power over immigration "preempts" the state's law. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton agreed, as did the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Its 2-1 decision put on hold four key parts of Arizona's law, including the stop-and-arrest provision.

    If elected president, Romney has pledged to "drop these lawsuits on day one."

    The Supreme Court, however, may revive most or all of Arizona's law by the summer.

    Last year, the court, in a 5-3 decision, upheld the Arizona law that would take away the business licenses of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. The Obama administration, civil rights groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had contended this state enforcement measure clashed with federal immigration law.

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. disagreed and sounded a states' rights theme. He said the law sets a "high threshold" for striking down a state law as "preempted for conflicting with the purposes of a federal act." Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. agreed.

    The court's three liberal justices supported the administration's view. Justice Elena Kagan sat out last year's case and also has withdrawn from this year's, apparently because of her role as solicitor general during Obama's first year in office. Her absence could lead to a 4-4 split, which would affirm the 9th Circuit's decision.

    If the Supreme Court reverses the 9th Circuit's decision, Latino advocacy groups say they will go back to court in Phoenix and seek to block the law on civil rights grounds.


    Read more: Showdown on Arizona immigration goes to Supreme Court

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