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  1. #1

    Supreme Court signals it's OK with parts of Arizona's immigration law

    Supreme Court signals it's OK with parts of Arizona's immigration law

    agoSupreme Court signals it's OK with parts of Arizona's immigration law
    AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
    Leonida Martinez, left, from Phoenix, Ariz., and others, take part in a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, as the court questions Arizona's "show me your papers" law.

    By NBC News and staff
    Updated 1:35 p.m. ET: The U.S. Supreme Court indicated Wednesday it appears ready to uphold one of the most controversial parts of Arizona's immigration law: a requirement that police officers check the immigration status of people they think are in the country illegally.

    Wading into a highly divisive issue in the middle of a presidential campaign year, conservative and liberal justices who heard oral arguments on Wednesday morning seemed to find no strong objection to that section of the law, which also allows police to stop and arrest anyone they reasonably believe is in the country illegally.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, who casts the deciding vote in many cases, referred to the "social and economic disruption'' that states endure as a result of a flood of illegal immigrants and suggested that states such as Arizona have authority to act.

    Advertise | AdChoices"You can see it's not selling very well," Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the more liberal-leaning judges, told Obama administration Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, referring to his arguments that the law would lead to harassment of citizens.

    Arizona appeared to have a tougher time defending two other provisions of the law that are now blocked: making it a state crime to have no federal immigration papers and making it a state crime for an illegal immigrant to look for work. Neither is currently a federal crime.

    The court session ran 20 minutes beyond the scheduled hour, with Verrilli arguing the case for the Obama administration and Washington attorney Paul Clement, who served as President George W. Bush’s solicitor general from 2005 to 2008, representing Arizona and its Republican governor, Jan Brewer.

    Art Lien

    Courtroom sketch of Paul Clement, the lawyer arguing the immigration case on behalf of Arizona, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel Alito.

    Chief Justice John Roberts dismissed the administration's arguments that the Arizona law conflicted with the federal system, saying Arizona’s measure is "an effort to help you enforce federal law.''

    The four conservative justices, Roberts, Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, all asked tough questions of Verrilli. Fellow conservative Justice Clarence Thomas did not ask any questions, but based on past votes is expected to support the Arizona law.

    Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case because she had previously worked on it while serving as the solicitor general for Obama.

    Arizona's controversial immigration law heads to the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow. NBC's Pete Williams offers a preview. Tamar Jacoby, ImmigrationWorks USA, and Alan Wilson, South Carolina Attorney General, weigh in.

    Verrilli tried to persuade the justices that they should view the law in its entirety and said it was inconsistent with federal immigration policy. He said the records check would allow the state to "engage effectively in mass incarceration" of undocumented immigrants.

    Supreme Court to hear Arizona immigration case: Who wins, loses?
    As immigration case goes before high court, what it means for 2012

    But Roberts said the state merely wants to notify federal authorities it has someone in custody who may be in the U.S. illegally. "It seems to me that the federal government just doesn't want to know who's here illegally and who's not," Roberts said.

    The Obama administration argues that only the federal government, not states, has the right to set immigration policy. It says Arizona cannot impose immigration laws that conflict with federal laws.

    Arizona says it enacted SB 1070 because the federal government has failed to stop an influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico. It says its law doesn’t conflict with federal statute, and in fact does specifically what the federal law is supposed to do.

    The legislation was signed into law by Brewer in April 2010 but key parts of the law were put on hold by lower courts pending action by the Supreme Court on the challenge from the Obama administration. Arizona’s law has inspired similar laws in other states.
    Brewer was on hand for the final argument of the Supreme Court's term.

    Outside the Supreme Court, supporters and opponents of the law held their own court, giving speeches, holding banners and singing songs. At one point, supporters of the law started singing, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” The Wall Street Journal reported. Opponents joined in, and both groups sang the end of the national anthem together, the Journal reported.

    Advertise | AdChoicesThe Supreme Court is expected to render a decision before the end of June.

    It’s the second high-profile case involving the Obama administration to be argued this year before the Supreme Court. Last month, the court heard oral arguments on a constitutional challenge to Obama’s sweeping health care law.

    One of the main architects of the Arizona law, former Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce, has described the unabated flow of illegal aliens into the country as one of the “greatest threats to our nation.”

    “We have a national crisis, and yet we continue to ignore it," Pearce, who was removed from office last year in a recall election, testified on Tuesday at a U.S. Senate hearing.

    U.S. News - Supreme Court signals it's OK with parts of Arizona's immigration law

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Arizona; Deepintheheart of Mojadoville
    GREAT news so far...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Arizona; Deepintheheart of Mojadoville
    re: "But (Chief Justice) Roberts said the State merely wants to notify federal authorities it has someone in custody who may be in the U.S. illegally. "It seems to me that the federal government just doesn't want to know who's here illegally and who's not," Roberts said."

    ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY Correct Mr Chief Justice. THIS Administration considers them as "perspective DEMOCRATIC voters" (legal or not) .

  4. #4

    Justices Seem Sympathetic to Central Part of Arizona Law

    Justices Seem Sympathetic to Central Part of Arizona Law
    Published: April 25, 2012

    WASHINGTON — Justices across the ideological spectrum appeared inclined to uphold a controversial part of Arizona’s aggressive 2010 immigration law, based on their questions on Wednesday at a Supreme Court argument.

    “You can see it’s not selling very well,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a liberal-leaning justice and the first Hispanic appointed to the court, told Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. Mr. Verrilli, representing the federal government, was seeking to strike part of the law’s requirement that state law enforcement officials determine the immigration status of anyone they stop if the officials have reason to believe that the individual might be an illegal immigrant.

    It was harder to read the court’s attitude toward other provisions of the law, and the final ruling, expected by June, may be a split decision.

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made clear that the case, like last month’s arguments over President Obama’s health care law, was about the allocation of state and federal power.

    “No part of your argument has to do with racial or ethnic profiling?” the chief justice asked Mr. Verrilli, who agreed.

    Unlike the narrow legal arguments, the political controversies have centered on whether the law unfairly singles out minorities, legal or not.

    Should the court uphold most or all of the Arizona law or strike down the heart of the health care law, it would represent a political blow to President Obama in the final stretch of the campaign season. The decision on the health care law is also expected in June.

    Wednesday’s argument, the last of the term, was a rematch between the main lawyers in last month’s case. Paul D. Clement, who argued for the 26 states challenging the health care law, represented Arizona. Mr. Verrilli again represented the federal government. In an unusual move, the court allowed the argument to last 20 minutes longer than the scheduled 60 minutes.

    The two lawyers presented sharply contrasting accounts of what the Arizona law meant to achieve.

    Mr. Clements said the state was making an effort to address an emergency situation with a law that complemented federal immigration policy. “Arizona borrowed the federal standards as its own,” he said.

    Mr. Verrilli countered that Arizona’s approach was in conflict with the federal efforts. “The Constitution vests executive authority over immigration with the national government,” he said.

    The Arizona law, sometimes called S.B. 1070, advances what it calls a policy of “attrition through enforcement,” and it has been something of a trendsetter. It was followed by similar and sometimes harsher laws in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah. All have been subject to court challenges, and lower courts have blocked some of their provisions.

    The Obama administration sued to block the Arizona law, saying it could not be reconciled with federal laws and policies. The case is thus not directly about civil rights but rather about the allocation of authority between the federal government and the states. In legal terms, it is about whether federal law “pre-empts,” or displaces, the challenged state law.

    As a general matter, federal laws trump conflicting state laws under the Constitution’s supremacy clause. But no federal law bars the challenged provisions of S.B. 1070 in so many words, and the question for the justices is whether federal and state laws are in such conflict that the state law must yield.

    Last year, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, blocked four provisions of the law on those grounds.

    Most of the argument on Wednesday concerned the part of the law requiring state officials to check immigration status in some circumstances. That provision also requires that the immigration status of people who are arrested be determined before they are released.

    Several justices said states were entitled to enact such provisions, which make mandatory practices that are already widespread.

    “What does sovereignty mean if it does not include the ability to defend your borders?” Justice Antonin Scalia asked.

    Chief Justice Roberts said the state law merely requires that the federal government be informed of immigration violations and leaves enforcement decisions to it. “It seems to me that the federal government just doesn’t want to know who is here illegally and who’s not,” he said.

    The law also makes it a crime under state law for immigrants to fail to register under a federal law and for illegal immigrants to work or to try to find work. In addition, it allows the police to arrest people without warrants if they have probable cause to believe that they have committed acts that would make them deportable under federal law.

    The two sides advanced slightly different arguments concerning each provision. In general, though, the question for the justices is whether the priorities set by the state law and the harsher punishments in it would frustrate the ability of the federal authorities to strike a different balance.

    In his brief, Mr. Verrilli urged the court to consider the question against the backdrop of both the federal government’s role in controlling immigration and the foreign policy considerations arising from taking actions against citizens of other nations. Mr. Clement, by contrast, emphasized what he said was the disproportionate burden illegal immigration imposed on Arizona and the ineffectiveness of the federal response.

    Last year, in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the Supreme Court held that a different Arizona law, this one imposing harsh penalties on businesses that hire illegal workers, was not pre-empted by federal law. The vote was 5 to 3, and it split along ideological lines.

    Chief Justice Roberts, writing for four of the justices in the majority, said the state law under review “simply seeks to enforce” a federal ban on hiring illegal workers. “Arizona went the extra mile,” he wrote last year, “in ensuring that its law closely tracks” the federal one.

    Mr. Clement told the justices that S.B. 1070 took the same general approach.

    Justice Elena Kagan disqualified herself from both the Whiting case and the one concerning the newer law, Arizona v. United States, No. 11-182, presumably because she had worked on them as solicitor general.

    States around the nation are closely following the Arizona case, and a majority of them have joined friend-of-the-court briefs. Sixteen of them sided with Arizona, while 11 supported the federal government.

  5. #5
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Gheen, Minnesota, United States
    This is great news for our American team and is going to hit the illegals and their supporters like a ton of bricks!

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  6. #6
    Senior Member nomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    NC and Canada. Got a foot in both worlds
    All I can say is: WOOOOO HOOOOO!

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