Arizona Immigration Law Review Is Underway by the U.S. Supreme Court
While the U.S. Supreme Court's review of Arizona's immigration law is underway, reports are coming in from numerous media outlets about the Supreme Court justices' questioning and oral arguments of both sides of the case. Both sides took the floor with Obama administration Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. representing the federal government and Paul Clement, former solicitor general under President George W. Bush (2005 to 2008), representing Arizona, and Governor Jan Brewer.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Chief Justice John Roberts emphasized that the Supreme Court was evaluating state rights versus federal government rights not civil rights issues that are currently subject to other cases, such as ethnic profiling.
MSNBC and NBC News reported that stances the U.S. Supreme Court appears to be taking include:
- Upholding the requirement for police officers to determine the status of people they arrest or stop that they reasonably suspect are here illegally. Liberal and the Supreme Court's only Hispanic judge, Justice Sonia Sotomayor challenged Verrilli saying that the state government's alerting the federal authorities that a person may be present illegally does not force the federal government to change its enforcement policies.
- Arizona law provisions (blocked by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit) that still appeared questionable in Supreme Court justices' eyes included:
- Making it a crime for non-citizens not to carry documentation;
- Blocking the right to work by making it illegal for undocumented immigrants to hold jobs;
While this case will set a precedent for other states, it is likely the beginning of numerous lawsuits that will establish case law for immigration.
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