Supreme Court strikes down most SB 1070 provisions
Police allowed to check immigration status
from Dylan Smith
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law on Monday, invalidating most of its provisions. The justices did allow police to check the immigration status of those they arrest.
The high court in a 4-3 vote that most of SB 1070′s provisions are pre-empted by federal authority.
Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the opinion, which was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Dissenting were Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Justice Elena Kagen recused herself from the case because of work she did while U.S. solicitor general.
The 2010 law made it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It requires that police check immigration status if they have reasonable suspicion to believe someone is here illegally.
The court heard oral arguments on SB 1070 in April. Justices were sceptical of several of the U.S. Justice Department’s arguments for continuing to block the law, enforcement of which was stayed by a federal judge in 2010.
Similar laws have since passed in a handful of states.
But a federal judge blocked parts of Arizona’s law after the Justice Department sued, claiming the state was trampling on federal authority to regulate immigration.
That July 2010 preliminary injunction kept most of the law’s provisions from being enforced. In April 2011, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction, setting the stage for the Supreme Court case.
The Supreme Court did not rule on
the constitutionality of President Obama’s
health care law Monday, pushing the
announcement of the decision to Thursday morning.