U.S. Supreme Court will Decide Constitutionality of Arizona SB 1070 Law
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether an aggressive Arizona statute targeting illegal immigrants interferes with federal law, entering another high-profile dispute between the Obama administration and conservative state governments.
Among other provisions intended to drive illegal immigrants from the state, the 2010 Arizona measure, known as SB 1070, requires police to arrest people they stop whom they suspect of being foreigners without authorization to reside in the U.S. Federal courts have blocked much of the Arizona measure from taking effect, agreeing with the Justice Department that it undermines federal authority over immigration.
The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to hear the case by April and issue a decision before July. That is the same time it is expected to rule on the president’s 2010 health-care overhaul, which conservative activists and Republican leaders from 26 states contend exceeds federal authority.
The scheduling positions both cases for a significant role in next year’s presidential and congressional elections—and could make the Supreme Court, certain to be criticized by the losers in each case, itself an issue. Four of the nine justices are in their 70s, suggesting the next president could have at least one vacancy to fill on the closely divided court.
Arizona has become the center stage of the immigration debate over the last few years. Many other states have followed Arizona’s aggressive approach towards illegal immigration.