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Published On: Mon, Jun 25th, 2012

Supreme Court sides with US in Arizona immigration case

Arizona protesters 2010 photo/Chzz via wikimedia commons

The Supreme Court largely sided with the US Federal Government on Monday in Arizona’s immigration law case, but upheld police checks on immigration status and enforced other laws.

NY Times reports that the court unanimously sustained the law’s centerpiece, the one critics have called its “show me your papers” provision. It requires state law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest if there is reason to suspect that the individual might be an illegal immigrant.

“The national government has significant power to regulate immigration,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion, adding that “Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not pursue policies that undermined federal law.”

In a decision sure to ripple across the political landscape in a presidential election year, the court’s 5-3 ruling struck down key parts of the Arizona law.

The federal government challenged four provisions of the Arizona law that never were enforced, pending the legal ruling.

Provisions struck down included:

— Authorizing police to arrest immigrants without warrant where “probable cause” exists that they committed any public offense making them removable from the country.

— Making it a state crime for “unauthorized immigrants” to fail to carry registration papers and other government identification.

— Forbidding those not authorized for employment in the United States to apply, solicit or perform work. That would include immigrants standing in a parking lot who “gesture or nod” their willingness to be employed.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the minority, argued the court’s ruling encroached on Arizona’s sovereign powers.

“If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state,” Scalia wrote in the dissent backed by Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

The majority included Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Steven Breyer, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Justice Elena Kagan did not hear the case. Before taking the bench last year, she had been involved in the administration’s initial legal opposition to the law as solicitor general.

The Obama administration had argued immigration matters were strictly a federal function.

Arizona protesters 2010 photo/Chzz via wikimedia commons

Photo/donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Photo/donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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