Is Arizona's SB 1070 Immigration Law Illegal?


On Monday, the Supreme Court announced it will rule on Arizona's SB 1070, the tough anti-immigration law enacted by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. 

The case joins a host of significant others that the Court will hear this year, including challenges to President Barack Obama’s health care bill and a case on how Texas will conduct its elections.

Arizona enacted its immigration law in April 2010. When Gov. Brewer signed the bill, she called it a way for Arizona to "solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix." But, the Obama administration sued to block four parts of the bill, including a provision requiring state law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest if they believe the individual might be an illegal immigrant. The law also allows the police to arrest people without warrants if they have probable cause to believe they should be deported.

The Obama administration has argued that the bill is an imposition on immigration powers belonging solely to federal authorities. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, sided with the government and blocked all four provisions. But the New York Times writes that the "majority of justices may look favorably on the positions of state officials, which would entail upholding the Arizona immigration law."

How should the Supreme Court rule on the Arizona immigration law? Is SB 1070 legal?

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