Monday, June 25, 2012

SCOTUS Strikes Down (Most Of) AZ's SB 1070

The United States Supreme Court issued a split decision in the case of Arizona's controversial attempt to legislate immigration (and immigrants) with SB 1070. In Arizona v. United States, the nation's highest court  struck down 3 of the 4 provisions of the law by a 5-3 vote, but allowed what some viewed as the most offensive provision, dubbed the "papers, please" law to go into effect, unanimously. However, the Court also left open legal challenges (including on civil rights and equal protection grounds) after the law is actually operationalized by Arizona. If the "papers, please" results in racial profiling, it will be quite vulnerable to constitutional attack.

The U.S. Supreme Court was expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare) today, but that ruling will probably now happen at 10am on Thursday.


Bryan J Blumberg said...

Soñia Sotomayor, the Latina justice, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the ACLU justice, both voted to support "papers please". Do you care to comment on that?

Ron Buckmire said...

Yes. As I intimated, the USSC only struck down the parts of SB 1070 which on their face violate the U.S. constitution. The "papers, please" law, in practice, almost certainly violates the Constitution but just by looking at it one could say that theoretically it is not discriminatory.

However it is almost certain that Arizona will apply the law in a way that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity and national origin, at which case the law will almost be certainly struck down by the USSC.


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