The Supreme Court announced today that it will be reviewing Arizona's widely known immigration-enforcement law, SB 1070. Arizona is asking the nation's top court to allow the state to enforce parts of the bill that have been blocked by lower courts at the request of the Obama administration.
In April of 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070, making Arizona the state with the nation's strictest laws against illegal immigration. At the time, Brewer described the bill as necessary to “solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix."
President Obama and his administration immediately voiced their opposition to the bill and the U.S. Department of Justice eventually filed a lawsuit against SB 1070. In April of this year, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a federal judge's ruling halting enforcement of four provisions in Arizona's SB 1070.
Among the four blocked provisions include a requirement that state law enforcement officials must determine the immigration status of any individual stopped or arrested. The same provision also required state officials to determine the immigration status of anyone arrested before they were released.
Another provision blocked by the Ninth Circuit included language that prohibited illegal aliens from looking for and obtaining jobs in the state.
Paul Clement, a lawyer representing the state of Arizona, asked justices to determine "whether states that bear a disproportionate burden of the costs of illegal immigration are powerless to use their own resources to enforce" immigration law.
The case of Arizona v. United States is likely to be scheduled for arguments sometime next spring, with a decision coming in the summer. Justice Elena Kagan announced that she would not participate in the case, because of her work on the case as solicitor general.
Arizona's SB 1070 has been the model for immigration enforcement legislation in Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Utah, and Indiana. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state in a challenge against its mandatory E-Verify law passed in 2007. The decision allows states to require businesses to use the mandatory employment verification system.