Arizona v. U.S.: A Recap of the Arguments at the Supreme Court

By:  Joe Wolverton, II
Arizona v. U.S.: A Recap of the Arguments at the Supreme Court

Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the federal government's case challenging the constitutionality of SB 1070 — Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law.

 Last week the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the case of Arizona v. United States regarding the Grand Canyon State's anti-illegal immigration statute — SB 1070.

The question before the eight justices (Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case because prior to taking her place on the Supreme Court bench she worked for the Solicitor General on the government’s argument against Arizona) is constitutionally very critical. The issue is: “whether the federal immigration laws preclude Arizona's efforts at cooperative law enforcement and impliedly preempt these four provisions" of SB 1070.

The following are the four key provisions of the law whose constitutionality are in question:

1. A requirement that local police officers check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws if “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the United States illegally.

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

3. A section making it a state crime for “unauthorized immigrants” to fail to carry registration papers and other government identification.

4. A ban on 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.

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