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SB 1070 Ban Will Get Supreme Court Review

Staff Reporters |
December 12, 2011 | 9:43 a.m. PST

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. (Creative Commons)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. (Creative Commons)
The Supreme Court will decide this coming summer whether Arizona should be able to fully enforce its controversial immigration law SB 1070.

The legislation, signed in April 2010, gave Arizona authorities the power to enforce laws addressing illegal immigrants. Those laws have generally been enforced only by the federal government, and Arizona will ask the Supreme Court to rethink that longstanding policy.

Lower courts have banned the state from enforcing the toughest provisions of the law, ruling them unconstitutional. As the Tucson Citizen explains:

"If the Supreme Court lifts the injunction, SB 1070 could go into effect in its entirety. Or the judges could lift portions of the stay.

If the Supreme Court upholds the entire injunction, SB 1070 will return to [a lower federal] court, though it would be bound by the rulings and interpretations of the higher courts. The Department of Justice could then ask [the lower court judge] to rule in its favor on the full case and issue a permanent injunction.

And given her prior ruling and the higher court decisions, the case would likely then be dead and those portions of the law would never go into effect."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer commended the Supreme Court for agreeing to hear the case.

"Arizona has been more than patient waiting for Washington to secure the border," she said in a statement on her Facebook page. "Decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation, and states deserve clarity from the Court in terms of what role they have in fighting illegal immigration. I’m pleased this nationally important issue will be resolved by the highest court in the land."

The video below describes some of the issues the high court will grapple with. Both sides will likely argue their case in April with the ruling coming a few months later.

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