We've got a decision in the Arizona immigration case -- and it appears the court had ruled most of it, although not all of it, invalid because it conflicts with federal law. The court said one part of the law -- which requires officers to determine the immigration status of people they arrest -- needs more judicial scrutiny, but is likely to be constitutional.
The other part of the law are not.
The court also said life without parole for juveniles violates the 8th amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and turned back a challenge to a Montana law on corporate campaign spending -- reaffirming Citizens United.
From the majority opinion:
"The National Government has significant power to regulate immigration. With power comes responsibility, and the sound exercise of national power over immigration depends on the Nation’s meeting its responsibility to base its laws on a political will informed by searching, thoughtful, rational civic discourse. Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law."
From the Scalia dissent:
"..Arizona is entitled to have “its own immigration policy”—including a more rigorous enforcement policy—so long as that does not conflict with federal law. The Court says, as though the point is utterly dispositive, that “it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States,” ante, at 15. It is not a federal crime, to be sure. But there is no reason Arizona cannot make it a state crime for a removable alien (or any illegal alien, for that matter) to remain present in Arizona."
But there is MUCH work to be done on the decision to fully understand it.
More to come.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona's crackdown on immigrants.
But the court said Monday that one much-debated part of the law could go forward – the portion requiring police to check the status of someone they suspect is not in the United States legally. Even there, though, the justices said the provision could be subject to additional legal challenges.
The decision upholds the “show me your papers” provision for the moment. But it takes the teeth out of it by prohibiting police officers from arresting people on minor immigration charges.
Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion for the court that was unanimous on allowing the status check to go forward. The court was divided on striking down the other portions.