Today, eight justices of the Supreme Court (Associate Justice Elena Kagan, formerly President Obama’s solicitor general, has recused herself) will hear oral arguments in The United States v. Arizona, a case that will decide whether the Obama administration may impose its strategic neglect of federal immigration laws on the states, or whether instead the states may use their law-enforcement resources to “do the jobs
Americans the Justice Department won’t do.”
In April 2010, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act into law. The tough, commonsense immigration-enforcement package that would come to be known simply as S.B. 1070 had passed comfortably in both houses of Arizona’s legislature and enjoyed broad public support. But in July of 2010, the Obama Justice Department asked a federal court for, and was granted, an injunction against enforcement of major provisions of the law, including the requirement that police make an effort to ascertain the immigration status of lawfully detained individuals when there is reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally; the complementary requirement that immigrants carry federal immigration papers or be subject to misdemeanor charges; and the imposition of penalties on illegal immigrants who improperly seek work. In April of 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals added to the annals of its infamy by upholding this injunction, and in December the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal.
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