On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that most of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB1070, is preempted by federal jurisdiction over immigration policy. The Court upheld the part of the law that allows (or in some cases requires) police officers to check the immigration status of those they detain for other reasons. But even this aspect of the law was upheld narrowly (on grounds that it is too early to rule on whether it is preempted by federal law) and is likely to be subject to further challenge.


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Within minutes, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer released a statement, which begins as follows:

Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for the 10th Amendment and all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens. After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.

The governor doth protest too little; it is not a great legal victory for Arizona.

There was a surprising consistency of reasonable characterization in “mainstream media” early reaction, such as the Washington Post calling the ruling a “partial victory” for the Obama administration, and a Phoenix CBS television station describing it as a “small victory.” Even Reuters’ initial analysis was entitled “High Court upholds key part of Arizona immigration law.”

As if to rub salt in Arizona’s wound, later on Monday the Obama administration ended what are known as “287 agreements” with Arizona which had effectively deputized local law enforcement officials to help implement federal immigration law. One can just hear Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano cackling, “How does that ‘victory’ feel now, Jan?”

Read More at The American Spectator. By Ross Kaminsky.



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