Governor Brewer Issues Statement on SCOTUS SB 1070 Decision

The slippery slope (and the spin) now begins. Here is what Arizona Governor Jan Brewer released this morning after the Supreme Court struck down most of her state's controversial SB1070 law. She is hinging her hopes on the "check your papers" provisions, which was deemed as constitutional even though it will be closely monitored by the federal government and will likely be challenged if abused.

Even Though It Struck Down Most of SB 1070, SCOTUS Upholds the “Check Your Papers” Provision

This just in from the Supreme Court regarding Arizona's SB 1070 laws and AZ Central provides a very good summary of today's opinion:

The Supreme Court has ruled that one key part of the Arizona immigration law known as Senate Bill 1070 is constitutional, paving the way for it to go into effect. The court ruled that the other three parts are unconstitutional.

The court, in a 5-3 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, upheld the portion of the law that requires an officer to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there's reasonable suspicion that person is in the country illegally.

Kennedy wrote that it was improper for the lower courts to halt the portion requiring police to check immigration status "without some showing that (the section's) enforcement in fact conflicts with federal immigration law and its objectives."

"The mandatory nature of status checks does not interfere with the federal immigration scheme."

Even though the "papers please" provision was upheld, the opinion from SCOTUS suggests that if the provision is broadly applied, it would get struck down too. From the opinion (which is below):

‎As a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain in the United States. The federal scheme instructs when it is appropriate to arrest an alien during the removal process.

In the end, even though all the other provision were struck down, this one provision was the crux of SB1070. What SCOTUS did strike down was as follows:

Justices struck down a part of the law that would have tightened punishments for working illegally in the state and made non-compliance to federal immigration registration laws a state misdemeanor.

Finally, POLITICO released a plain English summary of all this. Good for them.

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down several parts of the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law but rejected a challenge to the law's most controversial provision. That measure, requiring police to conduct immigration checks on individuals they arrest or merely stop for questioning whom they suspect are in the U.S. illegally, does not appear to violate the Constitution by intruding on the federal government's powers to control immigration, the court said. However, the justices said further legal challenges to the provision can go forward after that part of the law takes effect.

Here is the complete opinion. Once we have more, we will share.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of US Supreme Court April 25 Arguments: ARIZONA v UNITED STATES

The opinions are flowing in about today's Supreme Court arguments in ARIZONA v UNITED STATES, which focuses on the constitutionality of Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law. In addition, the official SCOTUS blog offers an analysis of the proceedings.

The full official transcript can be found and downloaded here from the official site of the Supreme Court. Audio will be released on Friday.

In addition, the SCOTUS blog provided an official afternoon roundup of the proceedings and the coverage surrounding the case (Kali Borkoski, Arizona v. United States SCOTUSblog Apr. 25, 2012, 4:29 PM):

This morning the Court heard oral argument in Arizona v. United States, which ran for an additional twenty minutes beyond the scheduled hour.   According to Tom’s first report, most of the argument was focused on Section 2(b) of S.B. 1070, which requires law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of anyone stopped or arrested when they have “reasonable suspicion” that that person is in the U.S. illegally.  In the news coverage of the argument, there was a general agreement that the Court seemed likely to uphold Section 2(B), although it was less clear how the Court might rule on the other provisions at issue.  Reporting and analysis on the argument are available from Lyle Denniston at this blog, Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times,  the Washington Post, the Associated Press (via the Seattle Times),ReutersMcClatchy,  CNNMSNBCFox News,  Huffington PostPolitico,  DC Dicta, and the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).  PolicyMic is hosting a debate on the constitutionality of S.B. 1070 featuring several guest contributors.

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog and PolicyMic both hosted live blogs of the day’s events (with a “tape delay” for coverage of the argument itself).

Coverage of the scene outside the Court morning is available from USA Today (including a photo gallery) and the Los Angeles Times.

The ACLU has posted an infographic on what’s at stake in the case for states with “copycat” laws similar to Arizona’s (h/t @Dailywrit). Education Week’s School Law blog considers the potential implications of the decision for education in Arizona and Alabama.