The U.S. Supreme Court today accepted certiorari on Arizona v. U.S., to consider the constitutionality of Arizona infamous S.B. 1070 law, aka “The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.” The Court will likely rule on the matter right in the middle of the presidential election race next year, making it immediately one of the immigration stories of the year for 2012.
At issue is whether or not a state’s attempts to legislate immigration reform within its borders treads unconstitutionally upon the Federal government’s turf. The issue is ripe for adjudication at the Supreme Court level, as other states such as Alabama and South Carolina have begun to follow Arizona’s example, and are in fact each racing to be the toughest state on unlawful immigration in the nation.
Arizona and other states have said that illegal immigration is causing public safety and economic hardships, and legislation is necessary. One of the most controversial aspects of Arizona’s SB 1070 is the provisions that require law enforcement officers to ask for immigration documentation with standard police stops.
Justice Kagan recuses herself from the case, due to her participation on the issues on behalf of the Federal Government as Solicitor General during the early stages of the litigation, before her appointment. At least 12 amicus briefs have been submitted to date.