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Supreme Court Will Take on Arizona's Controversial Anti-Immigration Law

Protesting Arizona's SB 1070 in May 2010/Photo by Malingering via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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Remember SB 1070, that racist pesky law passed by Arizona voters last year that requires police officers to question the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest who they believe might be in the country illegally?

Well, after being enacted by voters and then halted by a federal judge, a case will now go before the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the injunction should remain in effect, and possibly whether the law itself is constitutional.

Detractors of the law, including members of the Obama administration, say that SB 1070 gives state police officers authority over immigration issues that have typically been the province of federal agents, reports CNN. In fact, the administration encouraged SCOTUS not to take up the case at all, a request that was apparently ignored.

When SB 1070 was passed, townships and municipalities in L.A. County were quick to take a stand against it. West Hollywood, Pasadena, Santa Monica and the city of Los Angeles all passed resolutions against the law -- most decided to limit their business dealings with Arizona. Police chief Charlie Beck also spoke out against SB 1070, and busloads of protesters from California rode down to Arizona to stand up against the law.

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is a leading voice in support of SB 1070, and has issued a statement on her website proclaiming her joy over the fact that this issue will go before the Supreme Court:

“I would like to commend the U.S. Supreme Court for its decision to review and hear arguments pertaining to the federal court injunction against critical portions of SB 1070. I am confident the High Court will uphold Arizona’s constitutional authority and obligation to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens. “This case is not just about Arizona. It’s about every state grappling with the costs of illegal immigration. And it’s about the fundamental principle of federalism, under which these states have a right to defend their people. Beyond the obvious safety issues, the fiscal burdens imposed upon Arizona by illegal immigration are daunting. Our state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year incarcerating criminal aliens and providing education and healthcare to individuals who entered and reside in this country in violation of our laws.

The court is expected to hear arguments in the case as soon as April of next year, reports CNN, and decide the case as early as June. Justice Elena Kagan will recuse herself from the proceedings.