WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court and the Obama administration are set for another politically charged clash Wednesday as the justices take up Arizona's tough crackdown on illegal immigrants.FLASHBACK: "'Phoenix Rising' for SB 1070 at Arizona State Capitol."
It will be a rematch of the attorneys who argued the healthcare case a month ago, and another chapter in the partisan philosophical struggle over states' rights and the role of the federal government.
And once again, President Obama's lawyers are likely to face skeptical questions from the high court. Last year, the court's five more-conservative justices rebuffed the administration and upheld an earlier Arizona immigration law that targeted employers who hired illegal workers.
To prevail this year, the administration must convince at least one of the five to switch sides and rule that the state is going too far and interfering with the federal government's control over immigration policy.
The election-year legal battle goes to the heart of the dispute between Republicans and Democrats over what to do about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.
Arizona and five other Republican-led states seek a stepped-up effort to arrest and deport illegal immigrants. They say the federal system is broken and fault Obama for what they consider a "relaxed" enforcement policy.
If cleared by the courts, Arizona would tell its police to check the immigration status of people they lawfully stop and suspect of being in the country illegally. If they were unable to show a driver's license or other "proof of legal presence," they would be arrested and held for federal immigration agents. Arizona also would make it a crime to lack immigration papers or for illegal immigrants to seek work.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
At the Los Angeles Times, "Showdown on Arizona immigration law goes to Supreme Court":