The Supreme Court just announced that parts of Arizona’s harsh immigration law, SB 1070, are preempted by federal immigration law. Significantly, however, the justices did also held that it was “improper for the lower courts to enjoin Section 2(B), which requires police officers to check the legal status of anyone arrested for any crime before they can be released.”
Two significant points about the decision is that the Court voted 8-0 to reject this particular challenge to the show me your papers provision, with Kagan recused. The majority opinion also leaves open the possibility that a future challenge to this provision could succeed, including a claim that the law leads to unconstitutional racial profiling.
Georgetown Law professor David Cole said on CNN moments ago, “this is almost a total victory for the Obama administration.”
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is also claiming victory. “Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law,” she said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) notes: “[I]t is disturbing that Mitt Romney called the unconstitutional Arizona law a ‘model’ for immigration reform. Laws that legalize discrimination are not compatible with our nation’s ideals and traditions of equal rights, and the idea that such an unconstitutional law should serve as a ‘model’ for national reform is far outside the American mainstream.”