Will the Supreme Court Uphold Arizona’s Immigration Law?

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The United States Supreme Court Wednesday ends the argument phase of
this memorable term with the Arizona immigration case. It’s a legal
dispute that is as
complicated as are the political, social, and economic
ramifications of the Grand Canyon State‘s

legislative effort to drive out its illegal residents. The
arguments will be made in turn by U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli
and Paul Clement,
who will be reprising the Hope-and-Crosby
roles they made famous just one month ago, in
the very same venue before the very same audience, during the
three-day-long arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act.

As a technical matter, Arizona v. United States
is about the
doctrine of implied federal preemption: whether a state may
develop its own laws and policies if they are “substantively compatible”
with federal
immigration law and policy. As a practical matter, however, Arizona’s SB
1070 has always been a form of political extortion.
If you won’t deal with illegal
immigrants the way we want you to, Arizona said to the federal
government in 2010, then we’ll wake you up and shake you up by taking
matters into our
own hands. Oh, and while we are at it, we’re going to sue you for damages for
allowing our state to be “invaded.

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