How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The latest challenge to SB 1070's controversial Section 2(B)

Photo by SEIU International/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A protester holds a union anti-SB 1070 sign, May 1, 2010

Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down three of four controversial provisions of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law that had been temporarily blocked by a lower court. But they upheld the most contentious one, Section 2(B), which empowers local cops to check the immigration status of people they stop or detain if they decide there is "reasonable suspicion" the person is in the country illegally.

So given the court's decision, why, then, is there a renewed legal challenge to Section 2(B) before it takes effect? Like most of the legal wrangling that has surrounded SB 1070, it's complicated.

When they issued their ruling on SB 1070 in late June, the justices made clear that Section 2(B) was not entirely out of the woods. While it did not on its face appear to conflict with federal law - the basis of the federal legal challenge that eventually led SB 1070 to the high court - there was no guarantee that it would not present a conflict once implemented, the justices ruled.

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Posts of the week: Dissecting the SB 1070 decision, more

Photo by S.E.B./Flickr (Creative Commons)

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

And what a week it's been. The U.S. Supreme Court issued two of its most anticipated rulings of the year, Monday on Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law and Thursday on the Affordable Care Act.

On my particular beat, anticipation had been building over the SB 1070 decision since the high court agreed to take Arizona's appeal late last year, inching higher in the last couple of weeks each time the court issued opinions, but not one on Arizona v. United States.

It's no wonder that after it all wound down this week, I came down with a nasty bug. Which will make for a short list of highlights this week, but no matter. I'm including some bonus links to a few pieces on what the court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act means for immigrants.

Without further ado, some highlights from the week.

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SB 1070 after the Supreme Court ruling: What happens next?

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court settled the matter of Arizona v. United States, deciding to preserve a key provision of Arizona's controversial SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law while striking down three others. But because the high court was only weighing whether four provisions of the law conflicted with federal law, there is much still left unsettled, and legal wrangling over SB 1070 isn't due to end any time soon.

The one provision the justices did not strike down was Section 2(B), the most hotly contested provision of SB 1070, which empowers local police to check the immigration status of people they stop, detain or arrest if there is “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally. The court ruled that, as written, this provision did not conflict with federal law, although it remains to be seen if it will violate federal law in practice.

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What the Supreme Court's SB 1070 decision settles - and what it doesn't

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Protesters rally in Phoenix on July 29, 2010, the day SB 1070 was partly enacted with four provisions blocked.

Arizona v. United States has been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, but this doesn't mean the legal battle over Arizona's SB 1070 is anywhere near over. In fact, the court didn't even address the law's most controversial aspect.

What the justices decided today is whether four contested sections of the 2010 anti-illegal immigration law encroached upon the federal government's ability to set immigration policy, and thus were preempted by federal law. This was the basis of the Obama administration's July 2010 legal challenge, filed shortly before the law took effect.

On the eve of its implementation, a federal judge in Phoenix issued a temporary injunction blocking SB 1070's four most controversial provisions. Today's decision marked the end of a long and costly appeal by the state of Arizona.

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Highlights from today's SB 1070 decision

Photo by Kitty Felde/KPCC

The crowd outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. as the court heard arguments on Arizona's SB 1070 April 25, 2012

It's been a very big news day with the U.S. Supreme Court announcing its decision on Arizona's SB 1070 this morning, and I've been posting updates directly to the KPCC website instead of here on Multi-American.

But I'd like to share what my colleagues and I have put together on the decision by now, which is quite a bit. In a nutshell, the justices decided to uphold the most controversial section of the law, while striking down three other provisions in question. There's more to come, but here are some highlights from our reporting and talk shows today so far:

Supreme Court upholds key provision of SB 1070, strikes down the rest Initial reporting on the court's decision, with a breakdown of which provisions of the law were struck down and upheld. The provision the justices upheld was Section 2(B), which empowers local police to check for immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" that someone is here illegally.

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