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Three things to know as Supreme Court prepares to issue SB 1070 ruling this month

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

There are three weeks left in the U.S. Supreme Court's current term, and it's during this time that the high court is to issue its ruling on Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law. It's been one of the court's most closely-watched cases this year, with the potential to have a broad effect on the degree to which states can pursue their own immigration laws.

What exactly will the court be ruling on, what is at stake, and what might the outcome be? Here are some key bullet points as we await a ruling on Arizona v. United States:

What the justices are weighing

In a nutshell, after hearing oral arguments in April, the Supreme Court justices are deciding on whether provisions of Arizona’s state law are in conflict with federal immigration law. This is what the federal government asserted in its legal challenge filed in July 2010, shortly before SB 1070 partly took effect. That month, a federal judge in Phoenix issued a ruling temporarily blocking four of the measure’s most controversial provisions.