Photo by IslesPunkFan/Flickr (Creative Commons)
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would take up an appeal by the state of Arizona regarding SB 1070, the state's controversial and trend-setting 2010 anti-illegal immigration law that has since inspired similar laws in other states. Before it was implemented in July of last year, a federal judge in Arizona blocked some of SB 1070's main provisions, including one that would empower local police to check the immigration status of people they suspect of being in the country illegally.
The Supreme Court justices won’t be weighing the merits of SB 1070, but rather the merits of the lower federal court judge’s decision, made pending a constitutional challenge from the Obama administration filed shortly before the law took effect and since upheld in appeals court. That lawsuit asserts that immigration law is the domain of the federal government, pre-empting state attempts to set their own rules.