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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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No ruling on SB 1070; more Supreme Court opinions expected Monday

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

We'll have to wait until next week for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070, Arizona's controversial 2010 anti-illegal immigration law. The high court justices issued opinions today on four cases heard this year, but not on the most highly anticipated or contentious ones, which include not only SB 1070 but the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

More opinions are expected next week, and a ruling on Arizona v. United States could come as early as Monday. In the meantime, some background from previous posts as we wait:

What the justices are weighing

The justices are deciding on whether provisions of SB 1070 are in conflict with federal immigration law, as the Obama administration 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.

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When to expect a ruling on SB 1070?

Not today, at least. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to announce its opinion on Arizona's controversial 2010 anti-illegal immigration law before the end of this month, and eyes were on the court this morning as opinions were issued. But we'll have to keep waiting, at least a few days more, possibly longer.

This morning during a liveblog of other high court opinions as they were handed down, the legal experts at the SCOTUSblog predicted that the justices would be waiting until close to the end of the month, issuing the ruling June 27. But, as one noted, "it may not be quite as controversial as expected among the Justices, so Monday the 21st is a possibility."

That's not to say it can't come sooner. The court, which heard oral arguments in April on Arizona's challenge to the federal government's preemption claim, will issue more opinions this coming Thursday on cases heard this year, including on the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

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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.

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