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Sheriff Joe Arpaio faces off against the Department of Justice




Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks with a reporter outside city jail. The US Justice Department sued Arpaio, his office and the county over civil rights violations involving racial profiling.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks with a reporter outside city jail. The US Justice Department sued Arpaio, his office and the county over civil rights violations involving racial profiling.
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

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The Justice Department's suit against Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio heads to court this week, related to charges that his office unlawfully discriminated against Latinos and disregarded basic constitutional rights. It's one of several legal challenges in Arizona that could end up undoing portions of controversial law SB 1070 that was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Kevin Johnson, dean of UC Davis Law School, says this case will have ramifications beyond SB 1070 and other states that have created similar laws. "It is definitely the case that Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia are all paying attention to the Supreme Court decision in SB 1070 and what is going on in Arizona with this litigation," Johnson said. "The most significant concern that civil rights advocates have with SB 1070 kinds of laws is racial profiling, and I think that is going to attract attention nationally."

Guest:

Jude Joffe-Block reporter at Phoenix's KJZZ and the Fronteras Desk