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The winners and losers in US Supreme Court’s SB 1070 ruling

Protesters opposed to Arizona's Immigration Law SB 1070 march through downtown Phoenix.
Protesters opposed to Arizona's Immigration Law SB 1070 march through downtown Phoenix.
Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images

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Today's long awaited U.S. Supreme Court decision is being deemed a victory for supporters and critics of Arizona's controversial 2010 anti-illegal immigration law.

Three main pillars of S.B. 1070 were struck down by justices in a split 5-3 decision: Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case. This includes it being a crime for illegal immigrants to apply for or hold a job in Arizona; immigrants being in violation of state law when not carrying valid immigration papers and the right of a police officer to make an arrest if they suspect someone has committed a crime that could lead to deportation.

Yet supporters of S.B.1070 are claiming a partial victory. The key 'show me your papers' provision remains, for now. It allows Arizona officers to stop and check the immigration status of people, if there is "reasonable suspicion" an individual is in the U.S. illegally. Today's decision has wider implications for other states looking to challenge federal law in immigration matters, including Alabama, Georgia, Utah and South Carolina.

What are your thoughts on the justices' decision? How do you think today's ruling will impact immigration law? Should all elements of S.B. 1070 have been struck down or left intact? Should there be more flexibility for states to act independently of federal law on local matters?


Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff, Arizona

Lisa McElroy, Professor of Law, Earle Mack School of Law, Drexel University; Supreme Court scholar

John Eastman, professor of law and former dean at Chapman University Law School. Eastman holds the Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law at the Chapman University School of Law and is also the Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a public interest law firm affiliated with the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy; Eastman co-authored an amicus brief for the Supreme Court on the SB 1070 case

Kathleen Kim, Professor of Law, Loyola Law School; specializing in immigrants' rights issues

Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State; Constitutional law expert and Former Law Professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC); Former Counsel to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (from 2001-2003, he was the Attorney General's Chief Advisor on immigration law)

Chris Newman, Legal Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Angelica Salas, Executive Director, CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles)