Justices Seem Favorable To Arizona Immigration LawSubmitted by emalvini on Wed, 04/25/2012 - 14:03
Justices Seem Favorable To Arizona Immigration Law
Supreme Court justices on Wednesday appeared highly doubtful of the Obama administration’s objections to a controversial immigration law in Arizona.
The ideologically diverse group of justices pummeled Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. with a morning full of questions, expressing serious doubts to the government’s claim that Arizona cannot require state law enforcement officials to verify a person’s legal status when they’re stopped on suspicion of committing a separate offense.
“You can see it's not selling very well,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic woman to be seated on the bench, said to Verrilli after the solicitor general had delivered a significant portion of his argument. “I’m terribly confused by your answer.”
Chief Justice John Roberts said he didn’t see a problem with that portion of the Arizona law, S.B. 1070. Under the statute, state officials would be notifying federal officials of the immigration status of the person in question. Roberts argued that the power to decide what to do with the that person still lay within the hands of the federal government. He also said the state, in that instance, would be attempting to help the federal government and supersede its role.