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Supreme Court Oral Argument on Arizona’s Immigration Law

Washington, DC
Friday, April 27, 2012

On Friday, the Supreme Court released audio from Wednesday's oral argument in Arizona v. U.S., an immigration case that pits Arizona’s state powers against the federal government.

The issue before the Court is whether Arizona has the authority to enforce its own immigration law or whether that is the exclusive role of the federal government. Arizona’s law includes provisions requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone detained or suspected of being in the country illegally.

Immigrants must carry their papers at all times. Illegal immigrants are banned from soliciting for work in public places and police can arrest immigrants without a warrant if an officer believes they have committed a crime that would make them subject to deportation.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction against some of the law’s provisions which a three judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld. In her opinion, Judge Bolton wrote that it’s the federal government’s role to decide immigration law, not the state.

Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from the Supreme Court oral argument. She was President Obama’s Solicitor General when the federal government filed the lawsuit against Arizona.

Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 at 7:05pm (ET)

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