Supreme Court Rules on Arizona's Immigration Law
The U.S. Supreme Court has made its decision about Arizona's controversial immigration law. The five to three ruling upholds the authority of the federal government to set immigration policy and laws. In the majority opinion - Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the national government has significant power to regulate immigration. Kennedy wrote that Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues - but said the state may not pursue policies that undermined federal law. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the Court's decision emphasizes the importance of the federal government enforcing immigration laws and Congress acting to strengthen those laws where necessary. He says the state of Arizona was forced to take action because the federal government shirked its responsibilities. Representative Lamar Smith of Texas - House Judiciary Committee Chairman - says the Supreme Court's ruling essentially puts an end to immigration enforcement since the states can no longer step in and fill the void created by the Obama Administration.
Writing for the minority - Justice Antonin Scalia argued the court's ruling encroaches on Arizona's sovereign powers. In a dissent backed by Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas - Scalia wrote that if securing its territory in this fashion is now within the power of Arizona - we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state.
While Arizona took the lead - the state was not alone in passing laws meant to deter illegal immigrants. Similar laws are under challenge in lower courts in Georgia, Alabama, Utah, Indiana and South Carolina.
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