Good news for fans of Georgia’s HB 87, from the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices strongly suggested Wednesday that they are ready to allow Arizona to enforce part of a controversial state law requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they think are in the country illegally.
Liberal and conservative justices reacted skeptically to the Obama administration’s argument that the state exceeded its authority when it made the records check, and another provision allowing suspected illegal immigrants to be arrested without a warrant, part of Arizona law aimed at driving illegal immigrants elsewhere.
“You can see it’s not selling very well,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor told Obama administration Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
It was unclear what the court would do with other aspects of the law that have been put on hold by lower federal courts. The other blocked provisions make it a state crime for immigrants not to have immigration registration papers and for illegal immigrants to seek work or hold a job.
Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the law two years ago, was on hand for the final argument of the court’s term.
The latest high court clash between the administration and states turns on the extent of states’ role in immigration policy, which is essentially under the federal government’s control.
Verrilli tried to persuade the justices that they should view the law in its entirety and inconsistent with federal immigration policy. He said the records check would allow the state to “engage effectively in mass incarceration” of undocumented immigrants.
But Chief Justice John Roberts was among those on the court who took issue with Verrilli’s characterization of the check of immigration status, saying the state merely wants to notify federal authorities it has someone in custody who may be in the U.S. illegally. “It seems to me that the federal government just doesn’t want to know who’s here illegally and who’s not,” Roberts said.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider