Arizona Law Banning Ethnic Studies Takes Effect Tonight It's designed to stop a Mexican-American history course By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted Dec 31, 2010 4:50 PM CST 175 comments Comments Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer stands outside the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Newser) – An Arizona law banning Mexican-American studies takes effect at midnight, opening a new front in the state's immigration wars. Among other things, the law bans courses designed for students of any particular ethnic group—even if they are open to all students. The state schools chief wrote it in response to complaints about a program in the Tucson district that teaches Mexican-American history, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Critics see it as yet another attack on the state's Latino population. “The state superintendent is overreaching," says University of Arizona professor Roberto Rodriguez. But the superintendent, Tom Horne, says such programs are divisive by nature. Tucson school officials say they won't comply with the new law and will continue teaching the course, which will lead to a legal fight that gets under way Monday.