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Arizona Immigration Law Headed to Supreme Court

Politically-charged case could echo in November
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 23, 2012 1:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Just weeks ago, it was the ObamaCare tussle. Now the Supreme Court is moving on to another politically-charged, high-profile case: a battle over Arizona's controversial immigration law. The case centers on whether Arizona overstepped the boundaries of state power with aggressive police checks on suspected illegal immigrants. But "this is not all about immigration," former solicitor general Paul Clement tells Reuters. "It's really about the relationship between the federal government and the state government."

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Clement, who also argued against the Obama administration in the health care case, holds that the law simply involves Arizona authorities cooperating with federal policies. As in the health case, he'll face current solicitor general Donald Verrilli, who says the Arizona law "subvert(s) Congress' goal" of "a single national approach" to immigration. Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from the proceedings, seemingly over her previous work on the case. If the eight remaining justices split 4-4, an earlier appeals court ruling will give the the White House a win. While Obama opposes the law, Mitt Romney backs it; any decision could thus have political implications for November. (Read more US Supreme Court stories.)

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