The Supreme Court has backed an Arizona immigration law punishing businesses for hiring illegal immigrants. The controversial bill was vigorously opposed by the Obama administration, and is the first high court challenge similar to other state laws that are trying to crack down on illegal immigration. Is the 5-3 ruling a harbinger of things to come?
The controversy will only heat up because of this ruling, and the real litmus test, a law giving police authority to check a person's immigration status under "reasonable suspicion," is currently pending at a federal appeals court.
Governor Jan Brewer has been clear on her stand, saying, "The bottom line is that we believe that if the (federal) government isn't going to do the job then Arizona is going to do the job. We are faced with a crisis." The Obama administration strongly objects, saying the law contradicts federal oversight over matters of immigration, reports CNN.
The three dissenters were Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with Elena Kagan not participating because of her position of solicitor general last year when the case was appealed to the high court.
This decision will no doubt revive the hot-button issue of illegal immigration and state's rights in taking on the responsibility of the lackadaisical federal government. Will the court follow the same path when the real Arizona immigration law arrives at its steps? Only time will tell.