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Liberal Justices May Side with Conservative Bloc on Arizona Immigration Law

Published: Apr 26, 2012 7:45 am By: Matthew L. Kolken

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday about the constitutionality of Arizona's immigration law (SB 1070). Justice Reports indicated that the Court will limit its review to issues relating to state-versus-federal power, not questions about potential civil rights violations.

Justice Kagan reused herself, which could potentially result in a deadlocked 4-4 decision. With that in mind, the typically liberal Justices voiced significant concerns with the Government's arguments.

Justice Sotomayor: "I'm sorry.… I'm terribly confused by your answer," "Your argument — that this systematic cooperation is wrong — is not selling very well. Why don't you try to come up with something else?"

Justice Stephen G. Breyer remarked that he did not see a problem if "all that happens is a policeman makes a phone call.… I'm not clear what your answer is to that."

Swing voter Justice Anthony M. Kennedy: "So you're saying the government has a legitimate interest in not enforcing its laws?"

If just one of the three above Justices sides with the conservative bloc of the Court all or part of the law may stand.

We shall see.

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