Nation Awaits Supreme Court Rulings
Another morning of Supreme Court opinions came and went Thursday with no ruling on the national health care law or Arizona’s SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law, pushing the court’s most anticipated decisions in years to the final week of June.
The U.S. Supreme Court did not rule today on SB 1070, Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law that, among other things, would empower local police to check for immigration status.
Oral arguments for Arizona v. United States were heard in April. The justices have been weighing whether four provisions of the state law are in conflict with federal immigration law, as the Obama administration asserted in its legal challenge filed in July 2010, shortly before SB 1070 partly took effect. That month, a federal judge in Phoenix issued a ruling temporarily blocking four of the measure’s most controversial sections.
The most contentious of these is Section 2(B), which allows state and local police officers to attempt to determine the immigration status of detainees if “reasonable suspicion” exists that they are in the United States without permission.
The constitutionality of the national health care law, passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote, was challenged by 26 states that argued the law infringed upon states’ rights and individual liberties. They contended the federal government could not compel citizens to purchase health insurance.
The government has asserted that every citizen is already a health care consumer because everyone requires care at some stage of life.
Uncertain is whether the law is inseparable -- that if the individual health insurance mandate were to fall, the rest of the law would have to go down with it.
If the law is upheld in full, the decision will be hailed as a triumph for Obama and his leadership. If it is struck down entirely, Republicans will claim vindication in their unanimous opposition to what they see as a massive overreach of government. And if only part of the law survives, both sides will scramble to reposition. The Obama administration and its allies will do their best to protect what is left. Republicans have vowed to repeal it all as soon as they can, and eventually, to offer an alternative.
However the court comes down, most Americans are not likely to be happy with the result. In a poll released Monday, the Pew Research Center asked about all three scenarios and found that fewer than half of those surveyed would be satisfied with any of them.
More decisions are scheduled to be released on Monday, but it is uncertain whether these two significant rulings will be among them. (Sources: Los Angeles Times, California Public Radio, New York Times, Reuters)
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