Democrats Prepare for Supreme Court's SB 1070 Ruling

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 25, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

As a divided nation waits for the Supreme Court to tackle Arizona immigration law S.B. 1070, many are giving thought to what will happen once the justices make their decision.

If the Court upholds Arizona's immigration law, will more states pass similar legislation? Will the nation suddenly have 50 different sets of immigration rules? Or will Congress step in and prevent this from taking place?

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer hopes for this last option.

On Tuesday, the Senator announced his plan to introduce legislation that would overturn the Supreme Court's decision should it choose to uphold Arizona's immigration law. Such legislation would be a viable option, as Arizona v. United States does not deal with constitutional rights.

The Court is tasked with deciding whether the Arizona law is implicitly preempted by federal legislation. If Congress does not like how the Court rules, it can amend the federal statutes to explicitly preempt state legislation that aims to enforce immigration rules. As states arguably have no constitutional right to regulate immigration without federal permission, such an amendment would be valid.

However, Congressional politics make the likelihood of this happening slim, explains the Washington Post. As such, whatever the Supreme Court decides will likely stand for some time.

We may therefore see a rise in state immigration laws should the Court uphold Arizona's immigration law. Since that law was passed, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Utah and South Carolina passed similar legislation. Others have tried, but failed. A nod from the nation's highest court may be all they need to try again.

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