U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Arizona’s appeal of SB1070 immigration law. Kagan recuses.

The big news this morning is that the U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari on, meaning it has decided to hear and decide, Arizona’s challenge to lower court rulings blocking enforcement of its statute authorizing state and local law enforcement to assist in enforcing U.S. immigration law.

Related to that, Justice Elena Kagan has apparently decided to recuse herself from the case because of her prior involvement as U.S. Solicitor General. This means that the case will be heard and decided by only eight justices.

The high court’s decision on SB1070 will effectively decide the constitutionality of similar enactments in many other states and localities including Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina; Hazleton, Pennsylvania; and Fremont, Nebraska.

A majority of five justices has indicated their willingness to uphold an earlier employer sanctions statute against allegations of federal preemption, and has vacated the Third Circuit decision blocking Hazleton, Pennsylvania’s municipal ordinances against hiring and harboring illegal aliens. So I would be surprised if the Supreme Court did not also vacate lower court rulings blocking enforcement of Arizona’s SB1070.

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