SCOTUS issues ruling overturning AZ immigration law and affirming Citizens United for MT state officials

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June 26, 2012

Judgepedia

By: Joshua Meyer-Gutbrod and Katy Farrell
(courtesy of our sister site Judgepedia)

Washington D.C.: On Monday, June 25, the Supreme Court of the United States reconvened to issue rulings in a number of major cases including a challenge to Citizens United and a challenge to a controversial Arizona immigration law. The court upheld Citizens United while overturning most of the Arizona immigration law. The court also issued a number of other orders, which can be found here.

Arizona law overturned

The court overturned a majority of the controversial Arizona immigration law, S. B. 1070. The court affirmed in part and overturned in part the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In the 5-3 ruling penned by Justice Kennedy the court overturned portions of the law including the authorization of police to arrest immigrants without warrant, the criminalization of immigrants failing to carry paperwork and the punishment of employers who hire illegal immigrants without checking for paperwork. The court found that Federal law preempted all the provisions of the state law that were being challenge baring the most controversial which it upheld pending state action. The remaining law requires that police officers check citizenship status of individuals they detain. The court felt that, while the law could be unconstitutional, more case law should occur at the state level to clarify the law before it can be judged. Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissented from the ruling arguing that the decision encroached on Arizona's sovereignty, stating in the dissent, "If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state." The majority included Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself due to her involvement as Solicitor General in defending the case in its early stages.[1][2]

See also: Immigration on the ballot

Citizens United applied to State candidates

See also: Montana Supreme Court ruling reversed by SCOTUS

In a very short opinion, the court overturned a Montana Supreme Court ruling which held that Citizens United did not apply to Montana state elected officials. The 5-4 decision held that the Montana law that limited corporate campaign contributions violated the corporations right to free speech, upholding their ruling at the federal level. Justice Stephen Breyer dissented alongside Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan arguing that the court should have paid more heed to Justice Stevens' original dissent in the Citizens United case.[3]

See also: Campaign finance requirements for Montana ballot measures

Healthcare ruling

The court announced that we can expect a ruling on the Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Thursday at 10am EST.

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