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Supreme Court to review Arizona immigration law

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The US Supreme Court on Wednesday will take up Arizona’s controversial law cracking down on illegal immigrants as it prepares to weigh in on yet another heated issue in the 2012 election.

After three days of hearings on President Barack Obama’s landmark health reform law last month, the court will again examine the separation of federal and state powers when it looks at the legality of Arizona’s identity checks.

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The top US court announced in December that it would review the 2010 law in the southwestern state, which would allow police to stop suspected illegal immigrants and demand proof of citizenship without probable cause.

The law — portions of which have been suspended after court challenges by the Obama administration — is among several pieces of state legislation that the White House says infringe on the federal government’s authority.

The court is likely to deliver its rulings on both the immigration and the health care cases in June — just a few months before voters go to the polls to decide whether Obama should be given a second term.

Last year, lower courts opted to strike sections of the law they said would place a burden on legal resident aliens in Arizona, where a third of the 6.6 million people is foreign-born and more than 400,000 are illegal immigrants.

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But Arizona appealed, claiming that “the federal government has largely ignored Arizona’s pleas for additional resources and help” in stemming the tide of illegal immigration into the state, which borders Mexico.

Arizona governor Jan Brewer — who earlier this year was caught on camera pointing her finger in Obama’s face in what looked to be a testy exchange on an airport tarmac — has asked the high court to reinstate the suspended sections.

Beyond the identity checks without probable cause, the other sections in question would make it a crime to be in the United States unlawfully and require non-citizens to carry their identity papers with them at all times.

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Also at issue is a provision that would make it a crime for illegal migrants to seek work, and one authorizing law enforcement officials to stop anyone they believe may have committed a crime that would result in their expulsion.

Critics have charged that the law would encourage racial profiling, while supporters say tougher rules are needed to curb illegal immigration.

Anthony Romero, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said it would be a “very dark moment” for US jurisprudence if the Supreme Court upholds the law, paving the way for legally-sanctioned discrimination.

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“For the first time they would allow law enforcement to use the color of your skin, your race, your ethnicity… It’s a law that is very Draconian,” he told AFP.

“This case has huge implications for law enforcement and for civil rights. If the Supreme Court decides the wrong way, it’s going to be a battle all over the country, state after state,” Romero said.

Mexico and 17 other countries have also filed arguments with the Supreme Court opposing the law, saying the delegation of authority over such matters to individual states threatens bilateral relations with Washington.

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A new study out this week by the Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center meanwhile found that the net flow of Mexican immigrants to the United States had dropped to zero due to the weakening of the American economy.

Heightened US border enforcement, a rise in deportations, improving economic conditions in Mexico and a falling birth rate there have compounded the trend, it said.

In its motion filed with the Supreme Court, Arizona argues that SB 1070 is “perfectly congruent with federal law and federal objectives.”

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At least 36 states have introduced legislation with elements similar to those in Arizona, five of which have been passed.

Eight of the court’s nine justices will hear the case. Justice Elena Kagan, who once served as Obama’s solicitor general, has recused herself. If there is a four-four tie, the lower court’s decision to strike the provisions will be upheld.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump promises vets he won’t use his campaign slogan — then blurts it out seconds later

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While talking with veterans on Wednesday, President Donald Trump vowed that he would not politicize the event by reciting his 2020 campaign slogan -- and then did it anyway just seconds later.

While addressing the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the president made light of the fact that he was not supposed to be using his speech to promote his reelection campaign and was only there to talk about his administration's work on behalf of veterans.

"In all things, we are putting our country first," the president said. "We are saying, let’s say 'Make America great again,' but we are almost there, 'Make America great again.' We may have to switch it. You know what we’re going to switch it to? Huh? Yeah? That is right. I will not say it here, because this is not a campaign speech."

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Anti-LGBT group: Straight man who spied on women’s dressing rooms is proof we need anti-trans bathroom laws

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A Pennsylvania man was arrested last month for drilling holes in the women's dressing rooms of a Target store with the intention of spying, The Mercury reports. Sean Christopher Anderson, 41, was initially charged with criminal mischief and possessing an instrument of crime, but had his charges upgraded this Monday to invasion of privacy and possessing child pornography.

Now, the right-wing Christian group American Family Association is trying to use his case as proof of the urgency of their boycott campaigns targeting Target's gender-neutral bathrooms, but as LGBTQ Nation points out, Anderson is a straight cisgender man.

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Trump promoting himself as the ‘second coming of God’ is another sign of his lack of basic mental capacity: Yale psychiatrist

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump retweeted an anti-Semitic super-fan who compared Trump to the "second coming of God." That was after he made comments Tuesday suggesting that Jews who vote for Democrats are traitorous to Israel. The comments come after a long summer of Trump accusing members of the Squad of being anti-Semitic and suggesting that the Clintons are responsible for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein's death in jail.

Raw Story spoke with Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and violence expert at Yale School of Medicine, about the president's fitness for office. Lee helped launch a public health approach to global violence prevention as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other United Nations bodies since 2002. She authored the textbook, “Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures,” which shows how the dangerous psychology of individuals is connected to dangerous societies and cultures, including their politics and economics. She and several coauthors of the public-service book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” prepared a mental health analysis of the president using information in the Mueller report (dangerouscase.org).

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