HolyCoast: SCOTUS Will Hear Arizona SB1070 Case, Kagan Recuses Herself But It Probably Won't Matter

Monday, December 12, 2011

SCOTUS Will Hear Arizona SB1070 Case, Kagan Recuses Herself But It Probably Won't Matter

More on Kagan in a minute:
The Supreme Court announced Monday they will hear a challenge to Arizona’s controversial immigration law, setting up another high-profile decision for the court’s coming term, according to the AP.

Arizona asked the court to allow the state to enforce legislation that has been blocked after being challenged by the Obama administration, including provisions that would enable police officers to question a person’s immigration status if they suspect they are in the country illegally. The law would also make it a crime to not carry proof of legal immigration status, make it agaist state law for an illegal immigrant to seek employment, and allow police to detain those suspected of being illegal immigrants without a warrant. The 9th Circut Court of Appeals blocked each of those provisions in April.
Some people are making a big deal of the fact Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from this case because of her work on it previously as Solicitor General, but is it really a big deal that could affect the outcome? Probably not. Ed Morrissey explains:
Besides, a recusal in this case is not terribly meaningful to the case itself, although it’s certainly legitimate to argue that it displays Kagan’s approach to judicial ethics. The appellate court, as Think Progress points out, overturned most of SB1070, so a tie in the Supreme Court would keep that decision in place. The Supreme Court’s test case for ObamaCare was also an overturning of the law at the appellate level, and a SCOTUS tie in that case would mean ObamaCare’s total rejection. Kagan is much more important for ObamaCare than she is on this case.
Kagan will not recuse herself from Obamacare because her absence could actually affect the outcome. She and her boss Obama have too much invested in that case for her to do the right thing and get out.

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