Law professor: Justices must see past politics - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Law professor: Justices must see past politics

U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court

Despite the controversy surrounding Arizona's immigration law, the justices of the United States Supreme Court will face a basic legal question, according to a noted ASU law professor.

"Does it conflict with federal law?," asked Paul Bender, who was the deputy solicitor general under President Bill Clinton and now teaches at ASU.

"If it conflicts with federal law, then it's unconstitutional because the Construction says that the federal law is supreme. But to decide whether it is in conflict is not all that simple," Bender said.

[SPECIAL SECTION: SCOTUS Takes Up Arizona's Immigration Enforcement Law

The issue SB 1070 brings up is one that the Supreme Court has never tackled before. To make the issue murkier is the fact that dozens of outside organizations and groups have a keen interest in the outcome of the case.

These groups have filed more than 40 "friend of the court" briefs, which urge the justices to rule one way or the other. Some of the briefs introduce politics into the argument. Others play fast and loose with the facts.

CBS 5 News took a hard look at the brief filed by former state Sen. Russell Pearce, who sponsored SB 1070.

"Even though only certain provisions of SB 1070 have thus far been implemented, they have been credited with a significant effect on the crime rate in Arizona," the brief read.

"Since SB 1070, Phoenix has experienced a 30-year low crime rate."

But a review of Arizona's crime statistics shows the crime rate has been dropping since at least 2003, years before SB 1070 was signed into law.

"If the court thought that was true, some of the justices might use that as a reason for deciding the case," Bender said.

But he believes the justices will look beyond the politics and stick to the legal issues.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday

    Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday

    Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 11:07 PM EST2017-11-23 04:07:25 GMT

    Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday.   Jessica Bowman stopped into a Hattiesburg store to see what all the activity was about. Roshunda Trody said, "Two turkeys, ham, dressing, greens cabbage, french beans with white potatoes and turkey butts in it." Hefty dinner menus for Thanksgiving day. Trody said, "I'm from Hattiesburg, MS, but I'm back in town to be with my family for the holidays and doing a little bit of last minute shopping." ...

    More >>

    Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday.   Jessica Bowman stopped into a Hattiesburg store to see what all the activity was about. Roshunda Trody said, "Two turkeys, ham, dressing, greens cabbage, french beans with white potatoes and turkey butts in it." Hefty dinner menus for Thanksgiving day. Trody said, "I'm from Hattiesburg, MS, but I'm back in town to be with my family for the holidays and doing a little bit of last minute shopping." ...

    More >>
  • Tickets on sale for the 5A South State Championship

    Tickets on sale for the 5A South State Championship

  • Tickets on sale for the 5A South State Championship

    Tickets on sale for the 5A South State Championship

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:42 PM EST2017-11-23 02:42:31 GMT
    Fans in line to buy tickets to the 5A South State Championship Wednesday in Hattiesburg. Source: WDAM.Fans in line to buy tickets to the 5A South State Championship Wednesday in Hattiesburg. Source: WDAM.

    Fans were waiting in the parking lot Wednesday outside Hattiesburg High School for tickets to go on sale for the 5A South State Championship Friday night. The Tigers are hosting the Laurel Tornadoes in a I-59 showdown.  The game, a repeat of the "Lil' Brown Jug" game will give the Tornadoes the chance at revenge, after Hattiesburg won the rivalry game 20-14 in August. Tyrone King was sitting in the parking lot at 11:30 a.m., waiting for the ticket office to open it's ...

    More >>

    Fans were waiting in the parking lot Wednesday outside Hattiesburg High School for tickets to go on sale for the 5A South State Championship Friday night. The Tigers are hosting the Laurel Tornadoes in a I-59 showdown.  The game, a repeat of the "Lil' Brown Jug" game will give the Tornadoes the chance at revenge, after Hattiesburg won the rivalry game 20-14 in August. Tyrone King was sitting in the parking lot at 11:30 a.m., waiting for the ticket office to open it's ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly