For the second time in less than a month, President Barack Obama's administration ran into a buzz saw at the Supreme Court in oral arguments Wednesday over Arizona's law cracking down on illegal immigrants, reports Politico. Both conservative and liberal justices expressed deep skepticism about the federal government's case against the core of the law: a provision requiring local law enforcement to check the immigration status of people arrested or even detained briefly for a traffic violation if they're suspected of being in the country illegally.
The outcome could be felt in states nationwide that have passed similar laws or are considering them. And there could be significant consequences at the polls in November, whichever way the court rules. The justices clearly were not swayed by the Justice Department’s argument. The skepticism was strongest among the conservative justices, but even a couple of liberals said they're perplexed by the federal government's claim that Arizona is violating the Constitution by requiring police to perform immigration status checks that they already can request at their own discretion.