Supreme Court announces immigration law ruling

Jane Pauk of Phoenix, Arizona, shows her support in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after the court announced an immigration law ruling June 25, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

Jeff Horwich: The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down large portions of Arizona's new immigration law. Arizona had argued the Congressional stalemate over immigration left it no choice but to take action. But the Court has invalidated a number of key provisions.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer is live at the Supreme Court. Hello, Nancy.

Nancy Marshall-Genzer: Hey.

Horwich: So first of all, what did the court let stand?

Marshall-Genzer: You know, the Court considered four sections of the law, and it struck down three. The one that it let stand says: look, if you're already in prison in Arizona, we're not going to let you go until you prove that you're not an illegal immigrant. That's the only one of these four sections that they actually let stand.

Horwich: So let's get the longer list -- what falls?

Marshall-Genzer: Yeah. Three really important sections of the law -- one, that said if you're in Arizona, you have to carry papers with you saying you are legal; that was struck down.

Two, Arizona wanted to make it a criminal offense for you to work illegally. Under federal law, it's just a civil offense, which is not as stringent. So Arizona wanted illegal immigrants to actually be tried under criminal law. That was struck down.

And number three, state police can no longer just pull them over, find out if they're illegal and arrest them if they are illegal; that was struck down. So three key measures, three key sections of this law were struck down.

Horwich: Now the other case that you and I and everybody else is waiting for this week is the health reform case. And we've talked about this case and the immigration case as being about federal vs. state power -- some parallels. Does this decision that we have today give us any insight into the health reform ruling that's right around the corner?

Marshall-Genzer: No. It is just almost impossible, there are no leaks from the court; it is pretty leak proof, which is pretty amazing in a town like Washington. What we do know is that Chief Justice Roberts said we will all be back in court Thursday morning at 10 EST, and all remaining decisions will be announced.

Horwich: All right, well, until Thursday, Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer. Thank you very much.

Marshall-Genzer: You're welcome.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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