Law professor: Justices must see past politics - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

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.

  • NewsMore>>

  • North Korea slams Pence as summit with Trump grows shakier

    North Korea slams Pence as summit with Trump grows shakier

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:51 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:51:44 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 6:22 AM EDT2018-05-24 10:22:19 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). Women protesters stage a rally for peace on the Korea peninsular near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump labored with South Korea's Moon Jae-in Tuesday to keep the highly anticipated U...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). Women protesters stage a rally for peace on the Korea peninsular near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump labored with South Korea's Moon Jae-in Tuesday to keep the highly anticipated U...
    A top North Korean official says recent comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were "stupid" and "ignorant" and again warns the country is willing to pull out of a planned summit with Trump.More >>
    A top North Korean official says recent comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were "stupid" and "ignorant" and again warns the country is willing to pull out of a planned summit with Trump.More >>
  • Judge: President can't block critics on Twitter

    Judge: President can't block critics on Twitter

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:43 PM EDT2018-05-23 17:43:15 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 6:16 AM EDT2018-05-24 10:16:21 GMT
    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)

    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment.

    More >>

    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment.

    More >>
  • Investigators: Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

    Investigators: Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 09:32:04 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 6:15 AM EDT2018-05-24 10:15:22 GMT
    The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based...

    More >>

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly