Law professor: Justices must see past politics - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

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>>

  • Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:54 AM EDT2018-04-21 10:54:10 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 6:07 AM EDT2018-04-22 10:07:01 GMT
    (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.(Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.

    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.

    More >>

    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.

    More >>
  • World's oldest person dies in Japan at age of 117

    World's oldest person dies in Japan at age of 117

    Saturday, April 21 2018 8:34 PM EDT2018-04-22 00:34:25 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 6:06 AM EDT2018-04-22 10:06:21 GMT
    Nabi Tajima died of old age in a hospital Saturday evening in the town of Kikai in southern Japan, town official Susumu Yoshiyuki confirmed. (Source: TV Asahi/CNN)Nabi Tajima died of old age in a hospital Saturday evening in the town of Kikai in southern Japan, town official Susumu Yoshiyuki confirmed. (Source: TV Asahi/CNN)
    Nabi Tajima died of old age in a hospital Saturday evening in the town of Kikai in southern Japan, town official Susumu Yoshiyuki confirmed. (Source: TV Asahi/CNN)Nabi Tajima died of old age in a hospital Saturday evening in the town of Kikai in southern Japan, town official Susumu Yoshiyuki confirmed. (Source: TV Asahi/CNN)

    The world's oldest person has died in southern Japan at the age of 117.

    More >>

    The world's oldest person has died in southern Japan at the age of 117.

    More >>
  • Israel's Lieberman blames Hamas over Gaza deaths

    Israel's Lieberman blames Hamas over Gaza deaths

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 05:44:10 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 6:06 AM EDT2018-04-22 10:06:19 GMT
    (AP Photo/Adel Hana). Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, April 20, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protes...(AP Photo/Adel Hana). Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, April 20, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protes...

    Gaza health officials say 4 Palestinians, including 15-year-old boy, killed by Israeli army fire as thousands join fourth weekly protests on Gaza border.

    More >>

    Gaza health officials say 4 Palestinians, including 15-year-old boy, killed by Israeli army fire as thousands join fourth weekly protests on Gaza border.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly