Supreme Court Rules on Arizona Immigration, Juvenile Prison Sentencing, and Montana Campaign Finance Laws

No ruling on health care from the Supreme Court today, but SCOTUS did rule on several other cases, including Arizona's SB1070 immigration law. The health care ruling should be coming this Thursday.

SupremesCBS News reports:

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the most controversial element of Arizona's immigration law, allowing the state to require police officers to enforce immigration laws. Three other provisions of the law have been struck down.

Arizona's law S.B. 1070, passed in 2010, makes it a crime to be in the state as an undocumented immigrant and compels local law officials to enforce the law. The law inspired conservatives across the country to adopt more aggressive measures against undocumented immigrants. At the same time, it spurred huge rallies across the country in 2010, with its opponents charging the measure smacks of racism and is a disgrace to Arizona.

Only eight of the court's justices ruled on the case because Associate Justice Elena Kagan recused herself. She served as President Obama's solicitor general when the administration decided to challenge the law.

Here's that opinion.

SCOTUS also rejected Montana campaign finance limits, citing the Citizens United ruling:

The 5-4 ruling was made on partisan lines, with the conservative majority voting to summarily dismiss the Montana case without oral arguments.

At issue was whether Montana elections are bound by the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations, unions and other special interests to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money whenever they please to overtly advocate for or against political candidates.

The majority wrote that “there can be no serious doubt” that Citizens United applies.

SCOTUS also ruled that it's unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole for murder:

The high court on Monday threw out Americans' ability to send children to prison for the rest of their lives with no chance of ever getting out.

The 5-4 decision is in line with others the court has made, including ruling out the death penalty for juveniles and life without parole for young people whose crimes did not involve killing.

The decision came in the robbery and murder cases of Evan Miller and Kuntrell Jackson, who were 14 when they were convicted.


  1. Luke says

    Is there any doubt that there are certainly four solid, certain votes against gay marriage and gay rights, no matter how it is framed. The conservatives stick together no matter what. Kennedy is decider.

  2. Sam says

    I signed your petition, Eric.

    It’s kind of a mixed bag with the SCOTUS. Most of the papers please law was struck down so that’s good in my view.

    I absolutely hate the Citizen’s United ruling and think the SCOTUS majority must live in a rabbit hole to not see the corruption that takes place in our elections. A 100 year old Montana law to stop corruption is somehow unconstitutional. We have confirmed five complete idiots on our high court.

    I say more reason to reelect Obama and keep the Senate Democratic so we can a more fair majority on the high court and reverse this ruling.

  3. Dave Francis says


    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court released their opinion Today that the federal government has the sole power to enforce the laws against illegal immigration, striking down three key provisions of Arizona’s first-in-the nation crackdown on illegal aliens squatting there and stealing our children’s education, American family health care and a cornucopia of welfare payments and programs. ONLY THE TEA PARTY CAN SAVE US NOW. THE TEA PARTY IS EVERY WALK OF LIFE, EVERY RACE, & EVERY RELIGION THAT HAVE HAD IT WITH THE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES. ID YOU DON’T WANT A SOCIALIST FUTURE, EVERY AMERICAN WHO HAS NEVER VOTED—SHOULD VOTE. NON-CITIZENS WILL VOTE TO SAVE OBAMA.

    Frustrated, angry with the Republicans and Democrats, then join the TEA PARTY organization. The growing numbers of millions of Americans are joining this party, spreading its wings away from the Republican enclave. Both political parties are corrupt and all incumbents need to be replaced, which is happening now. We can no longer afford to support the rest of the world, or the 20 million plus illegal aliens living in the United States that has brought their poverty with them. HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE BEING SIPHONED FROM STATES AND THE TAXPAYERS POCKETS

    By replacing President Obama administration, plus replacing the Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and the Ho House of Representative and seating in ‘THE PEOPLE’S Constitutional TEA PARTY, we can win America back Millions more will be encouraged to come here, bringing their poverty, criminals and children stealing their futures. WE ARE LOSING OUR COUNTRY, OUR LIBERTIES AND OUR U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.


    It is of the paramount importance that we must be imposed at once, so no more foreign invaders are encouraged to break the immigration ‘Rule of Law’. ‘THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT’ (E-VERIFY) must be passed and advanced, so illegal aliens can no longer steal jobs from the millions of Americans unemployed. The ‘BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP ACT (H.R.140) must be compulsory so babies smuggled into America, so that parents cannot take benefit from welfare, once the child become an immediate citizen. Half a million pregnant women enter the United States looking for handouts annually, for their children. Let your Senator or Congressman/Women know how you will vote, by giving your name to the politician’s aides and that you want them to sponsor E-Verify and the Birthright Citizenship bills. Citizen voters should phone Congress at the central Switchboard at 202-224-3121. FORCE YOUR CONGRESSMAN/WOMAN TO fulfill their obligation to the oath of office and stop pandering to the businesses that use cheap labor. Use the power of your VOTE to demand they sponsor these to policies or we are destined to become like Europe, overwhelmed by the poverty of other countries.


  4. DB says

    Very disappointing that parts of the Arizona law were invalidated. We really need to stop coddling criminals and deport ALL illegal aliens immediately.

  5. Redebbm says

    @DB You know nothing of our laws, you can’t take an axe to something that requires a scalpel. Arizona can’t overstep the Federal government and their argument that the federal government isn’t doing anything isn’t good enough. YOU may think you know about how laws should work, but states can’t make policy like this without looking at how strict scrutiny works and making sure the law does what it intends to do. This is WHY Bigots shouldn’t make policy. They overreact under the guise that “they are iiillllegal its in the name!” You also don’t have any idea how much of an economic impact nor the impracticality of “deporting ALL” entails.

  6. says

    I’m also against illegal immigration. Certainly not a bigot, but am well informed enough (like most Americans) to know the consequences of their presence both in terms of economy, gang violence, drunk driving, and school systems. Important to put aside emotional arguments and be honest with the facts.

  7. Zydrate says

    Worth noting (not that many seem to be commenting on anything beyond the immigration ruling) that the report that SCOTUS ruled that life sentences for minors convicted of murder are unconstitutional is false. SCOTUS ruled that MANDATORY life sentences for minors convicted of murder were unconstitutional.

    It’s an important distinction.

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