Monday, December 12, 2011

Justice Kagan Recuses Herself from Arizona Case

Associate Justice Elena Kagan
Washington DC, Dec 12, 2011. The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will take the case of Arizona’s tough immigration crackdown law.

The case pits Arizona against the Obama administration, which sued and won court orders blocking most of the law at both the district and appeals court levels.

Arizona’s law has encouraged similar laws in other states, and most of them have also seen their key provisions blocked by court challenges from the administration.

The issue is whether Arizona’s intent to allow state and local police the power to check the immigration status of persons they encounter during their duties, such as traffic stop, infringes on federal responsibility to enforce federal laws.

In its notice, the court said Justice Elena Kagan had recused herself from the decision to take the case. Justice Kagan has come under fire for not recusing herself from the decision to hear challenges to the new health care law. It is very likely that Kagan recused herself from this case, to provide political cover for herself when she refuses to recuse herself in the National Healthcare case.

She was Mr. Obama’s solicitor general from March 2009 up through May 2010, though she stopped taking part in cases in March 2010 so she would preserve her ability to hear them as a justice. The health care law was signed in March 2010. Arizona’s immigration law passed in April 2010.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, whose signature on the law turned her into a national leader on immigration issues, said she expects the court will uphold the right of states to take action where the federal government has failed.

“Arizona has been more than patient waiting for Washington to secure the border,” she said. “Decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation, and states deserve clarity from the Court in terms of what role they have in fighting illegal immigration.”

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