Supreme Court Hearing on SB 1070

April 25, 2012

Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822 or [email protected]


Ultimate Court Ruling on Constitutionality of SB 1070 Will Impact Civil Rights for All

WASHINGTON — The United States Supreme Court today heard oral argument in Arizona v. United States, the Department of Justice’s challenge to SB 1070, Arizona’s racial profiling law. A decision in this case could affect legislation similar to Arizona’s across the country.

The National Immigration Law Center and others have filed class action lawsuits against racial profiling laws in Arizona, Utah, Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. These cases, which bring other legal claims against the racial profiling laws, will proceed regardless of the outcome of this case. Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, attended today’s hearing and offered these remarks:

“The federal government’s arguments presented before the Supreme Court today focused on whether SB 1070 is preempted by the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. However, there is much more than the Supremacy Clause at stake: the battle over SB 1070 is a fight for our core values as an increasingly diverse country. SB 1070 is a law that, if allowed to take effect, will turn back the clock on our most cherished civil rights by legally sanctioning discriminatory behavior against those who happen to look or sound ‘foreign.’ SB 1070’s requirement that officials demand ‘papers’ of those they suspect are in this country without authorization would result in people of color suffering street interrogations, detention, and degradation simply because of the way we look or sound.

“This law does not measure up to American principles. Civil rights leaders of the past and present have fought for decades to rid our country of shameful legal sanction of racially discriminatory behavior. The Roberts Court must continue to protect the principles of fairness and equality enshrined in our Constitution, and strike down SB 1070.”

More information about Arizona v. U.S. is available at

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