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TJSL Profs Review Latest SCOTUS Actions

June 25, 2012

US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court released a number of opinions on Monday, June 25, including a ruling on Arizona’s highly controversial immigration law. These highly anticipated Supreme Court announcements made it a busy media day for TJSL Professors Marjorie Cohn and David Steinberg.

Professor Steinberg was interviewed by Dana Littlefield at the San Diego Union-Tribune, Doug Sherwin at the San Diego Daily Transcript, Channel 10 News and KNX Radio in L.A. regarding the Court’s refusal to hear the Mount Soledad cross case.

Professor Cohn was interviewed by Doug Sherwin at the San Diego Daily Transcript regarding the Court’s ruling on Arizona’s 2010 immigration law. She also was interviewed about the case by the San Diego Union-Tribune. She appeared on WBAI in New York, discussing the Arizona immigration case as well as the Court’s decision in a case involving life without possibility of parole for juveniles. On Thursday, she is scheduled to appear on KPFT, discussing the Court’s much anticipated health care decision.

Regarding the immigration law case, Professor Cohn summarized: “The Supreme Court struck down 3 provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law, holding (1) The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction to create crimes to punish unlawful presence in the US; (2) Congress chose not to make working without papers a federal crime; and (3) Whether to arrest someone for being in the US unlawfully is solely a question for the federal authorities. The Court upheld the most controversial provision, known as ‘papers please,’ that requires state officers to try to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop, detain or arrest if they have “reasonable suspicion” the person is an unlawful alien. Once this law has gone into effect, there might be additional challenges to its enforcement.”

“The Court overturned state laws that mandate life without possibility of parole for juveniles convicted of homicide, as cruel and unusual punishment, holding that a sentencing judge should have discretion to consider each case individually,” said Professor Cohn regarding another of Monday’s rulings by the Supreme Court. “This does not mean that life without parole is never allowed for juveniles, only that a judge will decide each sentence on a case-by-case basis.”