The Supreme Court upheld a key portion of Arizona’s controversial immigration law on Monday, as the justices stand poised to weigh the constitutionality of President Obama's healthcare reform act. The court backed a section of the Arizona state law that calls for police to check the immigration status of people they stop. That section was one of four at issue before the high court. The others make it a crime for immigrants without work permits to seek employment; criminalize failure to carry registration documents, and authorize the police to arrest any immigrant they believe has committed a deportable offense. The latter three provisions were struck down by the court.
Democrats claim the law forwards an anti-immigration agenda while the law's supporters say their objective is to secure the nation's borders. The Arizona law has been a major concern for the nation’s expanding Hispanic electorate. In a statement issued after the ruling, President Obama said the nonunanimous high court decision illustrated the need for comprehensive immigration reform. “A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system – it’s part of the problem,” Obama said.
On Thursday the court will rule on the constitutionality of Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the biggest overhaul of the U.S. health-care system since the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Obama's reforms were enacted to extend coverage to at least 30 million uninsured Americans and would reshape an industry that makes up about 18 percent of the US economy.
The full impact of the court's decision depends on whether the justices choose to throw out the law entirely, affirm its constitutionality, or reject portions of it, such as unpopular insurance mandates. A recent CBS poll shows only 1 in 4 Americans feel the court should keep Obama’s Health Care reform law, the President’s signature legislative achievement, intact. Without the mandate, the viability of two of the laws other provisions, "guaranteed issue" and "community rating," will be called in to question.