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Differing Perspectives on Arizona’s S.B. 1070

Comparison of Amicus Briefs Regarding the Anti-Immigrant Law

In advance of the Supreme Court case 'Arizona v. United States,' many individuals and organizations have filed briefs to show either their support or opposition to this law.

A detail of the West Facade of the U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, Monday, March 7, 2011.  (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
A detail of the West Facade of the U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, Monday, March 7, 2011.  (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in Arizona v. United States, which will examine the constitutionality of Arizona’s state-level immigration bill, S.B. 1070. This review is a watershed moment in our nation’s history and interested individuals and organizations have filed an array of amicus, or “friend of the court,” briefs regarding the case. In all, 23 amicus briefs have been filed in support of the U.S. government in its legal challenge against Arizona’s “papers please” anti-immigrant scheme, 21 briefs have been filed on behalf of the state of Arizona, and one brief was filed in support of neither party.

The briefs filed in support of the United States come from a striking range of bipartisan actors from nearly every sector of society: from law enforcement to faith organizations; from mayors to members of Congress; from civil rights and community organizations to lawyer associations; from former Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioners to Cabinet members; from business entities to labor groups; and so on. By contrast, those filed in support of the state of Arizona are notable for their partisan imprimatur and the absence of a diverse set of voices from the communities they represent.

A table prepared by the National Immigration Law Center, or NILC, lists these amicus briefs and the organizations and individuals that joined them. Full copies of many of the briefs in support of the United States can be accessed on the NILC website.

Download the NILC’s full table of amicus briefs (pdf)

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