The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear oral arguments over Arizona's controversial immigration law on April 25, the Court's final day of hearings for the term.
The case, Arizona v. United States, tests states' abilities to pass their own immigration measures in an area of the law typically reserved for the federal government. The state of Arizona is seeking to reverse a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
The Supreme Court agreed to take the case in December, raising the stakes of an already-high profile term that will include a three-day challenge to the Affordable Care Act in March. Both cases will likely be decided at the end of the term in late June, just in time to impact the 2012 presidential election.
Lower courts blocked four sections of Arizona's S.B. 1070 from coming into effect, including the provision that allows the police to check the immigration status of anyone who has been arrested, stopped or detained whom an officer reasonably suspects to be in the country illegally.
Arizona believes that S.B. 1070 is a lawful supplement to, rather than unconstitutional invasion of, the federal government's comprehensive immigration laws.
How the Supreme Court rules will likely affect similar laws in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Utah.
Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case, presumably because of her involvement as solicitor general when the United States decided to bring suit against Arizona in 2010.
More background on Arizona v. United States from The Huffington Post is available here.