Editor's Note: Matt A. Barreto is an associate professor of political science and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Washington. He is co-founder of the polling and research firm Latino Decisions and author of the book "Ethnic Cues: The Role of Shared Ethnicity in Latino Political Participation."
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 anti-immigration law that some observers are calling a “split decision” or even a victory for the federal government over Arizona.
Though the decision did leave open the possibility of someone challenging how law enforcement officers implement the provision that the court upheld, for the Latino community, today is not “split” or a “victory” but rather a very serious blow to civil and human rights.
In May 2010, after the Arizona law was signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, a Latino Decisions poll found that 85% of Latino registered voters in Arizona believed that it would result in U.S. citizen Latinos being racially profiled and stopped by the police.
Today, the court has created an opening that could allow those fears to come true.
This is all happening in an election year, in which many pundits have called Latino voters a crucial bloc that could influence who wins the presidential election.
So, what are the political implications of the court’s ruling?
By Tom Cohen and Bill Mears, CNN
Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Monday key parts of an Arizona law that sought to deter illegal immigration, but let stand a controversial provision that lets police check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
In a decision sure to ripple across the political landscape in a presidential election year, the court's 5-3 ruling upheld the authority of the federal government to set immigration policy and laws.
"The national government has significant power to regulate immigration," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. "Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not pursue policies that undermined federal law."
The Supreme Court concluded that the federal government has the power to block the law - known as SB1070. Yet the court let stand one of the most controversial parts of the bill - a provision that lets police check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws if "reasonable suspicion" exists that the person is in the United States illegally.
By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled largely in favor of the U.S. government Monday in a controversial case involving an Arizona law that sought to crack down on illegal immigration.
The court struck down key parts of the Arizona law in a 5-3 ruling sure to ripple across the political landscape in a presidential election year.
"Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not puruse policies that undermined federal law," the majority opinion said.
The majority concluded the federal government had the power to block SB1070, though the court upheld one of the most controversial parts of the bill - a provision that lets police check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws if "reasonable suspicion" exists that the person is in the United States illegally.
The Obama administration had argued immigration matters were strictly a federal function.
The ruling is likely to have widespread implications for other states that have or are considering similar laws.
Fed up with illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico - and what they say is the federal government's inability to stop it - legislators in Arizona passed a tough immigration law. The federal government sued, saying that Arizona overreached.
At issue is whether states have any authority to step in to regulate immigration matters or whether that is the exclusive role of the federal government. In dry legal terms, this constitutional issue is known as pre-emption.
Editor's note: Stephanie Coontz teaches history and family studies at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and co-chairs the Council on Contemporary Families. Her most recent book is "A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s."
By Stephanie Coontz, Special to CNN
(CNN) - The July/August cover story of the Atlantic, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" by Anne-Marie Slaughter, has ignited a firestorm.
One side accepts the author's argument: that feminism has set women up to fail by pretending they can have a high-powered career and still be an involved mother. The other side accuses Slaughter, who left her job as the first female director of policy planning at the State Department, of setting women back by telling them to "rediscover the pursuit of happiness," starting at home.
Slaughter's article contains a powerful critique of the insanely rigid workplace culture that produces higher levels of career-family conflict among Americans - among men and women - than among any of our Western European counterparts, without measurably increasing our productivity or gross national product. And she makes sensible suggestions about how to reorganize workplaces and individual career paths to lessen that conflict.
Unfortunately, the way the discussion is framed perpetuates two myths: that feminism is to blame for raising unrealistic expectations about "having it all" and that work-family dilemmas are primarily an issue for women.