WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear arguments over Arizona's immigration law after a lower court upheld a Justice Department challenge to void the law, arguing the state can't legislate rules that the federal government is responsible for enforcing.
Similar laws in Alabama, South Carolina and Utah also are facing administration lawsuits. Private groups are suing over immigration measures adopted in Georgia and Indiana.
The case could be heard in April.
The justices -- minus Justice Elena Kagan, who did not participate in consideration of the petition -- said they will review a federal appeals court ruling that blocked several provisions in the Arizona law, including one that requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person's immigration status if officers suspect he is in the country illegally.
Like the health care debate, the case adds another politically charged dispute between a Republican-dominated state and the Democratic administration to the court's election-year lineup. On Friday, the justices also intervened in a partisan fight over redistricting in Texas. That case will be heard in January.