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The Daily Tar Heel

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MCT) — Immigration politics will hit the Supreme Court this week as justices consider how much border-control clout the states can deploy.

The court must decide whether Arizona went too far with a crackdown that includes ordering police to routinely check the legal residency status of people they stop. The court’s ruling answer this election year could ignite Capitol Hill, other states and, especially, Hispanic voters.

“This is a huge case, of great importance,” said Andrew I. Schoenholtz, a visiting professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Arizona v. United States, the case being heard Wednesday, carries well beyond the notoriously porous Southwest border. South Carolina, Idaho, Florida and 13 other states have allied themselves with Arizona, arguing for the power to impose certain immigration measures if they choose. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 16 other House Democrats from California take the opposite position. On both sides, dozens of friend-of-the-court briefs press different points.

The court’s decision is likely to come in June, as the campaign season is heating up and about the same time as the court is expected to rule on the Obama administration’s signature health care law.

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