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High court issues rulings on Arizona immigration law, Montana campaign finance law

The U.S. Supreme Court is issuing major rulings this week, but it now appears it won't issue its ruling on the federal health care reform law until Thursday. This morning, the high court ruled on the Arizona immigration law, overturning much of it, but upholding the controversial provision requiring police to check the immigration status of someone they suspect is not in the United States legally. That decision upholds the “show me your papers” requirement for the moment, but it takes the teeth out of it by prohibiting police officers from arresting people on minor immigration charges, the Associated Press reports; you can read a full report here at, and read the court's full three-page decision here.

Also this morning, the high court struck down a Montana law limiting corporate campaign spending; the case was seen as a test of the 2010 Citizens United decision that opened the door to unlimited independent campaign expenditures by corporations. It was a 5-4 decision; you can read a full report here at, and read the 76-page full court decision here.

Idaho was one of 22 states that filed a brief in support of Montana's law, even though Idaho has no state laws restricting corporate campaign spending. Idaho allows direct corporate giving to campaigns, and unlimited corporate independent expenditures on campaigns, but does subject corporations to the same contribution limits to candidates as individuals, and requires reporting. The state Attorney General's office said Idaho weighed in on a state sovereignty basis, seeking to protect state authority.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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