WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court justices strongly suggested Wednesday that they are ready to allow Arizona to enforce part of a controversial state law requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they think are in the country illegally.
Liberal and conservative justices reacted skeptically to the Obama administration's argument that the state exceeded its authority when it made the records check, and another provision allowing suspected illegal immigrants to be arrested without a warrant, part of Arizona law aimed at driving illegal immigrants elsewhere.
Warm, windy weather is raising the fire danger in the Mountain West.
Red flag warnings were in effect Thursday for much of western Colorado and the San Luis Valley as well as parts of Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.
In western Colorado, the National Weather Service said wind gusts could reach up to 35 mph before the threat is expected to subside Friday afternoon. Humidities are also expected to drop below 15 percent there, making it easier for fires to spread.
The agency warns that simple burns on farms or ranches could easily get out of control.
A bill pending in the state Senate and pushed by the mining industry would shield cases of environmental contamination from civil lawsuits and penalties according to backers.
The Arizona Republic reports the bill headed for a final Senate vote Monday would allow companies to keep those cases secret. Supporters say it would be an incentive for corporations to voluntarily clean up ground and water contamination they discover on their properties.
Gov. Jan Brewer says part of pending Arizona legislation on insurance coverage for birth control drugs could make it uncomfortable for women using contraception for reasons over than avoiding pregnancy.
The bill would allow all employers with religious and moral objections to birth control to refuse to provide coverage for that purpose through their health plans. Those employers still would have to provide coverage for contraception for other medical reasons but could make women seeking reimbursements explain why they need it.
PHOENIX (AP) _ Arizona is moving toward making online merchants collect sales tax on residents' purchases, a departure from the state's previous hands-office stance. The state Revenue Department has billed Amazon.com for $53 million in uncollected sales taxes for nearly five years. Amazon says it's contesting the state's assessment, which the company disclosed in its latest annual report. At the Legislature, Arizona lawmakers have introduced a bill to require Amazon.com and other retailers with distribution centers in
PHOENIX (AP) _ The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Arizona's immigration enforcement law on April 25, in the last such hearing of the high court's current term. The court will review a federal appeals court decision that upheld a judge's ruling blocking key provisions of the Arizona law. One of those provisions requires that police, while enforcing other laws, question a person's immigration status if officers have reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Gabrielle Giffords has resigned from the House with a standing ovation from her colleagues, more than a year after she was gravely wounded by a would-be assassin. The Arizona Democrat formally resigned Wednesday after a series of tributes from her colleagues. She's stepping down to focus on her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head.