Today, if you use the names Sonia Sotomayor, they would probably figure out I was a citizen.

– Justice Sonia Sotomayor, speaking during today’s oral arguments in Arizona v. United States, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

(Justices on both sides of the political spectrum appeared unsympathetic to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. More harsh words that the justices had for him, after the jump.)

You almost feel bad for the Solicitor General; he is just not having a great month. After taking a beating in the Obamacare arguments, he had another rough outing today — again facing off against Paul Clement, who also argued the healthcare case.

The Wise Latina, who was a potential ally for Verrilli, was not cutting him any slack. From Adam Liptak’s report in the New York Times:

At one point Justice Sotomayor, addressing Mr. Verrilli by his title, said: “General, I’m terribly confused by your answer. O.K.? And I don’t know that you’re focusing in on what I believe my colleagues are trying to get to.”

Ouch! And then, perhaps unsurprisingly, Justice Scalia‘s comments dealt another blow to Verrilli’s shellshocked ego:

Mr. Verrilli urged the court to consider the Arizona law against the backdrop of the foreign policy considerations that arise from taking actions against citizens of other nations.

“So we have to enforce our laws in a manner that will please Mexico?” Justice Antonin Scalia responded.

The court is expected to release a ruling in June. In the meantime, can someone give Verrilli some plane tickets to Hawaii and a good bottle of scotch?

Justices Seem Sympathetic to Central Part of Arizona Law [New York Times]


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