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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: Split Decision on Immigration from SCOTUS

by Newsteam Staff
June 25, 2012

Photo of the Day: Supporters of President Barack Obama at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida June 22, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Supporters of President Barack Obama at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida June 22, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).


In a ruling that could have a substantial impact on the 2012 presidential race, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a split decision on Arizona’s controversial immigration law Monday morning (HuffPost). The court struck down multiple provisions but upheld the “papers, please” provision that requires state law enforcement to demand immigration papers from anyone stopped, detained, or arrested in the state if there is reasonable suspicion that they are in the country without authorization, and to check the immigration status of arrestees with the federal government before they are released. 

Both candidates are still braced for the court’s decision this week on President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, which, along with the immigration decision, are two politically charged issues that could alter the presidential campaign (NYT).

Aides to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, are expected to use the court’s rulings to their advantage no matter how they turn out, arguing that President Obama has lost his biggest legacy if the court strikes down the health care law, and vowing to repeal it if the law stands. The Romney campaign, already working to balance its efforts to appeal to Latino voters without pushing away Tea Party conservatives, will have to tread carefully on its response to the immigration law decision.

The Obama administration has “had a long year at the high court,” having seen its legal arguments met with lopsided votes and sometimes biting commentary from the justices, writes Robert Barnes for the Washington Post.

The economy may be affecting the presidential election, but according to a new AP-GfK poll, the majority of voters do not believe the outcome of the 2012 election will affect the course of the economy (AP).

A majority of those surveyed–55 percent–say the winner will have from “just some impact” to “no impact” on the nation’s huge budget deficits. Of those polled, 32 percent think the economy will improve in the coming year. When asked how much impact the November winner will have on unemployment, six out of ten respondents gave answers ranging from “slim” to “none,” reports the Associated Press.

Although macro issues dominate on the campaign trail, President Obama’s reelection effort is also working to focus on smaller, local issues in swing states (Politico).

“President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are jousting over the big national themes of 2012: the economy, the deficit, the crisis in Europe,” writes Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn. “But voters in swing states also are hearing a lot about decidedly smaller topics: Burmese pythons, Asian carp, a local port and the like. It’s the micro-issue side of the macro-issue campaign. In an election where every vote matters, Team Obama is also trying to go big by going small.”

Latino voters prioritize immigration, health care, and unemployment to equal degrees, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll asking about the importance of six national policy issues. Registered Latino voters put health care and all economic issues–unemployment, economic growth and the gap between rich and poor–before immigration, which 12 percent named as their most important issue. The economy is also the dominant issue of concern for all U.S. voters this campaign season.

“[B]oth candidates are making obvious overtures to the Hispanic community with pro-immigration policies, ” Gallup says. “However, the current poll suggests immigration may not be the issue on which most Hispanics are focused.”

— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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