Employer Sanctions Debate in High Court

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday on Arizona's employer sanctions law.

The law allows prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

Gov. Jan Brewer will be among those in attendance inside the huge, white marble court house on Capitol Hill listening to arguments on the 2007 law.

Lower courts have upheld the employer sanctions law that former Gov. Janet Napolitano, now U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, signed after it was enacted by the state Legislature.

The law is being challenged by 11 local and national companies.

They claim sanctions for employing illegal immigrants should be federal law and that the Arizona law puts an unfair burden on Arizona employers.

On Tuesday, Brewer told FOX News' Greta Van Susteren, "..but the fact of the matter is the people of Arizona believe that we need to get our arms around this illegal immigration and stop losing our jobs to people that live in Arizona to the illegal immigration and we believe employers ought to be hiring legal citizens of the state of Arizona."

The court must decide whether the law is a business law or an immigration law. That makes a difference because immigration laws are decided by the federal government, not the states.

Eight of the nine justices will hear arguments on both sides. Each side will get a half hour, then the justices will leave and meet privately to decide. A ruling could take months. If the decision comes back four against four, the law will stay the way it is currently.

For more stories from KUTP in Phoenix, Arizona visit myfoxphoenix.com.