WASHINGTON (CBS) -- A much anticipated ruling from the Supreme Court is getting mixed reaction across the country. Today the justices rejected parts of Arizona's immigration law and took the teeth out of its most controversial provision. Both sides of the legal battle are claiming victory.
The Supreme Court struck down parts of an Arizona law designed to crackdown on illegal immigration. For now the justices are letting a provision go forward that requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they arrest or apprehend.
But in their 5-3 ruling the justices said police cannot arrest people on minor immigration charges as the Arizona law laid out. Arizona officials say they passed the law two years ago because the federal government was not doing enough to stop illegal immigration.
The law sparked protests across the country and calls to boycott Arizona. Critics said it would lead to racial profiling, and the Obama administration filed suit on the basis that it interfered with federal immigration laws.
Today the Supreme Court held that federal law trumped many provisions in Arizona's law -and that's why they struck them down. The justices also left the door open for other legal challenges.
Still Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer called today's ruling a victory for the rule or law. He says, "The heart of the law stands."
The Supreme Court's ruling has implications beyond Arizona's borders. Thirteen other states have similar laws or are considering new ones.
One of the dissenting Justices, Antonin Scalia said the decision "boggles the mind." He questioned whether states would have joined the union if they knew the court's decision today preventing them from passing their own immigration law.
Justice Elena Kagan didn't take part immigration case because in her former job as solicitor general she helped the Obama administration craft its legal arguments.