Other actions Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court:
Undocumented workers: The court agreed to hear an appeal from business and civil rights groups trying to overturn a 2007 Arizona law that prohibits employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. The state law was intended to lessen the economic incentive for immigrants to sneak into the U.S. by holding employers who hire them accountable. The prohibition is separate from an Arizona immigration law passed in April that requires police, after making a lawful stop, to question the immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally; that law is also being challenged in court. Supporters of the employer sanctions law say it was needed because the federal government hasn't adequately enforced a similar federal law. Critics contend that the law is an unconstitutional attempt by the state to regulate immigration and that cracking down on illegal hires is the sole responsibility of the federal government. Argument will take place in the court term that begins in October.
Tobacco: The court rejected an attempt by the federal government to wrest billions of dollars in damages from the tobacco industry. The court also rejected, without comment, an appeal by the tobacco companies of a lower-court ruling that the companies had violated racketeering law by conspiring to lie for years to sell tobacco products they knew were dangerous. But the elimination of any potential for a large payout was seen as a victory for cigarette makers including Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA unit and Reynolds American Inc.'s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco unit.