A Federal court put a temporary block on two controversial provisions of a tough immigration law in Alabama, the A.P. reports, and other states that might contemplate similar laws are likely watching. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked portions of the Alabama law that makes it a felony for an undocumented immigrant to do business with the state as well as another involving the enforcement of contracts with immigrants. The court said it won't issue a ruling on Alabama's law until the Supreme Court issues one on Arizona's similar measure later this year. Still, in similar cases, in which a court has temporarily blocked portions of Arizona's law, people have taken it as a good sign that the laws won't hold up in court. That's important when other states are considering how to approach the immigration issue.

As Omar Jadwat, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, told the A.P. last week as the 11th Circuit Court heard arguments in Atlanta on Alabama's law, "I do think other states are watching this closely ... Realistically, I think it's going to be a combination of what happens in this case and what happens in the Supreme Court case that folks in other states are going to look at. If anti-immigrant legislators in other states think that this is a path that is open to them, they'll try to get their states to go down the same path."

Today's ruling might be temporary, but that doesn't mean it'll be forgotten.