SCOTUS To Hear Arizona v. US: State Immigration Laws in Trouble?

By Robyn Hagan Cain on December 13, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Arizona v. U.S., the immigration law case challenging Arizona S.B. 1070. That means that by the end of 2012, we'll know whether federal immigration laws preclude Arizona's attempt at cooperative law enforcement and facially preempt four provisions of S.B. 1070.

What will this case mean for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering actions to enjoin two of the six controversial state immigration laws currently in place? Any decision from the Eleventh Circuit will be trumped by the Supreme Court's take on the issue.

Alabama and Georgia are currently defending their state immigration laws against federal and citizen lawsuits, respectively. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the Alabama immigration law case on November 29, and will hear arguments in the Georgia challenge in late February or early March.

In October, the Eleventh Circuit enjoined two provisions of the Alabama immigration law that required public school residency checks and mandatory alien registration cards. The court left provisions for immigration status checks during "lawful" stops, illegal immigrant business transaction bans, and non-enforcement of undocumented immigrant contracts in place.

In June, a district judge enjoined two sections of the Georgia immigration law. One of the enjoined provisions directed law enforcement to conduct immigration status checks for suspects who could not provide identification, while the other penalized intentionally transporting or housing someone in the country illegally, reports The New York Times.

South Carolina, Utah, and Indiana have also enacted state immigration laws similar to Arizona S.B. 1070, which could be overruled by the Supreme Court's decision, reports The Christian Science Monitor. The Court has not set a date for oral arguments in Arizona v. U.S.

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