US Supreme Court rules for AZ

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N  S E N S E , in Arizona
Thursday, May 26, 2011


US Supreme Court rules for AZ

States can yank licenses for companies that hire illegal aliens

By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
 8:34 AM PDT, May 26, 2011
The Supreme Court on Thursday gave Arizona and other states more authority to take action against illegal immigrants and the companies that hire them, ruling that employers who knowingly hire illegal workers can lose their license to do business.

The 5-3 decision upholds the Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007 and its so-called business death penalty for employers who are caught repeatedly hiring illegal immigrants. The state law also requires employers to check the federal E-Verify system before hiring new workers, a provision that was also upheld Thursday.
The court’s decision did not deal with the more controversial Arizona law passed last year that gave police more authority to stop and question those who are suspected of being in the state illegally. But the ruling is likely to encourage the state and its supporters because the court majority said states remained free to take action involving immigrants.
Thursday’s decision is a defeat for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, several civil-rights groups and the Obama administration, all of whom opposed the Arizona law and its sanctions on employers. They argued that federal law said states may not impose “civil or criminal sanctions” on employers.
But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said another portion of the same law made clear that states were free to use their “licensing” laws to punish employers. Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. formed the majority in Chamber of Commerce vs. Whiting.
The Arizona law upheld Thursday was signed into law by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, who now serves as secretary of Homeland Security for President Obama.
In dissent were Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. They said federal law prohibited states from imposing their own immigration-related rules on employers. Justice Elena Kagan sat out the case.
Soon after the Arizona employment law went into effect, lawyers for the chamber and civil-rights group sued, contending it was preempted or trumped by federal immigration laws. But a federal judge and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Arizona measure. The Supreme Court affirmed those decisions Thursday.
Roberts noted that eight other states had passed similar laws. They are Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
The other Arizona law involving police enforcement has been challenged – successfully, so far – by the Obama administration and civil-rights groups. They say enforcement of laws against illegal immigration is exclusively in the hands of federal authorities. A federal judge and the U.S. 9th Court of Appeals have put that Arizona law on hold. Gov. Jan Brewer said she planned to appeal the issue to the Supreme Court.


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  1. Everyone knows the Supreme Court is racist!

    • We conservatives are all racists, of course. Let’s admit it once and for all. My husband John has a beautiful silk white sheet and white silk pointy hat to match his pointy head, and I keep it clean and ironed for him for the nightly cross burnings he goes to. Surely you have heard about them, right?

      Confession time – We are not really racists, thank God, but even if we were, how would that change the facts? Not at all. Illegal aliens come here for a variety of reasons, and among them are those who would harm us. Others mean us no harm, but come with diseases we could treat if they applied legally and we knew who they were.

      Then there are folks coming across our borders from places where Americans are the enemy because we are infidels. They have left their prayer rugs and other paraphernalia behind in the desert. We know they are here to hurt us, so the more protection we have, the better off we are.

      Thank you Supreme Court. It seems we have too few victories these dark days. Let us pray for more good things to happen, but while we are at it, let’s join hands, roll up our sleeves and work together for a better future. When people say we are at the 11th hour, they are not kidding.

  2. Paula Pennypacker says

    Today’s decision will do more to stop illegal immigration in the United States than SB 1070 ever will. This decision was based on case law and does not signal how the court will rule on SB 1070 however.

    I applaud today’s decision.

  3. This Supreme Court decision should send them back where they came from.

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