Tag Archives: SB 1070

Arizona immigration law challenge could end in a tie

Gov. Jan Brewer and attorney Paul Clement, far right, leaving the Supreme Court Wednesday after oral arguments in Arizona v. U.S. (Photo: Kimberly Atkins, Lawyers USA)

There is bad news and good news for the Obama administration as it seeks to have Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law SB 1070 struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The bad news: four out of the eight justices who heard the case today seemed to side squarely on the side of Arizona officials who say the state statute does not conflict with federal immigration law. (Justice Elena Kagan recused herself, likely because she was involved in the challenge while she was Obama’s solicitor general).

If, as it seemed, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and presumably Clarence Thomas (Thomas does not speak during oral arguments, but he is a vocal opponent of the doctrine of implied preemption) are inclined to rule in favor of the state, the best the federal government can do in its challenge is tie – assuming noted swing voter Justice Anthony M. Kennedy votes in the administration’s favor.

But the good news is that a tie would be a win in this case. If the Court splits, the case goes back to the 9th Circuit, which has already given a strong indication that it would strike down the law when it upheld a preliminary injunction preventing the law from going into effect.

Much more on the arguments later on Lawyers USA online.

Supreme Court saves AZ immigration law challenge for last

The Supreme Court is set to end its oral argument season with a bang this morning, as it hears the challenge to Arizona’s immigration law which authorizes police officers to check the status of any detained individual the officer suspects may be an illegal immigrant.

The law is being challenged by the Obama administration, which argues that federal immigration law preempts state measures such as Arizona’s SB 1070. But state officials say they have the right to enact state immigration laws, particularly where – as they claim here – federal law is ineffective.

Stay tuned to Lawyers USA online and this blog this afternoon for updates on the arguments.

Arizona files SCOTUS cert petition over immigration law

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a 9th Circuit ruling blocking enforcement of parts of the state’s controversial immigration law, S.B. 1070, which allows police to check the immigration status of individuals.

The move officially puts the case before the nation’s highest court, which must now decide whether to take the matter up next term. At issue in the case is whether states have the ability to implement tough immigration laws, or if that area is solely within the jurisdiction of federal lawmakers.

“It’s going to be pretty hard for the federal government to deny these are issues of primary importance,” said Paul Clement, a Washington, D.C., attorney hired by Brewer to prepare Wednesday’s petition, according to the Arizona Republic. “It’s not like immigration is an area of absolutely exclusive federal control, and with Arizona bearing such a disproportionate burden (of the immigration problem), a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t make sense.”

Legal commentators on an online symposium hosted by SCOTUSblog have been chiming in for weeks with opinions on whether the Court will rule in the Arizona’s favor, or side with the federal government – or whether the Court will decide to take up the matter at all.

Brewer taps Clement for Az. immigration law cert bid (access required)


In a move that apparently surprised her own state attorney general, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer tapped Paul Clement to lead the state’s effort to get the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the injunction preventing enforcement of parts of the state’s controversial immigration bill SB 1070.

That measure, which Brewer signed into law in 2010, authorizes police to check the immigration status of an individual who is stopped, detained or arrested if a “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person has entered the country illegally.



Clement, now a partner at Bancroft, recently parted ways with King & Spalding to continue representing House Republicans in their bid to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

Fresh off a high court victory in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, in which the Court upheld an Arizona law imposing strict sanctions on employers who hire illegal workers, Brewer blindsided Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne by hiring Clement to lead the state’s defense of SB 1070, The Arizona Republic’s Ginger Rough reports.

Horne was unaware of Brewer’s decision to hire Clement until reports surfaced Tuesday morning, Rough reported, and he had previously said that he was eager to handle all legal proceeding pertaining to the case. The Whiting case was argued by Arizona Solicitor General Mary R. O’Grady.

In a statement, Horne said: “It is important that we win the SB 1070 case. Paul Clement is an outstanding attorney, and his addition to the legal team is valuable to the state’s defense of the law.”

HT: How Appealing