Wednesday, August 10, 2011
As expected, Arizona and Governor Jan Brewer have filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court today, seeking review of the Ninth Circuit opinion upholding the district court's preliminary injunction against specific provisions of as SB 1070, Arizona's controversial immigration law.
Arizona, represented by Paul Clement, contends it bears the brunt of illegal immigration and that the federal government is not sufficiently addressing the problem, setting the factual and political context for its claim that its statute is not preempted under the Supremacy Clause. The petition argues that "The Ninth Circuit’s rule—that States may not take any investigative or enforcement action against aliens based on their civil violations of the immigration laws without an express permission slip from Congress—directly conflicts with the approach" taken in other circuits. The petition also argues that the Ninth Circuit opinions contradicts "Our Federalism" by failing to recognize co-operative enforcement and implicitly assuming that immigration is a matter of nearly exclusive federal concern. The Ninth Circuit completely misconstrued preemption doctrine according to the petition, perhaps most egregiously when it allowed "complaints by foreign government officials and the disagreement of the Executive Branch to trump congressional intent."
The SCOTUSblog online symposium on immigration developments, including SB1070, has an excellent contribution by Kevin Johnson, who predicts that the Court will probably grant the petition for certiorari, although possibly remanding the case for consideration in light of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting. In the event the Court does entertain the case, Johnson speculates on the position of Justice Kennedy and the possibility of recusal of Justice Kagan.