Monday, June 6, 2011
Supremes Vacate Third Circuit Decision in Hazleton v. Lozano, Deny Cert in California Supreme Court Decision in Martinez v. Regents of the University of California
This morning, in Hazleton v. Lozano, the Supreme Court issued the following order:
"The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for further consideration in light of Chamber of Commerce of United States of America v. Whiting, 563 U. S. ___ (2011)." Download Hazleton v. Lozano Order
The Court's order in Hazleton v.Lozano is not altogether surprising. Still, we should be circumspect about what the order truly means. The Court often vacates and remands a case that raises similar issues -- in this instance, federal pre-emption of state and local efforts to regulate immigration -- as those addressed in a recent decision by the Court. But there are some stark differences procedurally and substantively between the Arizona statute that was upheld in Whiting and the municipal ordinace invalidated by the Third Circuit in the Hazleton case. Importantly, the Court's decision in Whiting dealt with a state business licensing law while the Hazelton case deals with a local ordinance that contains a hodge-podge (including prohibiting landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants) of immigration and immigrant measures.
We will have to wait and see how the Third Circuit, which will have an early opportunity to apply Whiting, address the Hazleton ordinance in light of the Court's reasoning. Stay tuned to see how it turns out!
In another immigration case, the Court today denied certiorari in Martinez v. Regents of the University of California, in which the California Supreme Court unanimously upheld a California law (AB 540) allowing undocumented students and others to pay the same fees as residents to attend the University of California, California Sate University, and community college systems. Although one should not read too much into a denial of cert, the order allows states like Califonia to have in-state fee systems that allow certain undocumented staudents to pay in-state fees.