Saturday, June 18, 2011
Notes from Arizona: Who's Holding the Keys? Preemption Issues and Immigration Policy: The Courts, the States and the United States
On Thursday, I participated in a panel discussion with Professor Jack Chin (Arizona) on preemption and immigration policy at the State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention, which this year was held in Tucson. Professor Chin focused on the infirmities with Arizona's S.B. 1070 while my comments looked at the impact of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting on the Ninth Circuit's decision in United States v. Arizona invalidating four critical immigration provisions of S.B. 1070. As I have said on other occasions, I think for a variety of reasons that one should not read too much into the Whiting decision with respect to its impact on the Ninth Circuit's ruling in the S.B. 1070 case.
The panel of two professors was followed by a panel of attorneys who litigated Whiting, including Eric Shumsky of Sidley Austin LLP, which represented the Chamber of Commerce, and Mary O'Grady, former Solicitor General, Arizona Attorney General's Office.
As one might expect given that the panel focused on Arizona's immigration laws in the state of Arizona at the Arizona State Bar's annual convention, there was a good-sized audience in attendance. Questions were thoughtful and respectful, which should not be surprising to me but might be to some who have read about the heated debate over immigration in Arizona. Among those in attendance was Justice Scott Bales of the Arizona Supreme Court; Justice Bales delivered a memorable Edward Barrett Lecture on Constitutional Law at UC Davis this past spring.