Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Circuit Conflict on the Immigration Housing Laws?

At the end of June, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Keller v. City of Fremont rejected a federal preemption challenge to a Fremont, Nebraska ordinance barring the rental of housing to undocumented immigrants.  The preeemption analysis squarely conflicts with the recent rulings of the Third Circuit in Lozano v. City of Hazleton and the Fifth Circuit in the Farmer's Branch, Texas case.  The Fremont decision arguably is at odds more generally with the courts', including the Supreme Court's willingness, to find state and local immigration enforcement laws to be preempted by federal law. 

The circuit conflict is the kind of thing that catches the eye of the Supreme Court.  The Court declined to review the court of appeal's decision invalidating much of Alabama's H.B. 56.  It could, however, have a chance in the future to review the constitutionality of housing regulation ordinances like those seen in Fremont, Hazleton, and Farmer's Branch.  Stay tuned!


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