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Supreme Court Cases

US Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting



Supreme Court’s 2010-2011 docket has been decided, and one of the cases taken up is United States Chamber of Commerce vs. Whiting.  It’s basically going to decide if the State government of Arizona can rescind the business license of an employer having been found to retain undocumented workers.

Issue: Whether an Arizona statute that imposes sanctions on employers who hire unauthorized aliens is invalid under a federal statute that expressly “preempt[s] any State or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens”; whether the Arizona statute, which requires all employers to participate in a federal electronic employment verification system, is preempted by a federal law that specifically makes that system voluntary; whether the Arizona statute is impliedly preempted because it undermines the “comprehensive scheme” that Congress created to regulate the employment of aliens.

Plain English Issue: An Arizona law requires state employers to check the immigration status of job applicants through a federal computer database, although the federal law creating the database makes its use voluntary. Arizona also revokes the business license of state companies that hire undocumented workers. Are these provisions pre-empted by federal immigration laws? (Kagan, J., recused.)

Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Whiting


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