WASHINGTON - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States urging the high court to uphold an Arizona employer-sanctions law that penalizes businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Backing Arizona's position in the case, the ACLJ's friend-of-the-court brief argues that the Legal Arizona Workers Act is constitutional and should not be preempted by federal law. The ACLJ also supports Arizona in another immigration case to be considered by a federal appeals court next week - the highly-publicized challenge to Arizona's SB 1070, which faces constitutional challenges.
"The outcome of this case is likely to have dramatic implications and could very well set the legal tone for how Arizona and other states deal with immigration," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "While this case may not be as widely known as the challenge to Arizona's new immigration law, SB 1070, it is closely watched. The issues at the center of this argument are crucial: whether states can take legislative action to protect their borders and citizens - without being trumped by the federal government. The Arizona law complements federal law and we're hopeful that the high court will permit Arizona to take the legislative action it desires and its citizens deserve."
In its amicus brief filed with the high court, the ACLJ contends the Arizona law is a valid exercise of Arizona's police powers. The brief argues: "State laws, like the Legal Arizona Workers Act, that mirror federal immigration provisions and incorporate federal standards promote national policy and should not be preempted."
The ACLJ notes that "illegal immigration is a serious problem" and argues that the "federal government has proved inadequate to the tasks of enforcing current immigration laws and building consensus toward needed immigration reform" leaving states to "cope on their own."
The ACLJ is urging the high court to uphold a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit, which upheld a lower court ruling declaring the Legal Arizona Workers Act constitutional.
The case is Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting (No. 09-115) and the ACLJ's amicus brief is posted here.
In the other case involving Arizona's new immigration law now before the 9th Circuit, the ACLJ has filed an amicus brief on behalf of 66 members of Congress urging the appeals court to uphold Arizona law SB 1070, key provisions of which were struck down as unconstitutional by a federal district court in July. Oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the appeals court are scheduled to take place Monday, November 1st.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C.