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Opposition To AZ Law Strengthens

WASHINGTON — A broad spectrum of organizations cutting across the political spectrum filed amicus briefs in support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of a controversial 2007 Arizona immigration law, Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. Whiting, et al. (formerly Candelaria). Seven amicus briefs were filed in support of the Chamber by various business groups and trade associations, the Obama Administration, current and former members of Congress, civil rights groups, immigrant rights groups, and a labor union.

“The loud and clear message from the bipartisan array of groups supporting the Chamber’s lawsuit is that immigration reform is a national problem that requires a national solution,” said Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the National Chamber Litigation Center, the U.S. Chamber’s public policy law firm. “The confusing patchwork of state and local immigration laws stands in the way of meaningful immigration reform.”

Yesterday seven separate amicus curiae briefs were filed in support of the Chamber’s challenge to the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA), which authorizes state officials to adjudicate employment eligibility and requires businesses to comply with the federal E-Verify pilot program to electronically verify employees’ eligibility to work. As governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano called the law’s sanctions “the business death penalty” because the law permits the state to revoke a company’s charter and articles of incorporation.

The following seven amicus briefs were filed in support of the Chamber’s legal challenge to LAWA:

  • Business groups and trade associations, in an amicus brief including the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC), the Human Rights Initiative for a Legal Workforce (HR Initiative), the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), the chambers of commerce of Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, and West Virginia, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the State Chamber of Oklahoma, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Texas Association of Business, and the Association of Washington Business, and also a separate amicus brief by the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC);
  • The Obama Administration, in an amicus brief filed by acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal;
  • Current and former members of Congress, including Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), Representative Howard Berman (D-CA), and former Representative Ron Mazzoli (D-KY), a sponsor of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act at issue in the litigation;
  • Civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), Asian American Institute (AAI), Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Asian Law Caucus (ALC), Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California (APALC), LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Legal Aid Society—Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC), Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association (Los Abogados), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), National Employment Law Project (NELP), and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC);
  • Immigrant rights groups, including the National Immigrant Justice Center, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the American Immigration Council; and
  • The labor union Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

NCLC is the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that advocates fair treatment of business in the courts and before regulatory agencies.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.



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