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I assume on grounds that federal immigration law pre-empted local immigration restrictions? Or was there some sort of Constitutional issue? Or both/neither? C'mon Greg, you've had enough law school now to provide a little bit of legal analysis and context to the decision.....this is important to know because it could give some guidance as to whether Arizona's rapidly multiplying passel of anti-immigrant laws woudl be upheld. But if the Pennsylvania case was just decided on procedural grounds or something then it really doesn't mean anything for us here. A 206-page opinion though is probably pretty substantive.

It wouldn't surprise me if this federal judge ruled that the PA town's ordinance violated some mythical legal principle like "substantive due process." Believe me, just because a federal judge writes for 206 pages, doesn't necessarily mean that their rationale was substantive. Usually, it takes a judge 200-plus pages to create some "constitutional" rationale to circumvent a law that they find personally objectionable.

We shall see what happens Mr. Speaker...if you aren't the Speaker you sound like him..

Here's the AP version,

(U.S. District Judge James)Munley said Hazleton's act was pre-empted by federal law and violated the plaintiffs' due process rights.

"Whatever frustrations ... the city of Hazleton may feel about the current state of federal immigration enforcement, the nature of the political system in the United States prohibits the city from enacting ordinances that disrupt a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme," Munley wrote in a 206-page opinion.

"Even if federal law did not conflict with Hazleton's measures, the city could not enact an ordinance that violates rights the Constitution guarantees to every person in the United States, whether legal resident or not," he added."

In response to Jim's comment:

And it dosn't surprise me that someone dismisses an important court decision by simply placing the "judicial activism" label on it instead of reading it and attacking it on its merits.

I assume it will be appealed.

Paying attention to lower-court decisions is often like watching the first 46 minutes of an NBA game -- interesting only from a technical viewpoint.

From Howie Fischer's article in the Tribune today 7/27/07:

"Selden said Arizona’s statute, like the one struck down in Hazleton, does not restrict license suspension to firms found guilty of the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act.

'The punishment is for violating the state law,' Selden said. 'And that’s what the Pennsylvania court said is unconstitutional.'

He also said Arizona courts lack jurisdiction to determine if a specific worker is here illegally."

To the last point, the appellate review of this case will determine what Congress intended when they passed section 287(g) of the IIRAIRA Act in 1996. Namely, to address immigration problems, federal, state, and local levels of government are going to have to cross-train and cooperate with each other. The past inherent barriers (distance, cost, lack of information) that "controlled" legal immigration have vanished in our present information age. Our laws have to reflect the new reality of instant communication combined with well-funded criminal smuggling operations. The courts will see this.

Some interesting points from a July 7th AZ Republic news article:

1. Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said he plans to "vigorously" defend the employer-sanctions law in court. The pending litigation, however, prevented him from commenting directly on the Hazleton ruling and its potential impact on Arizona's law.
In general, however, states have broader authority than cities when passing laws.
"Our clear difference is a local law versus a state law. That could be a major distinction. I just don't know until I have a chance" to compare the two laws and read the judge's ruling, Goddard said.

2. State Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who wrote the employer-sanctions law, doesn't believe the ruling in Pennsylvania will have any bearing in Arizona. Arizona's law was crafted to fall within the inherent right of states, he said. He also dismissed the judge's ruling and predicted the Hazleton law will be upheld on appeal. "We knew he would (strike it down)," Pearce said. "He's a liberal Clinton appointee."

Don't give up hope.

Some interesting points from a July 7th AZ Republic news article:

1. Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said he plans to "vigorously" defend the employer-sanctions law in court. The pending litigation, however, prevented him from commenting directly on the Hazleton ruling and its potential impact on Arizona's law.
In general, however, states have broader authority than cities when passing laws.
"Our clear difference is a local law versus a state law. That could be a major distinction. I just don't know until I have a chance" to compare the two laws and read the judge's ruling, Goddard said.

2. State Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who wrote the employer-sanctions law, doesn't believe the ruling in Pennsylvania will have any bearing in Arizona. Arizona's law was crafted to fall within the inherent right of states, he said. He also dismissed the judge's ruling and predicted the Hazleton law will be upheld on appeal. "We knew he would (strike it down)," Pearce said. "He's a liberal Clinton appointee."

Don't give up hope.

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