June 15, 2012
The Supreme Court and State Immigration Laws
Joan BiskupicLegal Affairs Editor-in-Chief, Reuters
Lucas GuttentagRobina Foundation Distinguished Senior Research Scholar in Law and Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School
Marielena HincapiéExecutive Director, National Immigration Law Center
Mark ShurtleffUtah Attorney General
Stacey Y. AbramsHouse Minority Leader, Georgia General Assembly
2011 saw more states pass restrictive immigration laws and, consequently, more lawsuits filed in federal court challenging them as unconstitutional. And this year, the Supreme Court considers the legality of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, which sits at the heart of the conflict between the federal government’s asserted exclusive power over immigration and states seeking to legislate in the arena. This panel discussed the oral argument in Arizona v. United States and explored what is at stake: Can states fill what they perceive as a void in federal policy by enacting their own statutes directed at controlling undocumented immigration? What are the consequences of the Supreme Court’s upholding or striking down SB 1070?