American Unity Legal Defense Fund attorneys are monitoring and carefully evaluating this year’s voluminous litigation to select key legal actions where our participation can make a difference.
A primary focus will continue to be the negative impact immigration has on our system of representative government. Thus we expect to continue to take part in the growing litigation involving American election law.
Last year a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Arizona's law requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. A full 11-judge panel will rehear the case June 21, 2011. After the rehearing and new decision, the case will be ready for the Supreme Court. Efforts to stop voter fraud continue to grow. Many state legislatures are watching the Arizona appeal. In April Georgia passed legislation requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote - and the Department of Justice approved Georgia's law.
An important area of litigation involves the employment of illegal aliens in the United States.On May 26, 2011, the Supreme Court in the Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting case (formerly Candelaria) upheld Arizona's law penalizing employers who hire illegal aliens. This is a huge victory for American workers. The Court resolved a key question by ruling that federal law does not preempt state action in immigration enforcement. The Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria case is now before the Court. The Court will decide whether to hear the case after the Obama administration files an amicus brief giving the Court the government’s position.
Other states - and towns - are following Arizona's lead. Hazleton, Pennsylvania passed a well-publicized law which sought to prevent both hiring and renting to illegal aliens. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law and Hazleton appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court vacated the Third Circuit's decision and has sent the case back to the Third Circuit for the judges to review the law again in light of the new Supreme Court decision in the Whiting case.
In 2010 Arizona passed a broad law dealing with illegal immigration. The United States Government has sued Arizona and on April 12, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down key parts of the law. The Governor of Arizona announced that an appeal will be made directly to the Supreme Court of the United States.
As the economy falters, states are looking for ways to cut back on expenses without raising taxes. Welfare support for people illegally in the United States is a growing burden on state taxpayers. As states take action to balance budgets, efforts to reduce welfare are being challenged in the courts.
There are many other immigration-related issues coming before the courts. Whether state governments can make English their official language, whether everyone born in the United States should be automatically granted American citizenship, and whether "racial profiling" charges can block immigration law enforcement are important questions for the future of our country.
Legal action will play an important role as the battle over immigration policy escalates across the country. Legal battles are moving rapidly toward decision at the Supreme Court of the United States.