The Seventeenth Annual Supreme Court Review Conference

October 27, 2012

Professor Art Wolf

Western New England University School of Law

Immigration: The Pre-emptive Effect of Federal Law



  1. Arizona v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 2492 (June 25, 2012)[invalidating three provisions, while upholding one section of the Arizona statute (SB 1070, as amended) that regulates immigration.] The Court ruled (5-3) that, in light of the federal immigration laws, Arizona could not make criminal an unlawful alien's failure to register with federal authrities, or such alien's domestic employment. In addition, Arizona could not authorize its police to arrest without a warrant a person whome th officer has probable cause to believe has committed a deportable offense. In contrast, the Court upheld (8-0) the so-called "show your papers" provision that allows the poice to verify the legal status of any person stopped, detained, or arrested. It did not decide if this provision would result in racial profiling.

  2. Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, 131 S. Ct. 1968 (May 26, 2011) [by a 5-3 vote, upholding a provision of the Arizona statute (SB 1070, as amended) authorizing revocation of certain licenses from businesses that hire unlawful aliens].


Sponsored by the Law School's Institute for Legislative and Governmental Affairs


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