The U.S. Supreme Court wants the Obama administration to offer its opinion on state immigration laws, an issue that the White House has largely tried to avoid. The high court asked the White House on Monday for an opinion in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce challenge to an Arizona law that punishes businesses for hiring undocumented immigrants.
The Chamber of Commerce, supported by groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, filed suit against a law Arizona passed in 2007 that requires employers to use an employee verification system and penalizes those who knowingly hire people without proper documentation. A Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona law could affect other states that have taken the issue into their own hands in response to what many see as federal inaction on immigration reform.
Michael Doyle, of McClatchy Newspapers, reported the Chamber’s attorney Carter Phillips wrote in a legal brief: “This case involves a question of exceptional national importance: whether state legislatures and municipal governments may override Congress’ judgment concerning United States immigration policy.”