U.S. Supreme Court: Arizona's Employer Sanctions Law A-OK

In a 5-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has sustained Arizona's employer sanctions law.

The law forces employers to check the immigration status of employees, and allows the state to penalize businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

The court's ruling doesn't address SB 1070, Arizona's controversial immigration law. However, it indicates that the majority of the court is willing to give states a little wiggle room when it comes to immigration issues.

In the court's ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts writes that the law "falls well within the confines of the authority Congress chose to leave to the states."

"Arizona's procedures simply implement the sanctions that Congress expressly allowed the states to pursue through licensing laws," Roberts continues. "Given that Congress specifically preserved such authority for the States, it stands to reason that Congress did not intend to prevent the States from using appropriate tools to exercise that authority."

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor, all Democratic appointees, opposed the law, while Justice Elena Kagan didn't participate in the case because she worked on it while serving as President Barack Obama's solicitor general.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >