Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Whiting
Holding: The provision of the Legal Arizona Workers Act that provides for the suspension and/or revocation of the business licenses of Arizona employers who knowingly or intentionally employ unauthorized aliens is not expressly preempted by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act, which prohibits the knowing hiring of unauthorized immigrants and preempts state laws imposing sanctions on those who hire unauthorized immigrants; the Arizona law falls within the IRCA's exception that preserves state authority to impose sanctions through licensing and similar laws. Nor is Arizona's requirement that employers use the federal E-Verify system to confirm eligibility for employment not impliedly preempted, as it does not conflict with the federal scheme, and the federal statute establishing E-Verify does not constrain state action. (Kagan, J., recused).
Plain English Holding: Federal law does not prevent Arizona from revoking the business licenses of state companies that knowingly hire undocumented workers, or from requiring employers in that state to use a federal electronic system to check that their workers are authorized to work in the United States.
Judgment: Affirmed, 5-3, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts on May 26, 2011. Justice Thomas joined the opinion in part and concurred in part and concurred in the judgment. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justice Ginsburg. Justice Sotomayor filed her own dissenting opinion. (Kagan, J., recused).
- This week at the Court: In Plain English (Lisa Tucker, May 27, 2011)
- Opinion recap: Shared role on aliens' jobs (Lyle Denniston, May 26, 2011)
- This week at the Court - In Plain English (Lisa Tucker, December 9, 2010)
- On aliens, Arizona may win -- for now (Lyle Denniston, December 8, 2010)
- Argument day podcasts: Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting (Adam Schlossman, December 8, 2010)
- Argument preview: Assessing an Arizona immigration law (Anna Christensen, December 7, 2010)
- Argument preview: State power over aliens (Lyle Denniston, December 5, 2010)
- Analysis: Tobacco case ends (Lyle Denniston, June 28, 2010)
Briefs and Documents
- Brief for the National Immigrant Justice Center, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the American Immigration Council in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Asian American Justice Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the Asian American Institute, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian Law Caucus, Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, Latinojustice PRLDEF, Lawyersâ€™ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the League of United Latin American Citizens, Legal Aid Society â€“ Employment Law Center, Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association, National Council of La Raza, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Employment Law Project, Southern Poverty Law Center in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Service Employees International Union in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for Representative Romano L. Mazzoli, Senator Arlen Specter, and Representative Howard L. Berman in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for Business Organizations in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the United States of America in Support of Petitioner
- Brief for the Immigration Reform Law Institute in Support of Respondent
- Brief for State Senator Russell Pearce in Support of Respondent
- Brief for the Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund in Support of Respondent
- Brief for Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia in Support of Respondent