[JURIST] Alabama state officials petitioned [press release] the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] on Monday to reconsider a ruling partially striking down [JURIST report] the state’s immigration law [HB 56, PDF]. In August a three-judge upheld [opinion, PDF] several provisions, including one allowing police officers to check the immigration status of persons suspected of a crime, but rejected provisions making it a crime for undocumented immigrants to work or solicit work, imposing criminal penalties on persons who rent property to illegal immigrants and requiring state officials to check the immigration status of children in public schools. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said:
We are filing this based on principle. As the Governor of Alabama, I have a duty to uphold and defend Alabama law. Federal courts should not restrain state governments in a way that is contrary to the US Constitution. We must protect the State of Alabama from the federal government interfering with our ability to enforce our laws. We owe it to the people of this state to defend the U.S. Constitution and the right of our legislature to make constitutional policy choices.
A representative from the Southern Poverty Law Center expressed disappointment [CNN report] that the state was continuing to pursue the law but said she was confident that the court’s August decision would withstand additional scrutiny.
Earlier this month a judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] upheld [JURIST report] a controversial provision of Arizona’s immigration law [SB 1070, PDF] that requires law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of persons they stop or arrest if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the US illegally. In August the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] again heard arguments [JURIST report] on two anti-illegal immigrant laws enacted in 2006 by the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which deny permits to businesses that employ illegal immigrants and fine landlords who extend housing to them. In July a judge for the US District Court for the District of South Carolina [official website] declined to lift an injunction [JURIST report] against South Carolina’s controversial immigration law [SB 20 materials], despite the recent Supreme Court ruling in Arizona v. United States [JURIST report]. Last May the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center filed a class action lawsuit challenging Utah’s immigration law, the same month that the ACLU filed a class action [JURIST reports] in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana [official website] challenging that state’s immigration law.