IRLI Brief Explains the Impact of Chamber Of Commerce v. Whiting Filed in Third Circuit


September 27, 2011

On September 27, 2011 the City of Hazleton, Pennsylvania filed its brief explaining how the US Supreme Court’s recent decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting has invalidated the Third Circuit’s prior holding inLozano v. City of Hazleton. In May 2011, the Supreme Court vacated the Third Circuit’s holding and ordered the appeals court to reconsider its decision in light of Whiting. Click on the attachment below to read the letter brief.

City defense counsel Kris Kobach argued that the Third Circuit’s Opinion, which found both Hazleton’s employment and housing provisions preempted, could no longer stand after Whiting. Kobach explains the City argued that the Supreme Court had expressly approved of a similar employment law passed by Arizona, which was virtually non-distinguishable from the Hazleton employment Ordinance. The Supreme Court clarified that there is an exceptionally high burden of proof a Plaintiff must meet before a Court could find a state or local immigration-related law preempted. The letter brief also explains how the Supreme Court in Whiting approved of state or local immigration-related laws which “trace” federal law and then seek to concurrently enforce those laws.

The Respondents, illegal aliens and immigrant interest groups represented by the ACLU and PRLDEF, have until October 17, 2011 to file a response to the City’s Brief. The City would then have until October 27, 2011 to its Reply to that Response. It is not clear when the Third Circuit would issue its new opinion.

Hazleton is represented by IRLI senior counsel Kris Kobach, general counsel Mike Hethmon, and staff litigator Garrett Roe. IRLI previously has supported the City as co-counsel in this important litigation since 2006.

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