Terry Goddard Tells U.S. Supreme Court Arizona Employer Sanctions Law Is Constitutional

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Oct. 21, 2010)  Attorney General Terry Goddard today filed his final written argument in the State’s defense of the 2008 challenge to the State’s employer sanctions law.

The brief argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should uphold Arizona’s law, known as the Legal Arizona Workers Act, because Congress has specifically allowed states to impose “licensing and other similar sanctions” on employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. 

One main theme of the brief is that the Arizona law “furthers the interest of both the State and the federal governments in having an effective employee verification system and a lawful work force in this country.”

Goddard has successfully defended the law before both the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Nonetheless, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, and the Obama Administration has filed a brief supporting those who have challenged the law.

“Our law should be upheld,” Goddard said. “Congress went out of its way to reserve for the states the right to take action against employers who foster illegal immigration by hiring illegal workers. Arizona has done precisely what Congress said we could do in this area, and I am disappointed that the federal government has chosen to argue otherwise.”

The case is scheduled for oral argument in Washington, D.C., on December 8, 2010.

A copy of the brief is posted below.  For more information, contact Mika Marquart at (602) 542-7714.

Brief278.22 KB