Friday, March 9, 2012

11th Circuit enjoins two more sections of immigration law

I knew two more sections of Alabama's toughest-in-the-nation immigration law were unconstitutional but was not sure whether there were enough votes on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to enjoin them.  Oh me of little faith.
On March 8, the federal appeals court enjoined (blocked) section 27 of Alabama's infamous HB56, which forbids Alabama courts from enforcing contracts between undocumented aliens and parties who know their immigration status.
The court also blocked section 30, which forbids state and local agencies from doing business with unlawfully present aliens.
The issuance of the ruling came as a surprise to me because the court had previously stated that it would wait on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on Arizona's immigration laws before issuing its opinion.
Why are the two provisions of Alabama's immigration laws unconstitutional?
They violate the Article I, Section 10(1) of the U.S. Constitution and its First Amendment ("Freedom of association is the individual right to come together with other individuals and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests."), and Article I, Sections 4 and 22 and Article 4, Section 95 of the Constitution of Alabama 1901.  The provisions of the law struck down restrict personal liberty instead of expanding or protecting it, which is a bedrock conservative principle.  Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who wrote the laws, is a Republican but not a conservative.  Don't get me started.
Alabama's immigration laws represent an expansion of government, not a limitation on government (another bedrock conservative principle).
All of the federal courts in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Utah have upheld the state's power to grant a license or take one away for a violation, but wholesale interference with contracts is not supportable.
All of the federal courts have given effect to provisions that require employers to use E-Verify.

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