Contributed by Melanie Corrin
On April 25, 2012 the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Arizona v. United States. This unprecedented case is before the Supreme Court to determine whether specific provisions of SB 1070, Arizona State’s heavily restrictive law against undocumented individuals residing in that state, are in violation of the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court rested immigration authority with the federal government beginning in 1849 with the Passenger Cases and going through 1941 with Edwards v. California. Now, the Supreme Court is faced with the determination of whether Arizona has overstepped its responsibility to protect its citizens by passing restrictive immigration laws and whether provisions of SB 1070 are unconstitutional.
Additionally, on April 30, 2012 the United States Supreme Court chose to grant certiorari to determine whether the decision in its 2010 case, Padilla v. Kentucky, can be retroactive. That case held that a guilty plea by a foreign national could later be attacked on the ground that the criminal defense attorney inadequately advised the defendant about the immigration consequences of the conviction.
Given the volume increase of immigration related questions of law in the United States Circuit Courts, it is not surprising that the Supreme Court is granting certiorari to more immigration cases. This is an interesting time for immigration law practitioners, and the Supreme Court is giving us much to look for in client case evaluations!
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