2011—In United States v. Arizona, a Ninth Circuit panel affirms a preliminary injunction against provisions of Arizona law that reflect an exercise of Arizona’s inherent authority to assist the federal government in the enforcement of federal immigration law. The panel finds those provisions to be impliedly preempted by federal law even though the state provisions expressly adopt the standards of federal immigration law and even though there is no plausible case that Congress affirmatively desired the underenforcement of federal immigration law.
Dissenting in large part, Judge Carlos Bea marvels at the majority’s “Humpty Dumpty” ability to “invert” the “plain meaning” of federal law.
In December 2011, the Supreme Court will grant review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision. Oral argument will take place two weeks from today, on April 25.