Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a legal challenge to a 2007 Arizona law that revokes state business licenses for any company that knowingly hires illegal aliens, and requires the use of E-Verify by Arizona employers. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the law was not an improper infringement by Arizona on federal control of immigration.
A coalition of business and immigrant rights groups claimed that the Arizona law is preempted by federal laws governing immigration. They contend that concluding otherwise will lead to different immigration laws in each state and even among municipal governments within a particular state.
The case will not be argued before the Supreme Court until the beginning of its next term in October. No decision is likely before 2011. The Arizona law served as a model for a number of subsequent state efforts, including a law currently in effect in South Carolina. If the Court overturns the Arizona law, most provisions of the South Carolina statute will likely become unenforceable as well.