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September 30, 2011

The Obama Administration's Tough Week in Law

Two court losses for the Obama Administration should be on your radar.

First, a federal district court in Alabama upheld major portions of that state's new immigration law, often referred to as "the Arizona law on steroids." Portions of the law went into effect yesterday, including provisions that require immigration status checks of public school students, that allow police to investigate and hold suspected illegal immigrants without bond, and that make it a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state.

This was a big departure from the Arizona district court's treatment of the Arizona law. The issue of how much involvement the states can have in immigration matters is absolutely on its way back to the Supreme Court.

Second, a federal district court in California rejected the Obama Administration's contention that the provisions of DOMA are subject to heightened scrutiny in the context of immigration law. The court credited the argument by the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (that took over from DOJ when Obama made his decision not to defend DOMA this summer) that the lawsuit is foreclosed by a 1982 decision. That 1982 decision upheld an immigration official's ruling that the individuals in question "ha[d] failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots."

DOMA sec. 2, which creates a federal definition of marriage is also on its way to the Supreme Court.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 08:43 AM

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