Reaction is coming in from both sides of the debate following news that the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear Alabama's appeal regarding rejected portions of the state's immigration law.
Attorney General office spokeswoman Joy Patterson issued the following statement:
"We are disappointed that the Court decided not to consider this case, over Justice Scalia's dissent. Many other states are facing similar litigation, and the lower court in our case was the first federal court of appeals to consider this particular issue. Other cases raising the issue from other states are likely to appear at the Supreme Court in the future. Hopefully Justice Scalia's vote indicates that once those additional courts have weighed in, the Supreme Court will be willing to grant review.
The case will now go back down to the trial court. The parties and the court will have to sort through which issues have now been resolved by the Supreme Court in Arizona and the Eleventh Circuit in our cases. Some issues will require further litigation, while other issues will not."'
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which staunchly opposed the legislation, issued its own statement saying the decision was what it expected.
"The high court invalidated most of Arizona's immigration law last year, stating unequivocally that immigration is a federal issue and states may not create their own enforcement schemes," said SPLC attorney Sam Brooke. "That is why the lower courts already blocked Alabama's law."
In deciding not to hear Alabama's appeal, the Supreme Court left intact the lower court's ruling to block the provisions.
The portions of the state's immigration law that were blocked included Sections 10, 11(a, f, and g), 27, and 28. Those sections made it a crime to harbor someone who is living in Alabama illegally or failure to register one's immigration status. It criminalized an illegal immigrant's search for work, denied the ability to enter a contract with an illegal immigrant, and required immigration verification of K-12 public school students.
"We need meaningful and comprehensive immigration reform from Washington, D.C.," Brooke said. "Hopefully the lessons learned from H.B. 56 will motivate Congress to act quickly to address this pressing issue."
Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed.
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