Arizona 1, Open-Borders Lobby 0

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on May 26, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court has come down on the side of federalism, the constitutional principle that states reserve the rights not delegated by them to the federal government (that is, over the vast majority of matters). It has ruled in favor of Arizona and against apologists for illegal foreign workers and the businesses that steal American jobs.

By 5-3, with Obama appointee and former solicitor general Elena Kagan abstaining, the high court decided in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting that states are well within their prerogative to make use of a federal tool (E-Verify) in order to promote a state interest (ensuring a legal workforce).

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sided with open-borders groups. They challenged in court the Arizona law adopted in 2007, which requires companies in the state seeking a business license to verify that its workforce is legal.

This decision bodes well for Arizona, whose carefully crafted S.B. 1070 was partially derailed by a similar lawsuit last year (led by an Obama Justice Department challenge). The main point in both cases remains the principle of federalism.

Also, this ruling should give the several state laws that have been enacted elsewhere requiring usage of the E-Verify program protection from legal system abusers like the American Civil Liberties Union.