Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lozano et al. v. City of Hazleton: Another Blow to Local Regulation of Undocumented Persons

On September 9, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit issues its long anticipated opinion in Lozano et al., v. City of Hazleton, Case 07-3531(appeal from the Middle District of Pennsylvania). The opinion, written by Chief Judge McKee (on a panel with Judges Nygaard and Siler (Sr. Judge, 6th Cir., sitting by designation))  is worth careful consideration in its own right, but it may be as valuable for pointing to a possible resolution in state efforts, like those of Arizona, to regulate undocumented workers and others.  The local regulations at issue related to employment and housing.  For an insightful analysis, see Professor Ruthann Robson's posting at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Third Circuit Declares Hazelton Immigration Ordinances Unconstitutional (Sept. 9, 2010).  I suspect we have not heard the last of this case.  It may well provide a useful vehicle for a revision of the  law of preemption, which itself might now serve as the battlefield for conflicts over the extent of state power and the nature and structural limits of federalism.

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