For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Rachel Myers, ACLU, (212) 549-2689 or 2666;
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 400-7822;
Laura Rodriguez, MALDEF, (310) 956-2425;
Alessandra Soler Meetze, ACLU of Arizona, (602) 418-5499;

Supreme Court to Hear Case Challenging Arizona Employer Sanctions Law on Wednesday, December 8

ACLU, MALDEF and NILC Charge Discriminatory Law Is Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday, December 8 in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the first challenge to the recent wave of state and local anti-immigrant laws to reach the Supreme Court. The case, brought by a broad coalition of business and civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Arizona, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the United States Chamber of Commerce, challenges an Arizona law that sanctions and penalizes businesses that the state determines have employed workers not lawfully authorized to work in the U.S.

The Arizona scheme imposes severe state sanctions on employers who have hired unauthorized workers and improperly requires all employers in the state to participate in an employment verification database system, E-Verify, that is explicitly voluntary under federal law. The coalition's lawsuit charges that the Arizona law conflicts with federal law and violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. The United States Justice Department has filed a brief supporting the coalition's position.

Arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, a challenge to Arizona's unconstitutional and discriminatory employer sanctions law

Carter Phillips of the law firm Sidley Austin LLP will argue for the petitioners. The ACLU, ACLU of Arizona, MALDEF, NILC and Altshuler Berson LLP are also counsel on the case. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal will argue for the United States as amicus curiae in support of the petitioners.



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Wednesday, December 8
Approx. 11:00 a.m. EST

United States Supreme Court
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC

Attorneys for the petitioners will speak to the media on the steps of the Court following arguments. Spanish-speaking representatives will be present.

More information about the case is available online at:


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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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