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After SB 1070 Ruling, Indiana’s AG Believes Part of State’s Anti-Immigrant Law is Unconstitutional

by Mahwish Khan on 08/01/2012 at 1:55pm

The Supreme Court’s ruling that finds most of Arizona’s SB 1070 as unconstitutional is impacting other states that have passed similarly egregious legislation. Indiana, for example:

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller [a Republican!] conceded Tuesday that a key portion of the state’s anti-illegal-immigration law is unconstitutional, and it appears unlikely lawmakers will revise the statute anytime soon to make it enforceable.

Zoeller’s decision comes after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling June 25 to strike down similar measures in Arizona law. In the aftermath, legal scholars said the far-reaching implications of the ruling doomed sections of Indiana’s law.

After reviewing the decision the past month, Zoeller agreed.

“The Supreme Court made clear that immigration enforcement is a federal government responsibility,” he said.

Yes, it is. And at least one of the states that followed Arizona’s lead is now facing that reality:

Tuesday, Zoeller filed a legal motion conceding the Supreme Court made it clear that state laws can’t allow local officers to arrest people for immigration violations in certain instances.

But that doesn’t end the case, still pending in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Indiana. The Supreme Court made no mention of the use of foreign-issued ID cards in the Arizona ruling. Zoeller has asked the Southern District court to rule on that matter. There is no timetable for a decision.

Still, in a strong signal the issue won’t gain momentum again at the Statehouse, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said he told Zoeller he got the decision right.

This is another blow to the author of SB 1070-type legislation: Kris Kobach. His grand scheme to have individual states enact their own self-deportation laws is crumbling.

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