6/20 – keeganfederal.blogspot.com – Federal judge “openly skeptical” of Georgia’s new anti-immigration law

Federal’s Law.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Federal judge “openly skeptical” of Georgia’s new anti-immigration law

We had a great hearing this morning in Federal Court before U.S. District Judge Tom Thrash in our lawsuit to stop the State of Georgia from enforcing the new anti-immigrant law.

Judge Thrash was “openly skeptical” as he “grilled a lawyer for the state” — and that’s not just my opinion, it’s straight from Atlanta Business Chronicle.

In an article posted early this afternoon, the Business Chronicle said Judge Thrash “questioned the state’s purpose in enacting the legislation, whether a state can legally assert its authority over what traditionally has been a federal issue and how Georgians — legal and illegal — would be affected if the law is allowed to take effect July 1.”

Those are the very questions my colleagues and I have been asking ever since this awful law was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal last month.

Judge Thrash didn’t issue a ruling on the question of an injunction today, as I thought he might, but indicated it was reasonable to expect an answer before July 1, when the law is scheduled to take effect.

The judge obviously had read all the briefs in advance and he is very knowledgeable about the applicable laws, and the respective positions of the parties.

We remain confident he will enjoin HB 87 because it is unconstitutional. And the practical effect of it would be to hurt not only the “illegal immigrants” which it targets, but also all residents of Georgia — legal and otherwise.

Whichever way Judge Thrash rules, however, the opposition is almost certain to appeal.

In an article published earlier today in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and an accompanying column by Henry Unger, I was quoted as saying I expect the case to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

But not by itself.

Similar laws in states like Arizona and Utah are also being challenged, and likely will be heard together when they reach the high court.

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