case study 446

Related to concepts covered in Chapter 1.

Question: What happens when the State and Federal government disagree on the creation and enforcement of laws?

Do the federal immigration laws preclude Arizona’s efforts at cooperative law enforcement and preempt the four provisions of S.B. 1070 on their face?

Follow the Oyez Project link to see the entire text of the case.

Note* In addition to audio recordings of the arguments and opinions on the Oyez site, the full written opinion of court’s decision is located at the bottom of the Oyez site page below the photos of the justices.

After reviewing the case, submit your answers to the following 6 questions. You only have to answer the multiple choice questions with the letter of your answer. Be detailed and thoughtful on the Essay Questions.


on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit

[June 25, 2012]

Oyez Project link:


1. Which provision of Arizona’s law was found by all of the Supreme Court opinions (majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions) to not be preempted by federal law?

a. Section 2(b)

b. Section 3

c. Section 5

d. Section 6

2. Which justices believed that all of the provisions of Arizona’s challenged law were not preempted by federal law?

a. those in the majority, and Justice Alito

b. those in the majority and Justice Thomas

c. Justice Scalia and Justice Alito

d. Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas

3. Which of the following is NOT found in the law of preemption?

a. State law must give way when Congress has determined the field must be regulated entirely by the federal government.

b. State law must give way when there is a federal interest so dominant that the federal laws will be assumed to preclude enforcement of state laws on the same subject.

c. State law must give way when they conflict with federal laws.

d. State laws must give way whenever Congress enacts a law that effects citizens of a state.

4. Congress establishing a federal banking system would be an example of _____________.

a. implicit preemption

b. field preemption

c. federalism

d. explicit state sovereignty

5. Discuss what it means when the Court says that federal law preempts state law? What are some fields in which federal preemption has been found?

6. Discuss the tension between state sovereignty and federal sovereignty. Discuss the issues that Arizona is concerned about and the issues that the federal government is concerned about. Are they in conflict?

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