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Justices Refuse Alabama’s Immigration Law Appeal

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Reuters; April 29, 2013

The Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed the state of Alabama, and gave a win to the Obama administration, by declining to review a lower court ruling that had blocked a controversial part of the state's tough immigration law.

Alabama had asked the high court to review an appeals court decision to stop enforcement of the 'harboring' provision that made it illegal to harbor or transport anyone in the state who had entered the country illegally.

The appeals court had acted in 2012 at the Obama administration's request. The White House had said that Alabama's law was trumped by federal immigration law.

The Alabama law, enacted in 2011, is considered one of the toughest state immigration statutes in the nation. The law also made it illegal to encourage people to either enter or stay in the country in violation of federal immigration laws.

The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in two separate decisions, upheld injunctions against the harboring provision and other parts of the law in August 2012.

A brief order issued by the court on Monday said Justice Antonin Scalia disagreed with the decision not to hear the case.

The Obama administration has challenged other provisions of the Alabama law, but they were not at issue in the case before the high court.

In 2012, the justices partially upheld a similar wide-ranging law enacted in Arizona.

Arizona and eight other states have similar laws. Laws in Georgia and South Carolina are also being challenged in court.

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