Reaction: U.S. Supreme Court Won't Take Up Part of Immigration Law
From Montgomery -- A defeat for supporters of Alabama's immigration law. They wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that is blocking the part of the law that would make it a crime to harbor an illegal immigrant, but the Supreme Court will not take the case.
Two years ago, Alabama passed one of the toughest immigration laws in the country stirring controversy nationwide.
A year later, a the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked parts of Alabama's law saying no state could trump the federal government's authority.
On Monday, the U-S Supreme Court said it would not hear Alabama's appeal on the part of the law that would make it a crime to harbor an illegal immigrant.
"That doesn't mean Alabama was wrong," says Senator Bryan Taylor, (R) Prattville. "It just means that the Supreme Court for whatever reason at this time does not want to take up the case."
Taylor supports Alabama's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration and is disappointed the Supreme Court did not side with the state.
"As we have seen, there is not a lot of faith that the federal government is going to enforce immigration laws," he says.
Southern Poverty Law Center Attorney Sam Brooke says the ruling comes at no surprise.
"We have to go back to last year when the Supreme Court ruled in the Arizona case," he says. "Alabama had a very similar law, and the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional."
Alabama voters weigh in.
"I think the people who are helping the illegal immigrants, they should be punished. It's just like any other wrong doing," says Tayondra Redd.
"This country is created on immigrants," says Andrew McCall. "We have come from a long way. My people came from immigrants. There are people on the Supreme Court that come from immigrants."
Governor Robert Bentley would not comment on the ruling, and directed all comments to Attorney General Luther Strange.
Strange was unavailable for an interview, but a spokesperson with his office says they are disappointed the Supreme Court would not take up the case.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to take the case wasn't unanimous. Justice Antonin Scalia ruled in favor of hearing the appeal.
Ten states have immigration laws similar to Alabama's, which means the issue could reach the Supreme Court again.