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Prior Cases

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On October 11, 2011, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Adar v. Smith, an important case affecting the rights of gay parents and their adopted children to have their valid adoption orders recognized nation-wide. In August, CAC filed an amicus curiae brief, in support of the Petition for Writ of Certiorari, arguing that the Court should grant review to clarify that the Full Faith and Credit Clause requires states to recognize rights protected by an out-of-state judgment of adoption, and that this guarantee may be enforced by individuals under Section 1983.

On June 27, 2011, in an ideologically divided, 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down Arizona’s campaign finance law, designed to combat corruption in Arizona’s elections, as an unacceptable restriction on free speech, in violation of the First Amendment. But as Justice Elena Kagan noted in her dissent, the conservative majority’s decision “is in tension with broad swaths of our First Amendment doctrine.”

Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona involved a challenge to Arizona’s Proposition 200, which required citizens seeking to register to vote in federal elections to provide documentary proof of citizenship.  Plaintiffs argued that Proposition 200 violated the National Voter Registration Act, which requires that states “accept and use” the Federal Form for mail-in voter registration, a form that requires an individual to attest under penalty of perjury that he or she is a citizen but does not require documentary proof of citizenship.   The Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, held that Arizona’s requirement was pre-empted by the NVRA.  The Supreme Court granted Arizona’s petition for a writ of certiorari.

On March 26, 2012, CAC filed a brief in the Supreme Court in support of the federal government. As we explained in our brief, Arizona’s controversial law, which seeks to supplant the federal government in enforcing immigration laws in Arizona, is in direct conflict with the text of the U.S. Constitution, the document’s drafting history, and its federalist structure.  Congress’ constitutional power to make a “uniform rule of naturalization” is one of the few places where the Constitution makes absolutely clear that the federal government’s power is exclusive. 

On April 27, 2011, the sharply divided Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in favor of AT&T. Ruling against their professed commitment to federalism, the Court's conservative Justices decided to support a remarkable expansion of pro-corporate federal arbitration rules that help shield corporations from liability in federal and state courts. As CAC explained in our brief, the Court's conclusion is contrary to both the text of the Federal Arbitration Act and the text of the Supremacy Clause.