United States v. State of South Carolina, No. 12-1096 (4th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
In this pre-enforcement challenge to a package of immigration laws known as Act 69, the district court preliminarily enjoined certain sections of the Act on preemption grounds. On the merits, the court concluded that the district court was correct to enjoin Sections 4(A) and (C) because they criminalized actions that Congress has, as a policy choice, decided were a civil matter. The court also concluded that Sections 4(B) and (D) created an obstacle to the smooth functioning of federal immigration law, improperly placed in the hands of state officials the nation's immigration policy, and stripped federal officials of the authority and discretion necessary in managing foreign affairs. Accordingly, the court concluded that these sections, along with Sections 5 and 6(B)(2), were all preempted by federal law and, therefore, the court affirmed the district court's grant of a preliminary injunction.