Supreme court ruling aftermath

Judge to revisit injunction on SC immigration law

nophillips@thestate.comJuly 6, 2012 

A federal judge will reconsider Monday his injunction against parts of South Carolina’s immigration law, including a requirement for local police to conduct immigration status checks.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel filed an order late last week, saying he likely would find it necessary to revise a portion of his injunction against the law, which was filed in late December. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Charleston.

Gergel’s order comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the controversial Arizona immigration law, which was the model for South Carolina.

In that ruling, the Supreme Court said states could require local law enforcement to conduct immigration checks, but it also warned against civil rights violations.

Gergel had blocked that portion of the S.C. law. He also blocked two other portions: a section making it a crime to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant, and a section requiring immigrants to carry registration documents.

The Supreme Court did not address the harboring issue, so that portion most likely will work its way through the appeals process.

The Supreme Court blocked the registration requirement, and legal experts said that section of the S.C. law will be struck down.

South Carolina’s immigration law was challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice and a coalition of immigrants and organizations that support them.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s staff had filed an appeal to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gergel cited federal civil procedure rules that allow him to revisit the case in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.

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