Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. v. Napolitano, 544 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2008)

In 2007, Arizona enacted the Legal Arizona Workers Act (the “Act”), which targets employers that hire illegal aliens and provides a principal sanction in the form of a revocation of state licenses to do business in Arizona. Various businesses and civil-rights organizations filed this lawsuit, asserting that the Act is preempted by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”), which expressly preempts any state regulation “other than through licensing and similar laws.” The district court and the Ninth Circuit held that because the Act is a licensing law within the meaning of IRCA, it was, therefore, not preempted by it. Cf. Golden Gate Restaurant Ass’n v. San Francisco, 546 F.3d 639 (9th Cir. 2008) (San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance is not preempted by ERISA); Dumontier v. Schlumberger Tech. Corp., 543 F.3d 567 (9th Cir. 2008) (employee claims for sub-cellular damage from exposure to cesium were preempted by the Price-Anderson Act).