Immigration

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It’s that time of the year again: clerkship application season. Here is the requisite open thread for discussion, where you can trade news and gossip about which courts and judges are hiring, which ones are done, which clerkships are great, and which clerkships you’ll hate.

Pursuant to the 2010 Law Clerk Hiring Plan for federal judges, applications could be received last Tuesday, September 7. Today, September 13, is the first day when judges can contact applicants to schedule interviews. The calls were allowed to go out at 10 a.m. Eastern time (sorry, Californians). Interviews can be held and offers can be made starting on Thursday, September 16, at 8 a.m. Eastern time (again, our sympathies to Californians; but think of it like Christmas morning, when waking up early brings joyful news of a gift).

Word on the street is that the Plan is starting to break down, with an increasing number of judges, including some of the most prestigious and popular ones, hiring ahead of the deadlines. Getting federal judges to follow rules isn’t easy; they’re used to making the rules, not obeying them.

Furthermore, the Plan by its terms “does not cover applicants who have graduated from law school”; these applicants may be interviewed and hired by judges at any time. More and more judges are going down this path and hiring law school graduates rather than 3Ls, which (1) gives them clerks with more experience, either in practice or in another clerkship, and (2) allows the judges to avoid the mad scramble for talent under the Plan.

How competitive will the hunt for federal judicial clerkships be this year? Let’s discuss….

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(And a tricky issue re: non-citizen law clerks.)”

Hazleton, Pennsylvania, is a lovely little town (or so Lat tells me — his aunt used to live there). But it’s not bigger than the federal government or the Constitution of the United States of America.

That’s the lesson the Third Circuit handed down today with its decision in the Lozano v. Hazleton case. At issue: Hazleton city ordinances making it illegal for undocumented immigrants to work or even rent a house in Hazleton.

Apparently, the Third Circuit still believes in federal supremacy. From the opinion:

Although our reasoning differs from that of the district court, we agree that the provisions of the ordinances which we have jurisdiction to review are pre-empted by federal immigration law and unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause.

Did you hear that, Arizona? Your quixotic quest to deal with illegal immigrants without consulting the Constitution is almost over…

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This is going to come as a major surprise to many of you, but the Obama administration just won a victory in Federal Court.

I know, it’s crazy, but a federal judge actually sided with the Obama administration’s request for a preliminary injunction that will stay the effects of some provisions in Arizona’s controversial new immigration law. The Wall Street Journal reports:

A federal judge blocked key sections of Arizona’s tough new immigration law on Wednesday, granting the Obama administration’s request for an injunction based on the belief that immigration matters are the purview of the federal government.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton agreed to enjoin several provisions, including one that required police officers to check the immigration status of a person stopped for an alleged other violation, such as speeding, if reasonable suspicion existed that the individual was illegally in the U.S.

It’s a preliminary victory of U.S. citizens who happen to look like illegal immigrants in the eyes of Arizona police officers…

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A group calling itself “Concerned Citizens of the United States” has compiled and published a list of 1,300 allegedly illegal immigrants living in Utah. In addition to names and addresses, the list goes into shocking personal detail about the people the Concerned Citizens group is concerned about, The New York Times reports:

Each page of the list is headed with the words “Illegal Immigrants” and each entry contains details about the individuals listed — from their address and telephone number to their date of birth and, in the case of pregnant women, their due dates. The letter was received by law enforcement and media outlets on Monday and Tuesday.

Hey, nothing says “America” quite like menacing pregnant women, right?

But the medical data released by this organization could make somebody liable for a felony….

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* JPMorgan Chase kicks off earning season with strong numbers. You wonder if this will give Jamie Dimon even more clout has he lobbies on the financial reform bill. [CNN Money]

* Argentina legalizes gay marriage. [New York Times]

* Hogan Lovells partner Scott McInnis admits he committed plagiarism in 1984. He’d still like to be Governor of Colorado, though. [ABA Journal]

* Some states are banding together to support Arizona. [Courthouse News Service]

* I bet looking under the hood at the Playboy financials isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds. [Law.com]

The Obama administration has been utterly spineless when it comes to the gay marriage, but they seem to have found their voice on the culture war issue of 2010. The DOJ is filing suit today against the state of Arizona over the state’s controversial immigration law. AZ Central reports:

The U.S. Justice Department is filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s new law targeting illegal immigrants, setting the stage for a clash between the federal government and state over the nation’s toughest immigration crackdown.

The planned lawsuit was confirmed to The Associated Press by a Justice Department official with knowledge of the plans. The official didn’t want to be identified before a public announcement planned for later Tuesday.

This morning, the WSJ Law Blog reminded us that the DOJ won’t be running around arguing over racial profiling. Instead the Justice Department will be making a claim about supremacy — constitutional supremacy, that is…

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Have you been waiting for a megafirm to take a stand in the Arizona immigration law mess? Biglaw has already been all up in the BP oil spill disaster. Why not weigh in on behalf of Arizona, or take the side of racially-profiled, dark-skinned people?

One Biglaw firm is ready to get into this. Dewey & LeBoeuf has filed an amicus brief on behalf of….

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Those in favor of hunting down illegal immigrants who come to this country looking to better themselves will probably view this story as a victory. They’ll skip right past the part where we find out that the illegal immigrant in question came to this country when he was four. Instead they’ll accuse this guy of “taking” a spot that should have gone to a deserving American.

A spot at Harvard University…

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As we mentioned in Morning Docket, the lawsuits are coming for Arizona’s new immigration law. First up, the ACLU. Bloomberg reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union is leading a court challenge to Arizona’s new law targeting illegal immigration, claiming the measure would allow unconstitutional racial profiling by police.

A group of civil rights organizations led by the ACLU also alleges that the law interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to a complaint filed today in federal court in Phoenix. The group claims in addition that the statute infringes the free-speech rights of day laborers in the state.

It’s not surprising that the ACLU is taking the first shot at this. The Department of Justice might not be far behind….

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Given how desperate legal job seekers are getting, one law firm is doing away with interview niceties.

The job market is like a vast desert. Those crawling through it are desperate for a little drink of employment. In order to get a sip from this firm, though, applicants have to go through some serious hoops.

A tipster says:

Ever heard of an open house interview before? For lawyers, at that?

An immigration firm based in Manhattan’s financial district sent out an interview invitation to applicants last weekend. Here’s the intro:

Date: Sat, May 15, 2010 at 2:02 PM
Subject: Open House Interview

Dear Immigration/Criminal Defense/In-House Counsel Attorney Applicant:

We have received your resume and CV and would like to invite you in for an Open House Interview today from 3-6 PM. During the week it is very busy so this is the main reason. The payscale is $25 per hour or $50,000 per annum, depending on experience, with 30 billable hours required per week on your assigned cases. If selected you will be expected to commence employment on Monday at 9 AM. Our law office is located at the address below.

Please note the time sent; the time of the interview; and the fact that the pay is $50K, “depending on experience.” The relative good news is that if they like you on Saturday, you start two days later. Though you may have to be stripped and searched for lice and a criminal record before entering the building Monday morning.

It gets worse…

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