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Hessick contributes to immigration discussion on SCOTUSblog

Professor Carissa Byrne Hessick, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
July 22, 2011

Professor Carissa Byrne Hessick of the College of Law recently participated in an online symposium about S.B. 1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law enforcement legislation, on the Supreme Court of the United States Blog (SCOTUSblog).

Hessick joined a dozen other experts addressing, among other topics, the question of whether the high court is likely to review a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the law, if the state of Arizona requests it. The commentators also weighed in on whether S.B. 1070 likely would survive the Supreme Court’s scrutiny.

In Hessick’s symposium article, “Mirror image theory in state immigration regulation,” she writes that the Court would need to decide whether the statute is preempted by federal law, in this case, the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Immigration Reform and Control Act.

“This case raises the question whether, in the absence of any congressional statement on the issue, state governments possess ‘the authority to criminalize particular conduct concerning illegal immigration, provided that they do so in a way that mirrors the terms of federal law,’” Hessick writes. “This theory of state authority, sometimes referred to as the ‘mirror image’ theory of cooperative state enforcement, formed the basis of the Arizona State Legislature’s decision to enact S.B. 1070.”

To read the full entry, click here.

Hessick teaches Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and Federal Crimes. Her research focuses on aggravation and mitigation in criminal sentencing, the criminalization and punishment associated with child pornography, and other political and doctrinal issues associated with sentencing. Hessick recently published an article in the California Law Review on the constitutionality of common sentencing factors. She has also published articles on whether military service and other good works ought to be treated as mitigating sentencing factors and on the severity of sentences associated with the possession of child pornography.