NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The Louisiana Supreme Court has struck down a state law that made it a crime for people who aren’t U.S. citizens to drive here without carrying proof of their immigration status.
The divided court ruled Tuesday that the state law is pre-empted by a federal law that imposes similar requirements but carries a lighter punishment. The federal law is a misdemeanor, while the state law is a felony punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year.
Two of the court’s seven justices wrote dissenting opinions.
The statute was part of a series of laws that the state Legislature passed in 2002 in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But the law’s critics say it hasn’t led to the arrest of any suspected terrorists.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)