Sotomayor breaks new two-minute rule as Supreme Court hears immigration case

Supreme Court Justice Sonia SotomayorSonia SotomayorJustices bar Mexican parents from suing over fatal cross-border shooting of teen Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Arizona man Trump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases MORE broke a new rule for justices Wednesday as the court heard arguments in an immigration and employment case.

Jumping in to ask a question, Sotomayor broke the "two minute rule" that allows attorneys before the court to begin arguments for two minutes without being interrupted by a justice. The new rule was implemented as the new Supreme Court term began last week, CNN reported.

Chief Justice John Roberts stepped in and said the lawyer speaking could address Sotomayor’s question later, according to CNN.


The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case that would determine whether the state of Kansas infringed on federal law by prosecuting a migrant under state identity theft statute.

Kansas convicted Ramos Garcia for using someone else’s Social Security number in order to get a job in a restaurant. 

However, Garcia has challenged the case, his attorney arguing that he could not be convicted under state law because it is preempted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which establishes regulations of unauthorized employment.

Generally, federal immigration law supersedes state law to ensure consistent ruling across the country. Wednesday’s arguments drew on the limitations placed on states in order to avoid getting in the way of federal law.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in Garcia’s favor, stating that unauthorized employment among undocumented migrants is federal territory. Kansas argues that it was trying to apply its state identity theft law equally to everyone within its own borders, according to CNN. 

The Trump administration has sided with Kansas in the case, with Solicitor General Noel Francisco arguing in court briefs that the lower court opinion “produced untenable results” by blocking a state from enforcing its own identity theft rule, CNN reported.

The Trump administration has also argued that the federal and state laws at issue in the case can coexist, maintaining that the state could have continued its prosecution without relying on information from federal forms.