Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arizona Federal Judge Susan Bolton Guts Arizona's SB1070 Immigration Enforcement Law, Governor Jan Brewer To Appeal Decision

On July 28th 2010, just hours before the scheduled July 29th implementation of Arizona SB1070, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued a ruling enjoining the state of Arizona from implementing certain portions of the law. The parts stricken are considered much of the heart of the law, although Arizona will still retain considerable immigration enforcement power.

Links to the major Arizona media sources cited and embedded throughout this post. News video from KTVK Channel 3 embedded below:

Read the full 36-page decision HERE. The parts to be enjoined are listed on page four and are cross-posted below:

Applying the proper legal standards based upon well-established precedent, the Court finds that the United States is likely to succeed on the merits in showing that the following sections of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law:

Portion of Section 2 of S.B. 1070, A.R.S. § 11-1051(B): requiring that an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and requiring verification of the immigration status of any person arrested prior to releasing that person

Section 3 of S.B. 1070, A.R.S. § 13-1509: creating a crime for the failure to apply for or carry alien registration papers

Portion of Section 5 of S.B. 1070, A.R.S. § 13-2928(C): creating a crime for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply for, or perform work

Section 6 of S.B. 1070, A.R.S. § 13-3883(A)(5): authorizing the warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe the person has committed a public offense that makes the person removable from the United States

The Court also finds that the United States is likely to suffer irreparable harm if the Court does not preliminarily enjoin enforcement of these Sections of S.B. 1070 and that the balance of equities tips in the United States’ favor considering the public interest. The Court therefore issues a preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of the portion of Section 2 creating A.R.S. § 11-1051(B), Section 3 creating A.R.S. § 13-1509, the portion of Section 5 creating A.R.S. § 13-2928(C), and Section 6 creating A.R.S. § 13-3883(A)(5).

Bolton's ruling followed hearings on three of seven federal lawsuits challenging SB 1070. Plaintiffs include the U.S. Department of Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union, Phoenix and Tucson police officers, municipalities, illegal immigrants and non-profit groups. The July 28th ruling is in the Department of Justice case. Bolton has not yet issued rulings on motions in the case filed by Phoenix Police Officer David Salgado and the case filed by the ACLU and other civil-rights groups.

Reaction: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's office said that the state will file an expedited appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday July 29th. They will ask the appeals court to lift the injunctions put in place by Judge Bolton and allow those provisions to go into effect until a decision is made on the merits of the law. As part of its motion, the Governor's Office will also ask the 9th Circuit to expedite its briefing schedule and its ruling on the matter.

Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the architect of SB1070, is actually pleased with some aspects of the judge's temporary injunction. He says the judge left in key provisions that eliminate sanctuary cities, and adds that law enforcement will still be able to inquire about immigration status -- although they won't be forced to ask. Judge Bolton upheld the section of SB1070 that forbids a city, county or town from adopting a policy that limits or restricts immigration enforcement -- a.k.a. sanctuary cities. The judge also allowed citizens to sue that city or county if such a policy exists.

Senator John McCain, who opportunistically got behind SB1070 once he saw its popularity, also criticized the decision while on Michael Medved's nationally syndicated radio show and said he was confident Arizona will challenge Bolton's ruling. Because he believes the 9th Circuit Court is not known for strict interpretation of the Constitution, McCain predicted the challenge could go all the way to the US Supreme Court. McCain's opponent in the U.S. Senate race, J.D. Hayworth, said "Judge Bolton has gutted the Arizona law. She has put a hold on major sections of SB 1070 designed to eradicate sanctuary cities and require law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of those who commit crimes in our state."

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he was not surprised by Bolton's ruling, but it will have little impact on any future crime-suppression operations. Arpaio said the only thing Bolton's ruling changed is the ability for Arizona law enforcement to use a state charge - willful failure to carry documents - to book someone into jail. Now, Arpaio said, the agencies can continue to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to determine if federal agents will take custody of the suspect. Everyone booked into Maricopa County Jail, regardless of race, will continue to have their immigration status screened by federally trained sheriff's deputies through an agreement with ICE.

Reaction from a whole host of other Arizona notables is recorded HERE.

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