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9th Circuit upholds lower court on Arizona immigration

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Susan Bolton’s preliminary injunction in the case of the Justice Department suit against Arizona SB 1070, the immigration bill that created such a stir last year.

As they have waited for the legal process to complete, the state of Arizona has maintained throughout they will take this suit to the Supreme Court. They now have 30 days to decide to pursue this appeal. The fate of SB 1070 has been the ‘canary in the coal mine’ for other states either considering this type of legislation, or having already passed similar bills. It is being watched carefully by states including Colorado.

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder called the state of Arizona, and Governor Brewer misguided for passage of strict immigration legislation aimed toward giving the state enforcement capabilities because the federal government wasn’t doing its job.

SB 1070 was carefully written so it mirrored federal law. President Obama called for filing the lawsuit as he felt it posed a threat as a violation of civil rights. However, upon examination, there was no justification for the filing except as state vs. federal law. At no time did Arizona present the argument thatwith jurisdiction was the state. It was, in fact, a measure of desperation because the federal government failed to enforce immigration in the state.

Judge Bolton issued a preliminary injunction on SB 1070, but did not strike down all parts of the law. She chose instead to delay implementation of key parts of the bill. Governor Brewer and the state of Arizona appealed this preliminary injunction to the 9th Circuit Court of appeals.

Judge Bolton blocked the requirement that law enforcement officers verify immigration status as a part of lawful stops; the creation of a requirement that aliens carry papers identifying their status; the creation of a crime if aliens seek or perform work; and the authorization of a warrantless arrest in the case of probable cause.

However, she chose not to enjoin the Obama administration argument that ‘the power to regulate immigration is vested exclusively in the federal government, and that the provisions of S. B. 1070 are therefore preempted by law.'


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