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Home / AZ/DC / Brewer announces U.S. Supreme Court appeal for SB1070

Brewer announces U.S. Supreme Court appeal for SB1070

(From left to right) Senate President Russell Pearce, lead attorney John Bouma, Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne announce Monday that they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an injunction placed on parts of Arizona's strict immigration law, known as SB1070, that was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in April. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

(From left to right) Senate President Russell Pearce, lead attorney John Bouma, Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne announce Monday that they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an injunction placed on parts of Arizona's strict immigration law, known as SB1070, that was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in April. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Rather than prolong the case by more than a year, Gov. Jan Brewer will appeal an injunction against major components of the state’s controversial immigration law directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brewer on Monday announced that she would appeal the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling directly to the nation’s highest court, rather than ask the Ninth Circuit for an en banc review before an 11-judge panel. The state must file its appeal with the Supreme Court by July 11.

In a rare press conference in Executive Tower, Brewer said she didn’t want to delay the case by going back to the Ninth Circuit.

“We need to get this issue up to the Supreme Court to get the injunction lifted as quickly as possible so that we can move forward in order to keep the safety and the welfare of the people of Arizona and of America safe,” Brewer said. “The American people have clearly sided with Arizona on the righteousness of Senate Bill 1070, and I believe the Supreme Court will as well.”

Flanked by Attorney General Tom Horne, Senate President Russell Pearce, the bill’s sponsor, and attorney John Bouma, the state’s lead counsel on the case, Brewer said she believed the Ninth Circuit erred in its 2-1 ruling in April that two key provisions of SB1070 were preempted by federal law. Horne criticized the court for its ruling that the case infringed on the federal government’s ability to carry out its foreign policy, which he said inappropriately considered the opinions of foreign governments that responded negatively or filed legal briefs in opposition to the law.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says he's not dissuaded by the 9th Circuit Court's decision, which said that parts of SB1070 are likely unconstitutional. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says he's not dissuaded by the 9th Circuit Court's decision, which said that parts of SB1070 are likely unconstitutional. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Technically, the state is not asking the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of SB1070. Arizona’s attorneys are asking the Supreme Court, just as it asked the Ninth Circuit, to lift U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton’s injunction that blocked some pieces of the law from going into effect while the case works its way through the court system.

One enjoined provision requires police officers to check the immigration status of any suspected illegal immigrant. The other essentially makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.

But the Supreme Court’s ruling will likely settle the constitutionality of the case once and for all. If the Supreme Court rules against the state – or if it refused to hear the case – Horne said Arizona could still argue the merits of the case through the district and appellate courts. But he said it would be unlikely that the result would be any different.

Horne was confident the Supreme Court would hear the case because of its national implications – several other states are considering legislation similar to SB1070 – and was optimistic that the court would rule in Arizona’s favor.

“This is a big enough national issue that it will ultimately be determined by the United States Supreme Court, and seeking en banc review in the Ninth Circuit could involve very lengthy delays. The situation on the border is urgent. We need this decided as quickly as possible,” Horne said. “The Ninth Circuit decision has conclusions in it that are erroneous and we will argue to the United States Supreme Court that they are erroneous. And I think we’ll persuade them that it’s erroneous.”

Brewer said the state may alter the defense it used in the district and appellate courts, though she wouldn’t say how.

“The bottom line is those decisions have not been completely made,” she said.

Senate President Russell Pearce says he thinks the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the 9th Circuit Court's decision in a 5-4 or 6-3 vote. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times).

Senate President Russell Pearce says he thinks the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the 9th Circuit Court's decision in a 5-4 or 6-3 vote. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

By congressional mandate, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement must respond to state and local law enforcement requests to check suspects’ immigration status. Horne argued that the provision of SB1070 that requires police officers to inquire about the immigration status of any suspected illegal immigrant they encounter – one of the provisions blocked by the district and appellate courts – is constitutional because it mirrors federal law.

“The issue before the Ninth Circuit was whether we were interfering with the priorities of the federal government. And our position is that Congress has set those priorities and that Congress requires that they respond to those inquiries,” Horne said.

Pearce angrily responded to the argument that the state’s interference with foreign policy creates a hardship for the federal government. The greater hardships, he said, are being felt in Arizona through crimes committed by illegal immigrants, such as the March 2010 murder of rancher Rob Krentz, or the cost of educating, incarcerating and providing medical care to illegal immigrants.

“Yeah, I do worry about the hardships. I worry about the hardships. I worry about the hardships on the citizens and the law abiding Americans that every day expect their government to do what’s right,” he said.

Pearce predicted that the court would rule 5-4 or 6-3 in Arizona’s favor.

Brewer said the fight won’t be cheap, but noted that the state’s defense is paid for through private donations to its Border Security and Illegal Immigration Defense Fund. The fund, which was started with unsolicited contributions, raised about $3.7 million. As of the beginning of May, the state had spent about $1.9 million.

5 comments

  1. It’s highly controversial that the US government would not make trespassing on our lands a felony, which goes against our fundamental rights to defend America from enemies domestic and foreign. It’s equally questionable why E-Verify, Secure Communities, is not the law of the land? It’s interesting point of view that Napolitano a Leftist, wants an overhaul of current immigration laws, even though the border is far from secure. Best defense is the placement of 4000 to 5000 National Guards personal to support the US Border agents, with full armed enforcement capabilities. Presently, business that hire foreign labor, never receive the hard penalties they deserve. US legislators should revisit this issue and introduce higher mandatory fines, and prison for more than three aliens employed. Business asset confiscation should go to a general fund, appropriated for ICE. When the Ronald Reagan 1986 Amnesty was enacted, that afterwards was NEVER enforced on reigning in on dishonest businesses, visa overstays.

    To me shows further the governments disturbing inaction to control our border, no matter the consequences of the criminal invasion. The TEA PARTY is obdurate in upholding the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act and not trying to pass another law, to favor illegal aliens already here. Arizona brought this whole dilemma to the public eye, as Obama’s Liberal insiders didn’t like States usurping their power, under the Supremacy Clause of the U. S. Constitution. The bulk, but not all, state laws addressing immigration are preempted by federal regulation. However, the big problem regarding these laws, is what happens when the federal government, is not listening to the united voice of the people? Arizona has been especially picked out by this administration as a scapegoat, resenting the fact they are not doing their job at the border.

    Daily I receive around 300 E-mails from people who read my commentaries from across the country, requesting even more information about the illegal alien situation. They seem to trust my opinion and facts, especially after visiting NumbersUSA web site. It might come a surprise to many that a considerable amount of these individual are from generations of legal Hispanics, who are very angry that they are suffering emotionally. That these people both naturalized citizens and permanent residents came here legally and jumped through immigration hoops in following the laws. They are also in opposition to giving a path to citizenship just as the rest of the mainstream population.

    If you are of legal standing the TEA PARTY has a place for you. A TEA PARTY majority administration will invite highly skilled technical workers, who will not take advantage of the US entitlement safety net, but purge indigent foreigners who will turn into welfare charges. Businesses who hire illegal immigrants must be prosecuted to the full harshness the law. Find out more at NumbersUSA. Every prudent Taxpayer must take their Politicians to task whether federal or State, by calling their offices as soon as possible at Senate—202-224–3121/ House—202-225–3121 or locate these lawmakers in your phone directory blue pages. Attn: Donate to Arizona’s border fence, by just typing in to Google Arizona Governor Brewer.

  2. Sweet, more taxpayer monies wasted!!! Thrown away on more appeals of issues that have already been judged on. What a waste of taxpayer monies rather than just accepting defeat. Whether you are for or against this issue… Our taxpayer dollars, in Arizona or in Cities such as Glendale, going into the court system or lawyers pockets instead of paying off debt. Just another instance of out of control, irresponsible spending!!

    Jan Brewer and Mayor Scruggs of Glendale… Just go and open up more illegal gambling businesses with fraud committing, manipulative con artists who own, operate and deal cards in them and Asian massage parlors which provide prostitution for your communities as IS currently the case in your city and state!! Not only do they have such businesses operating in their cities and state today, they license, support and have approved such businesses to operate in the middle of city neighborhoods. I guess such illegal businesses are permitted by elected officials if you can receive tax revenues from them whether they support tax evasion and are 100% illegally operating. These are cash intensive businesses where tax evasion is most definitely occurring aside from the fact that they violate state laws!!!

    But who am I to point that our Governor and City Mayors approve, support and allow such illegal activities to exist near our grade and high schools?

  3. Arizona Senate President/Senator Russell Pearce, “The Cowardly Lion”, isn’t alone in his thoughts about what is “right” for our state. He has Governor Janice K. Brewer, “The Wicked Witch of the West”, Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “The Tin Man”, and Attorney General Tom Horne, “The Straw Man”, to help him carry out his racist and discriminatory agenda against the Hispanic population and other minorities in Arizona.

    Why would I want to be racially profiled due to SB1070, my children not be able to learn about their Puerto Rican history in school due to HB2281, be harassed in the polling place due to the Voter I.D. laws, have to prove who I am to the hospital (when I already know that I’m an American citizen and U.S. Air Force verteran) and have to prove who my children are with their birth certificates before I can enroll them in school?

    Arizona is becoming a Police State similar to Nazi Germany. The 287(g) program is being abused by Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona and he’s racially profiling Hispanics with impunity. How can this continue? The systematic violation of our civil rights with the blessings of the Federal Government.

    I’m horrified and disgusted at these politicians who seem to think that they are above the law.

  4. When the late JFK utilized U.S. Marshalls and the mobilized National Guard for the ‘enrollment’ of three(3)African-American citizens into the University Of Mississippi in the 1960′s, that should tell the politicians that removal(deportations) of ‘illegal immigrants/aliens is the ‘right’of any state government to follow suit. And the U.S. Government tosupport that effort. In addition federal codes e-verify and 287(g) should be nation-wide.

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