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Judge stops major parts of S1070 from taking effect

This protest at the State Capitol on July 28 turned into celebration after a judge blocked major portions of Arizona's new immigration law. But protests on July 29 in downtown Phoenix were heated, with dozens of protesters being arrested. (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

This protest at the State Capitol on July 28 turned into celebration after a judge blocked major portions of Arizona's new immigration law. But protests on July 29 in downtown Phoenix were heated, with dozens of protesters being arrested. (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Opponents of S1070 are viewing a federal judge’s injunction as a death knell for the state’s strict illegal immigration law.
Supporters of the law, meanwhile, are hoping U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling will be overturned as it works its way through the appeals process.
But the judge’s explanation of why she blocked the core provisions of S1070 from going into effect is a bad sign for the law, legal experts said.
Bolton on July 28 issued an injunction against sections of S1070 that require police officers to determine the immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally and make it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally. Bolton also blocked provisions that allow police the make warrantless arrests and prohibit illegal immigrants from seeking work.
Click here to read the order from Bolton.
The U.S. Department of Justice argued that the law should be struck down because it violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and that Arizona’s attempts to enforce immigration law are preempted by federal authority. Bolton’s ruling left little doubt that she believes the major provisions of S1070 infringe on federal authority to enforce immigration law.
Bolton did not issue a permanent injunction against S1070, meaning her ruling can be lifted. But legal experts said Bolton put her foot down when she issued the injunction.
“She is ruling on the constitutionality of the law itself, regarding whether it’s preempted by federal law,” said Daniel Barr, an attorney with the firm Perkins Coie Brown and Bain and an opponent of S1070. “There may be other issues that come to play, but the big issue in this case has always been preemption.”
Gov. Jan Brewer has said the state will appeal Bolton’s ruling to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and to the Supreme Court if nessecary.
The appellate court probably won’t hear arguments until early 2011 and the Supreme Court likely wouldn’t rule on it until 2012 at the earliest, Barr said, effectively leaving S1070 off the books for years.
If the case stays in Bolton’s court after the Ninth Circuit rules on the state’s appeal, Barr views her ruling a sign of how she’ll ultimately rule on the merits of the case. If the next step for the case, and not just the preliminary injunction, is the Ninth Circuit, Barr said he believes Bolton’s ruling is solid enough to withstand any appeal.
“This is a well thought out scholarly opinion. Guessing on what courts are going to do is not a way to make a living. But I would think the Ninth Circuit is going to uphold this,” Barr said.
Nancy Jo Merritt, an immigration attorney at the firm Fennemore Craig, said Bolton’s ruling that the federal government will suffer irreparable harm if S1070 goes into effect is a strong indication of how the case will play out.
“One hates to be overconfident but I think those are pretty storng arguments. I certainly have some cheerful hope that they will be gone forever,” she said of the sections of S1070 that Bolton blocked.
Brewer, who signed S1070 in April and has become the public face of the bill, disagreed. She expressed confidence that S1070 would prevail in the upcoming legal battle over the law.
“This fight is far from over. In fact, it is just the beginning, and at the end of what is certain to be a long legal struggle, Arizona will prevail in its right to protect our citizens,” Brewer said. “I will battle all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, for the right to protect the citizens of Arizona.”
Brewer also said she was disappointed by the ruling, but encouraged by the fact that Bolton left some sections intact, such as the “sanctuary city” provision that prohibits cities from restricting the enforcement of immigration law.
The judge did not halt S1070 in its entirety, and other provisions will go into effect on July 29 as scheduled. But the sections that were blocked – those that require police to inquire about immigration status and make it a misdemeanor offense to be in the country illegally – were the heart of S1070, effectively neutering the controversial law.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Bolton made the right decision. “While we understand the frustration of Arizonans with the broken immigration system, a patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement and would ultimately be counterproductive,” said Hannah August, a Justice Department spokeswoman.
Section 2 of S1070 mandates that officers check the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants, and states that police must check the immigration status of anyone who is arrested before they are released. Bolton wrote that the federal government is likely to succeed in its claim that S1070 is preempted by federal law because the myriad requests U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is likely to get from Arizona law enforcement agencies would divert federal resources away from the agency’s priorities.
“The number of requests that will emanate from Arizona as a result of determining the status of every arrestee is likely to impermissibly burden federal resources and redirect federal agencies away from the priorities they have established,” Bolton wrote.
She also ruled that S1070 will place an unncessary burden on legal immigrants whose detentions will be prolonged while police check their immigration status, especially because the law puts pressure on police officers to “enforce the immigration laws vigorously.”
“Legal residents will certainly be swept up by this requirement,” Bolton wrote.
The wording of Section 2 is problematic, Bolton wrote, because it does not explicitly say that arrestees’ immigration status must be checked only when there is a reasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegally. And she noted that policies such as the Tucson Police Department’s “cite and release” policy, under which more than 36,000 people were cited and released at crime scenes in 2009, technically count as an arrest.
The other major provision that Bolton blocked, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, is preempted because it interferes with the “comprehensive system of registration” the federal government has established for immigrants, the judge said.
The provision of S1070, Section 3, “stands as an obstacle to the uniform federal registration scheme and is therefore an impresmissible attempt to regulate alien registration,” Bolton said.
Though the central provisions of S1070 will not go into effect, Bolton did not halt numerous other sections of the law. She left intact a provision making it illegal for illegal immigrants, or motorists who pick them up, to block traffic while soliciting work. Sections that prohibit government entities in Arizona from adopting “sanctuary city” policies, and allow residents to sue if such policies are implemented, will also go into effect.
Nonetheless, some supporters of S1070 hailed parts of Bolton’s ruling as a victory. Sen. Russell Pearce, who sponsored the bill, noted that Bolton’s ruling still allows police to ask about immigration status, but instead of charging under the state law, police will have to turn suspects over to ICE. He was also happy that Bolton left in the provision that prohibits local governments from limiting or restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
“We will sue them,” the Mesa Republican said, before accusing Chandler, Phoenix and Mesa of being sanctuary cities.
Pearce said he believes the state will win the legal battle if it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court. “We wrote this for this battle,” he said.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has vigorously pursued immigration violations for years, said Bolton’s ruling won’t change his policies on illegal immigration. Arpaio said he’s still going to enforce Arizona’s human smuggling laws and employer sanctions laws as he’s done during the past three years.
The only difference is how suspected illegal immigrants who haven’t broken a state law will be treated. Had the key portions of S1070 stood, those people would have been booked into jail, Arpaio said. Now, they will be turned over to federal authorities.
“This is not going to interfere with how we operate,” Arpaio said.
Attorney General Terry Goddard, the Democratic candidate for governor, slammed Brewer for signing a bill that he said could not be defended in court and has jeopardized the state’s economic well being by sparking numerous boycotts. Goddard opposed the law, but vowed to defend it in court before Brewer removed him from the case.
Goddard, who will face Brewer in the November general election, said the governor’s decision to keep him off the defense team was a “political stunt.” He described the Attorney General’s Office as the most successful constitutional appellate team in Arizona, and said its presence on the defense team could have helped.
But, he said, the ruling at least provided some clarify for Arizona and for police officers across the state as to what their obligations are regarding the enforcement of S1070.
“I don’t like to see us on the losing end of a case, but I do think it’s very helpful for us to have this on books and clear the air,” he said.


  1. I believe the whole bill should have been blocked then because if basically leaves nothing! It is ridiculous that illegal immigrants are allowed to be in this country illegally. Never mind that we are all supposed to carry on our person proof of who we are at all times. Never the less, I did not expect anything different from the District Court Judge. Any other country would lock you up if you were their illegally – but not the US. They allow the illegal’s here to suck our resources dry. Not to mention we educate them for free while our own citizens can’t attend college due to financial restrictions. Our taxes are ridiculous and it is unreasonable for any government official or Judge, etc., to have the citizens of Arizona pay for the illegal’s here in Arizona. I don’t care what country they are from. Also, it is not just Mexico, it is Iran, Afghanistan etc., people who would like to do further harm to the US. I guess the Obama Administration would just as soon open up all the borders and make the people pay for their medical, food stamps, and government assistance. It sickens me as a tax paying citizen what we expect our citizens to pay for – when 60% of the people polled were all for SB1070. No wonder Arizona is basically bankrupt!! Taxes at 9.3% is huge and it is not really helping citizens in the least . . . but giving the government more money to waste! I think we are all pretty sick of the present day government.

  2. Hey! Whether its the economically strained state of Arizona, Fremont Nebraska, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Californians, Proposition187 or any other small town, hamlet or community suffering from being forced by IRS regulations to subsidize illegal aliens? Or just the overwhelming criminal activity that has spread throughout America like a pestilence unfettered drunk drivers, assaults, murders, rapes, child predators and other terrible afflictions played on innocent victims. Americans are like taut bands of cat gut that cannot expand any more. They are angry and exasperated with every administration that has offered irrelevance to Citizens-legal residents. We will–NEVER–get the truth from certain media, such as the Liberal oriented Los Angeles Times, New York Time or the most ultra left Huffington Post? The rhetorical and propaganda that spills like toxic spit, is downright dishonorable to the taxpaying public

    The US GOVERNMENT has unremittingly lied to us, Lied about the real border fence, lied about the quantities of illegal aliens squatting here in the US and continuously lied to us about the costs in supporting illegal aliens and their households. I hope every American develops into a whistle-blower to inform ICE where illegal aliens are? And just like our own government connives with the open border nuts, I do hope every American uses his wits to ponder some way to track these criminals and get them handcuffed and deported. Inform on business holders who are using illegal labor or some other method, should get a reward. YOU CANNOT BELIEVE ONE WORD OUR GOVERNMENT TELLS US, AS THIS HAS BEEN SHOWN BY THE SECRET FILES RELEASED TO THE NEW YORK TIMES ABOUT THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN.


  3. Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader in the close knit pack of Democrats, believes he is getting bad polling numbers, owing to the ingress of new residents that don’t know him. Unfortunately he’s right, as a great majority of the new arrivals over the last five years were illegal aliens, taking construction jobs in the once thriving building boom. Now with the economic downturn, the building industry has faded out, after the greedy grasping of cheap labor by construction owners. Now out of work illegal immigrants unable to find work, are suffocating the welfare offices and that the reason the state of Nevada is hurting economically. The illegal alien invasion has not gone away and have infiltrated more than ever, in the casinos and entertainment-service industry as a whole. While Americans and legal residents remain jobless, illegal immigrants have transferred to those positions at lower wages. Whether its the economically strained state of Arizona, Fremont Nebraska, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Californians, Proposition187 or any other small town, hamlet or community suffering from being forced by IRS regulations to subsidize illegal aliens?

    In any midterm elections or November, we must be careful to watch for irregularities in Nevada, but across the wide spectrum of polling places in this country. Only a few states have strict regulations on federal voting rules and absentee ballots little or none. Absentee voting is especially opened to fraud, and incumbent politicians with their careers on the line have much to lose. If a person (s) have criminally penetrated America, without being processed, it is my belief that many illegal entrants will break the law further by voting for pro-amnesty afficiardo’s like Sen. Reid? Citizenship is and should be a basic requirement for voting. Citizenship is a legal requirement to vote in federal and state elections, except for a small number of local elections in a few jurisdictions. Non-citizen voting is likely growing at the same rate as the alien population in the country; but because of deficiencies in state law and the failure of federal agencies to comply with federal law, there are almost no procedures in place that allow election officials to detect, deter, and prevent non-citizens from registering and voting. Instead, officials are largely dependent on an “honor system” that expects aliens to follow the law. There are numerous cases showing the failure of this honor system.

    Here are some excerpts from eyewitness accounts and summaries of foreign nationals voting in federal elections

    In California, as an example former Republican Rep. Robert K. Dornan was defeated by Democrat Loretta Sanchez by 984 votes in the 1996 election. State officials found that at least 300 votes were cast illegally by non-citizens. Honolulu Advertiser, September 9, 2000. Election officials found 543 Oahu residents who were not U.S. citizens had registered to vote.

    In 1996, Congress enacted the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, making it a federal crime for non-citizens to vote in any federal election (or state election, unless authorized by state law). As a penalty, ineligible non-citizens who knowingly vote may be deported. Additionally, a non-citizen who falsely claims to be a United States citizen is in violation of this law. In 1997, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Dallas were investigating voting by non-citizens. They sent a computerized tape of the names of individuals who had voted to the INS requesting a check against INS records, but the INS refused to cooperate with the criminal investigation. An INS official was quoted as saying that the INS bureaucracy did not “want to open a Pandora’s Box…. If word got out that this is a substantial problem, it could tie up all sorts of manpower. There might be a few thou sand [illegal voters] in Dallas, for example, but there could be tens of thousands in places like New York, Chicago or Miami.”

    Eight of the World trade Center 11 murderers were registered to vote in either Virginia or Florida—registrations that were probably obtained when they applied for driver’s licenses.

    We cannot afford to let our our guard down and those who are doubtful of these statistic as a fallacy, should type into Goggle, Yahoo “Voter Fraud.” We have already heard of intimidation by the Black Panthers, should be aware that in most states the so called “HONOR SYSTEM” prevails. We must eye incumbent elections, that a few hundred votes could put a bad politician back in office, such as Sen. Harry Reid. A few hundred illegal votes could make a world of difference in a close race. Your vote is important to Washington’s Senate and Congressman, so bombard them that you are adamantly against any type of Amnesty. You want them to secure the border and do it now, because Mexico’s blood bath could easily erupt here. Call the Washington switchboard at 202-224-3121.

    Learn more at NumbersUSA No copyright, Copy, paste and distribute freely.

  4. Patrick Michael Connors

    This is an example of another federal judge, one individual, unelected, contravening the will of the majority and misreading the law to suit her and her master’s purposes. Goddard has revealed once again, he does not have the interests of Arizona at heart, but supports the whims of those who he and his party see as their future, the uneducated, unskilled and unversed in American values illegal immigrant who continue to feed from the public troth at the expense of the real “tax-paying” Americans.

    The judge’s lack of courage and failure to allow Arizona to actively enforce federal immigration law is a disgrace. Equally disturbing is the role of the federal government’s pursuit of Arizona. We are certainly being pressed ever more heavily under the lawless rule of an authoritarian oligarchy inside the beltway, a “soft tyranny.”

  5. Vaclav T. Buchtapeaka

    I TOLD YOU SO ! … Judge Susan Bolton was appointed to the Federal Bench by DemocRAT President Billy-Jeff-Bubba Clampett so NOW she takes her marching orders from DemocRAT Prez-a-Dent BarackHussein B-HO Obama … Only FOOLS ever expected her to do otherwise !

    Vaclav T. Buchtapeaka
    Formerly of Praha Czech Republik
    NOW American Citizen
    From Phoenix AriZOOna

  6. @Vaclav T. Buchtapeaka: Yes! On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, Bolton was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona by President Bill Clinton on July 21, 2000 to a seat vacated by Robert Broomfield. Bolton was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 3, 2000 on the unanimous consent of the Senate and received commission on October 13, 2000.
    Blame Sen. Jon Kyl!

  7. Rhonda Sue Vazquez

    I believe she has done the right thing. Everyone has rights, no matter where they come from. I am a citizen and I don’t blame everything on the immigrants, illegal or otherwise. I know first hand just how hard it really is to become a just a resident forget becoming a citizen. It’s very hard to become a resident, none of you know this because you’re too busy playing the blame game. Think about this, none of the was a problem until 9-11-01. It wasn’t even the mexicans who tried to hurt us. We let the people who did come here and we gave them the tools to do what they did. We gave them residency, we educated them and we even taught them how to destroy lives. It’s not the Mexican’s fault that taxes are so high. The gov is raising the taxes because someone is not doing their job in the accounting department. Our economy was fine until Nopalitano passed the everify law that isn’t worth a plug nickel. All it did was make people lie more to get a job. It’s not the Mexican’s fault that while people are too lazy to work. I have yet to see a Mexican standing at the freeway with a sign saying they need money. At least if you stop and tell a Mexican you can pay them if they will work, they’ll do it. It’s funny, in the west there were the redskins, they called us white men. Now we’re back to doing it again only this time the color is brown. The cycle will never stop, when everyone realizes that we are ALL humans, some bad but not all. If a person can prove that they can work and raise a family here why is it so hard to let them do it legally? They have to sneak over here to find work. We don’t have to sneak over there for the cheap meds & dental or the beautiful beaches. We don’t have to sneak over there and secretly build our summer or retirement home. They welcome us and our money, why can’t we return the favor? I believe it’s a fair trade, they come and work to support their families and we enjoy their food, drinks, beaches and cheap medical/dental. We need to STOP THE HATE.

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