On July 28, Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton granted a preliminary injunction against major sections of Arizona’s new immigration law which were scheduled to become effective the following day.
In a 36-page decision, Judge Bolton found 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”:
* “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…
* creating a crime for the failure to apply for or carry alien
* creating a crime for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply
for, or perform work…
* 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
“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 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immediately issued a press release praising the Judge’s decision.
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The court did not block the provisions of the Arizona law that criminalize the solicitation of employment on public streets or the one that forbids local police agencies from adopting policies that limit or restrict enforcement of federal immigration laws.
So, where do we go from here?
Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the law, had this to say, even before the Judge’s ruling: “I wrote it to go to the Supreme Court…I’m begging for that fistfight at the Supreme Court. We will win in a 5-4 decision and finally settle this problem.”
It is all but certain that the State of Arizona will appeal the Court’s Order to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Should the Appeals Court uphold the Judge’s Order, the State of Arizona may appeal to the Supreme Court. However, if so, the law will be enjoined at least until October when the Supreme Court reconvenes.
In any case, this is not the beginning of the end, but perhaps it is the end of the beginning. The Arizona law, the seven lawsuits challenging it, and the Judge’s preliminary injunction against the law have served to focus public attention on immigration. One hopes that the two major political parties will eventually come together as they did in the Senate in 2007 and pass a bill similar to the McCain-Kennedy Act on a bipartisan basis.
In the meantime, in order to assist our readers in keeping up to date with the various lawsuits challenging the Arizona law, we have created a web page regarding the Arizona Immigration Law complete with legal documents, videos, and opinions regarding the law.