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SB 1070: 10 Memorable Moments in Law's History

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Today's ruling by the Supreme Court that some of Senate Bill 1070 is constitutional and some of it isn't marks the end of the latest chapter in the law's history.

Since being introduced to the Senate on January 13, 2010, SB 1070 has contributed to mass protests, lawsuits, boycotts, and even a successful recall election.

We'll recount 10 of the most memorable moments in the law's history below:

10. Jan Brewer signs S.B. 1070 into law.

Governor Jan Brewer signed state Senator Russell Pearce's bill into law, authorizing local cops to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrants. Brewer claimed she would "not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona," although there's not too many other ways a cop could find "reasonable suspicion" that someone's in the country illegally.

9. SB 1070 murder.

Phoenix man Gary Kelley murdered Juan Varela on May 6, 2010, after yelling at him, "You fucking Mexican, go back to Mexico!" Kelley's lawyer said in court that Kelley had approached Varela to discuss 1070 before he decided to murder Varela, an American citizen. Kelley was sentenced to 27.5 years in the slammer.

8. MLB All-Star game protested.

Welcome to Chase Field, out-of-towners. Here's what Arizona's state of disarray looked like during the MLB All-Star game last year: Activists protested outside the stadium and asked fans to wear white ribbons to show their opposition to 1070.

SB 1070: 10 Memorable Moments in Law's History
Kholood Eid

7. Raul Grijalva urges boycott of Arizona.

Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva thought it'd be a good idea to urge a boycott of Arizona if Governor Jan Brewer didn't veto 1070. Grijalva got himself an envelope of white powder and a bullet through his window not long after his comments.

 

6. People actually boycott Arizona.

Some musical acts boycotted the state. As did out-of-town politicians and activists. As for the amount of regular folks who chose not to visit Arizona, who knows.

5. Steve Gallardo tries to repeal SB 1070.

State Senator Steve Gallardo brought back the controversy surrounding SB 1070 after a lull in the action earlier this year, when he introduced legislation to repeal the bill. With Republicans running the Legislature, Gallardo's bill went precisely nowhere.

SB 1070: 10 Memorable Moments in Law's History
Photo by Stephen Lemons

4. Justice Department sues Arizona.

There's a reason the Supreme Court issued an opinion on SB 1070 today, and that's due to the Justice Department's lawsuit alleging constitutional violations in the Arizona bill. The Supreme Court's decision meant that the Justice Department was 75 percent right, finding three of the four challenged sections unconstitutional.

 

3. Activists chain themselves to Capitol.

As SB 1070 was sitting on Governor Jan Brewer's desk, demonstrators were already rallying against the bill. Nine people chained and locked themselves to the doors of the state capitol. Capitol Police eventually used bolt cutters to remove the locks and chains to arrest the protesters.

SB 1070: 10 Memorable Moments in Law's History
Photo by Stephen Lemons

2. Jan Brewer signs SB 1070.

Brewer's signing of the bill is already on this list, but this entry's from the other side's perspective. The "Day of Rage" went on with thousands of people protesting the law at the Capitol.

1. Russell Pearce recalled.

Russell Pearce became the first-ever recalled Senate President in the nation and the first recalled legislator in Arizona history on November 8, 2011, after being slammed in the recall vote by challenger Jerry Lewis.

It wasn't just 1070 that fueled the opposition to Pearce; he kept on with the anti-immigrant bills, was tied to the Fiesta Bowl Scandal, and just about anything else in the Feathered Bastard's file on the guy.


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