Feathered Bastard

ACLU Seeks New Injunction on "Papers Please" Portion of SB 1070

See also: SB 1070, SCOTUS, Friendly House, and a Ray of Hope

As I anticipated in April, when it became clear that the U.S. Supreme Court intended to lift a lower court's injunction against section 2(b) of Senate Bill 1070, the so-called "papers please" portion of Arizona's immigration law, the American Civil Liberties Union and its legal allies today filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction in Valle del Sol v. Whiting (formerly Friendly House v. Whiting) on that same invidious section.

If Judge Susan R. Bolton, the federal judge in Valle del Sol, grants their request in time, the most notorious part of 1070 will remain on hold, either until the case goes to trial or a higher court reverses the action.

As an added precaution, the plaintiffs have also asked Bolton for a temporary restraining order on the implementation of 1070, in case Bolton cannot rule on the plaintiffs' motion before the first injunction formally is lifted.

On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed both Bolton and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on section 2(b), while invalidating three other sections of 1070 as preempted by federal immigration law.

Bolton was the judge in United States v. Arizona, the action brought in federal court by the U.S. Government. She enjoined several sections of 1070 on July 28, 2010, one day before 1070 was scheduled to take effect.

The only issue being addressed in the feds' lawsuit was preemption, with the Supremes ruling that section 2(b) of 1070 was not trumped by federal law and could be considered constitutional, as long as it was enforced narrowly and did not result in prolonged detention of individuals under police scrutiny.

But organizations such as the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the National Immigration Law Center have long argued that 2(b) is unconstitutional on the grounds of preemption as well as other grounds, such as the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure and the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause, which bars racial and ethnic profiling.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons