SB 1070

SB 1070 Harboring Provision Won't Be Restored by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Arizona's appeal of a lower court's decision that blocked a provision of Senate Bill 1070.

Despite the high court's big 2012 ruling on SB 1070, several provisions of the law weren't at issue in that case, and the American Civil Liberties Union and others have since been fighting court battles involving those other provisions. In this case, the harboring provision of SB 1070 has been defeated.

See also:
-Arizona Loses (Again) on SB 1070, This Time On Harboring Provision
-ACLU Claims Sixth Constitutional Abuse Due to "Papers Please" Provision

A federal district court had issued the injunction against the provision, which was upheld by an appeals court in October, and now won't be an issue for the Supreme Court.

This particular portion of SB 1070 made it illegal under state law to "conceal, harbor or shield" undocumented immigrants, under certain conditions.

One of those conditions was that the person doing the harboring was doing it "in violation of a criminal offense." The lower court found that to be "unconstitutionally vague" and "unintelligible." (The appeals court opinion offered the English lesson: ". . . [O]ne cannot violate, or be in violation of, an action. One can only violate an object, such as a law or an agreement.")

Aside from SB 1070 co-author Russell Pearce's shortcomings with the English language, the lower courts also found that the provision conflicts with federal harboring laws.

Under 1070 "individuals could be prosecuted for conduct that Congress specifically sought to protect through [an] exemption," the appellate court's opinion stated.

As is the custom, the Supreme Court didn't offer any reason as to why it won't hear the case, it was just released among a list of other cases it won't be reviewing.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley

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