Feathered Bastard

SB 1070: Two More Sections Enjoined by Judge Susan R. Bolton

Page 2 of 2

These new injunctions come in a different lawsuit, Friendly House vs. Michael B. Whiting, and they are a direct result of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision last year overturning a Redondo Beach, California ordinance prohibiting solicitation of employment from a sidewalk. The Supreme Court recently declined to hear Redondo Beach's appeal in that case.

Bolton found that sections 5a and 5b of 1070 impinged on the First Amendment rights of day-laborers, specifically their right to engage in commercial speech. Lawyers for the defendants, which include Arizona's county attorneys and sheriffs, argued that 5a and 5b were merely traffic restrictions. (Read the decision, here.)

But Bolton saw this ruse for what it was, observing that because the entirety of the law was created to drive illegal immigrants from Arizona, those sections were written with one overarching purpose. 

Indeed, she quoted the law's own stated intent of making "attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona," and that the "provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States."

Thus, via this prejudiced preamble attached to the law by ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce and now-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach -- the Sith Lords of the anti-immigrant movement and 1070's co-authors -- the law essentially outflanked itself.

Bolton writes: "The fact that A.R.S. § 13-2928(A) and (B) were created as part of a package of statutes and revisions aimed at perceived problems related to unlawful immigration also weighs against a finding that the provisions are `drawn to' address a traffic problem."

Gotta love it when the bigots are cut down with their own swords. Now all eyes are on April 25, and the decision to come sometime thereafter, to see which will prevail: nativist intolerance or the U.S. Constitution.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons