In our inaugural edition of “Profiles In Bed-wetting,” I took Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) to task for her cynical political opportunism in criticizing the Justice Department’s decision to sue Arizona for the unconstitutionality of the newly passed S.B. 1070. I was appalled at Giffords’ decision to put her political needs over the constitutional rights of many of her constituents who were being unfairly targeted simply because of the color of their skin.
It looks like I wasn’t the only one.
In an important (but by no means final) victory for the forces of good, federal district court Judge Susan Bolton ruled on the DOJ’s motion for preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of this heinous law. Judge Bolton struck down four of the law’s most disgusting provisions, citing the unconstitutionality of the state law’s encroachment on what has perennially been a federal issue – the regulation of immigration.
According to AZCentral.com, the portions of the law that will not go into effect are:
• The portion of the law that requires an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there’s reasonable suspicion they’re in the country illegally.
• The portion that creates a crime of failure to apply for or carry “alien-registration papers.”
• The portion that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit, apply for or perform work. (This does not include the section on day laborers.)
• The portion that allows for a warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe they have committed a public offense that makes them removable from the United States.
Some take-aways from Judge Bolton’s legal opinion (h/t to Adam B of Daily Kos):
Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked. Given the large number of people who are technically “arrested” but never booked into jail or perhaps even transported to a law enforcement facility, detention time for this category of arrestee will certainly be extended during an immigration status verification. [The Court is also cognizant of the potentially serious Fourth Amendment problems with the inevitable increase in length of detention while immigration status is determined.]…
If Arizona were to enforce the portions of S.B. 1070 for which the Court has found a likelihood of preemption, such enforcement would likely burden legal resident aliens and interfere with federal policy. A preliminary injunction would allow the federal government to continue to pursue federal priorities, which is inherently in the public interest, until a final judgment is reached in this case.
The state of Arizona will inevitably appeal this decision to the 9th Circuit, but this ruling is a great first step in stopping this racist, unconstitutional law. And in case you’re so inclined, here’s the ruling in its entirety.