Federal Judge Blocks Key Elements of Arizona Immigration Law

Arizona's controversial immigration law was set to go into effect at midnight tonight, but U.S. district Judge Susan Bolton today blocked two of the key provisions in SB 1070, the AP reports:

Brewer "Bolton on Wednesday halted implementation of the parts of the law that require police to determine the status of people they stop and think are in the country illegally. She also forbade the state from charging anyone for a new crime of failing to possess immigration documents.

Bolton's ruling found that the Obama administration was likely to prevail at trial in proving the two provisions, and two other ones in the sweeping law, were an unconstitutional attempt by Arizona to regulate immigration. Arizona is expected to immediately appeal the decision to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco."

CNN: "The Justice Department issued a statement saying the court 'ruled correctly.' … 'While we understand the frustration of Arizonans with the broken immigration system, a patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement and would ultimately be counterproductive,' the statement said. 'States can and do play a role in cooperating with the federal government in its enforcement of the immigration laws, but they must do so within our constitutional framework.'"


  1. Jack M says

    The judge made a very important statement in saying that detaining someone who is, in fact, a legal American in order to check their immigration status will infringe upon their liberty. This is a much more important and influential issue than state’s rights vs. federal rights. Well done, Judge!

  2. Brian from Tucson says

    A great ruling! Living in a free society means that you should not be forced to carry papers to prove you are legal. That is what repressive regimes do….which is what the anti-Mexican crowd in Arizona is trying to create.

  3. David says

    It strikes me that everyone thinks the, “court made a great decision”, when in fact the court has not made a decision. Is anyone educated in this country? The key elements are on “hold”, while the court examines the law. These elements are on, “hold” until SCOTUS rules, as appeals are likely to occur on both sides and it will last for years.

    That being said, amenesty should not be on the table. It amazes me that Obama fights more for illegals rights in this country, then our very own gay rights. Did you know imigrants, and even foreign fighters have a right to serve in our mility openly and openly declare proudly who they are and gay americans do not? Do you know that Obama’s Labor Departments offers government assistance to illegal immigrants who think they’re getting shortchanged for their work and there is no plan to pass ENDA this year, or the years to come when Republicans gain seats?

    Look, if you’re for illegal immigrants having a right to be here, then you’re for illegal immigrants being taken advantage of. If you think those working their asses off in fields are making wages they deserve, then you are disillusioned.

    There is NO reason what so ever, that immigration reform and border security can’t be passed at the same time. One thing Arizona has done, it has caused Washington to act, and that is all Arizona has ever asked and been ignored for years and years, even under then Gov. Janet Napalatino.

    So before you call somone retarded Crispy, or you others rejoice over some perceived victory, please educate yourselves. It is apparent from the comments here, you speak out of your asses for some perceived right that you think people are entitled to.

    Illegal immigration is more than about hardworking people, it is also about drugs, and loss of human life. It is a multi-million dollar trade that runs right through the center of Arizona. It is neither fair to those who enter illegally and are forced into poverty and drug trades, or is it fair to the people of Arizona or Southwest who pay these bills while those in Washington debate on if we do reform or secure the boarder first. DO BOTH!

  4. David T says

    Hi, David.

    Let me educate you now. Have you read the opinion? The judge stated in no uncertain terms that detaining legal citizens to check their status was not justified. She also DECIDED that illegal immigrants were not required to carry documents. She DECIDED that illegal immigrants were not required to show documents to police, and that police couldn’t ask for the documents.

    And since when is a judge GRANTING AN INJUNCTION not a decision? Since Judge Bolton will not revisit this decision, then a higher court will, all the way to SCOTUS. For all intents and purposes, she has made a decision. Court decisions are appealed to higher courts because the lower court MAKES A reviewable DECISION. An appellate court cannot review a lower court’s decision unless the lower court MAKES A DECISION.

    Of course, I’m sure you are sooooo concerned with the wages that illegal immigrants earn. So the answer is to discriminate against legal Mexican Americans because illegal immigrants are taken advantage of? Preposterous. And you are sooooo NOT concerned about the wages these workers will earn if they go back to Mexico.

    Get off your high horse. You don’t deserve to be there.

  5. Brian in Texas says

    The problem is David, the republicans have a “you jump first” mentality when it comes to immigration. They won’t join the democrats in reforming immigration until “the border is secured”. They won’t sign on to a national ID card or some way for employers to insure that the employee they are hiring is legal. They also refuse to discuss what we will do with the millions of illegal immigrants who have been here for years and have built families and lives here. “Round em all up and throw em out”

    The comprehensive approach is the only plausible fix.

  6. jakeinlove says

    As a citizen of Arizona:
    Bwoooooo ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ah ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  7. David says

    @David T – an injuction is requiring them to “hold” from doing a certain act. It is not saying it is illegal, only that they are not permitted to do something until a decision is made. Big difference, she clearly states that the White House is “likely to succeed…” in cetain elements of its argument. So yes, I have read all 36 pages.

    You my friend also cite that I am for discriminating against nationals and legalized visitors. That is not at all what I said and I appoligize if you read it that way. I just said that those so concerned with illegals, should recongize that they are not treated in accordance with American laws, they are taken advantage of, and they don’t earn the wages they are entitled to. Yes I do care, and that’s why I make an argument beyond yes they should stay here, there is a bigger picture to their treatment.

    There is no high horse, other then when person says someone is retarded for signing a bill, of which that person obvisily has no understanding of why it was passed in the first place. It was passed to make Washington act, pure and simple. She new exactly why she was doing it, and although I do not agree with it, I am glad it is an issue. There is no high horse other than Obama and Dems want to offer path to citizenship when there are Americans who are not even entitled to the very benefits he wants to give.

    I for one am against the bill, and for the checking of papers, but I am also against illegal immigration. I don’t understand at what point we get to pick and choose which laws we get to obey and which we get to violate.

    Arizona got Washington to act, and that is all it is asking. Why should miles and miles of public lands (The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge) be closed because there is not enough protection from drug and human smuggling. Why should we live in a country where it is not safe to enter lands? Why should people be treated as slaves or mules for drug runners? Why are you ok with this? I am for making it easier for immigrants to work in this country. I am also for ensuring that people, regardless of where they are from can come here safely and without the needs of human smugglers.

    How about focusing on both issues, and stop making it a one or the other issue? That’s all I am saying Brian. Both parties are guility of it. As much as you say Republicans won’t join Democrats, neither will Democrats join Republicans. They have placed real people in the middle of battle that shouldn’t have to be. This country was founded on immigrants and we should continue to embrace that, but doing it illegally is leading to wars, drugs, slavery and violence.

  8. John says

    This has all happened before with Proposition 187 in California.

    It was struck down by the courts as unconstitutional before it came into effect. And, quite predictably, the white men in California flew into a fit of uncontrolled rage. They cursed Bill Clinton and his “socialist” policies. They threatened to form militia groups. They theorized that the liberal media, in conjunction with the United Nations, were conspiring to destroy their way of life. They spewed all manner of brimstone laden prophecies about the end of America.

    After the usual drama queen, racist melodramatics subsides, however, life will go on exactly as it has before.

    Surprise, surprise.

  9. Josh says

    David stop using lies and patriotism to hide your issues with race! This law was racist and flat out WRONG! Glad the Judge blocked the most important key elements on it! Racial profiling isn’t the way to deal with the immigration issue. Republicans are afraid that if Congress pass a new Immigration Law, All Hispanics will vote Democrats! Hispanics are not stupid…they can smell racist politicians a mile away and we all know that Republicans don’t have the best record when it comes to Human Rights and Race! Happy to be from Arizona and Happy to be American today! YAY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS!

  10. says

    t was struck down by the courts as unconstitutional before it came into effect. And, quite predictably, the white men in California flew into a fit of uncontrolled rage. They cursed Bill Clinton and his “socialist” policies. They threatened to form militia groups.

  11. says

    t was struck down by the courts as unconstitutional before it came into effect. And, quite predictably, the white men in California flew into a fit of uncontrolled rage. They cursed Bill Clinton and his “socialist” policies. I for one am against the bill, and for the checking of papers, but I am also against illegal immigration. I don’t understand at what point we get to pick and choose which laws we get to obey and which we get to violate.

  12. David T says

    David, I get what you say. But the law was not enacted in order to get Washington D.C. to act. It was passed to gain a re-election advantage for Jan Brewer and to create a wedge issue nationally. After all, the Republicans did not support Bush either on his immigration stance, but they did not pass a a statute that institutionalizes racism to force his hand. Right now, Jan Brewer is happy as a lark and can barely contain her excitement. Now, she can run on this issue for the AZ elections later this year, and she really doesn’t have to enforce anything. She got exactly what she wanted, and so did the republicans. If the law is eventually struck, which it most likely will be, she gets the benefit of the wedge issue for her re-election campaign, and Obama gets a wedge issue to deal with. This has little to do with illegal immigrants “invading” AZ. This is politics.

  13. says

    It would be nice to think that the people of AZ will wise up and recognize Jan Brewer as the incompetent, xenophobic, religious zealot that she is. But, they probably won’t since that would take complexity of thought. Instead of passing racist, clearly unconstitutional laws that quite obviously won’t stand up in court (i.e. hollow grandstanding), the AZ legislators should be looking into the real reasons the state is broke and broken (much like their ancient mascot, John McCain), and those reasons have little to do with illegal immigrants and a lot to do with reckless, fiscally and socially misguided wingnuts in their now pimped-out government buildings. I mean, really, a state that has to sell their government property to stay falsely afloat–nuf said.

  14. nic says

    @DAVID, stop being a stupid, stupid man. any rational person would have known that this flagrant abuse of civil rights would not pass constitutional muster. every human being regardless of immigration status has a right to her/his own person and belongings. the government shall not condone unreasonable search and seaze. why is that so hard for white bigots to understand. yes, the founding fathers thougth when they declared “all men are created equal” they meant white land-owning gentlemen. but the understanding of what they said versus what they meant is the weighty issue. would clarence thomas be sitting on his black/white-rimming ass on the bench for perpetuity were it not for judicial discretion/activism? when did the original dictum that all men are created equal come to encompass women and non-human negroes? when will it include gay men and lesbian women? i am so tired of strict constitutionalists using the rule of law to deny sub-groups of people the inalienable rights of free association and the pursuit of happiness.

  15. nic says

    p.s. i went on a road trip to south carolina and somewhere between alabamy and georgia i was affronted by a huge confederate flag blowing in the wind off the highway. i thought to myself, what kind of bigot still clings to an out-dated and wrong-headed tradition? apparently there are still many. look at the palin and huckabee supporters.

  16. Bruce Wayne says

    So….NO body here has to show their i.d. when they buy beer or cancer sticks? Check out a library book? Use a credit card? Get stopped for speeding? If you are here Legally, and have proper i.d. there is No problem. Period. If not….YOU are a big problem and Do Not belong here.
    For all the people crying and wringing their hands about the ‘poor’ illegals who just want a better life–How Many of them do you have living in Your homes? Feeding them are you? Giving them cars, insurance, clothes, allowances? Learning Their language so They aren’t burdened?
    Unless you are in this country Legally….get the fuck out. You are trespassing…and you know what the signs say about trespassers! We are not living in the 1950’s…this is a post-9/11 America, and nothing is the same. Face the truth. Try some common sense. Fools.

  17. FunMe says


    Racist law was thrown out. AND it will be found unconstitutional.

    No matter how you feel about the issue, it is SO OBVIOUS that the only reason the RASIN FACE governor is doing this is to get elected by the voters of AZ.

    She is another CHINO (Christian in name only) who just got a taste of her own karma.

    Living it and loving it!

  18. NUNYA says

    FACT: You are required BY LAW to produce proper state Identification when asked by law enforcement in EVERY state in this country! Failure to carry and produce identification is and always has been a punishable crime. This law no matter what reason Arizona initiates it, IS NOT A CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION!

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