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Washington, DC — April 6, 2011

Judicial Watch, the government watchdog group, announced today that its client, the Arizona State Legislature, has been granted permission to intervene as a defendant in the Obama Justice Department lawsuit (USA v. The State of Arizona, et al. (No. 10-1413)) challenging SB 1070, Arizona’s get-tough illegal immigration law.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed emergency legislation on February 7, 2011, authorizing the Legislature to participate in court proceedings related to the defense of SB 1070. The Legislature now joins the State of Arizona and Governor Brewer for the purpose of defending its enactment of SB 1070 in the interests of the people of Arizona. U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton allowed the intervention in an order dated April 5, 2011.Judicial Watch filed its “Motion to Intervene,” on February 11, 2011, with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona stating: “The Legislature…has a paramount interest in seeing that [SB 1070’s] enactment is upheld.” Judge Bolton today granted the motion over the objections of the Obama Justice Department.Judicial Watch has now filed an “Answer in Intervention” with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona State Legislature stating:

  • “[The Arizona Legislature] has a right to protect its citizens.
  • “Arizona has a right to self defense under the Constitution, particularly when the federal government fails to protect it.”
  • “[The Arizona Legislature] complied with all relevant federal, state, and local laws, including the Arizona Constitution and the [U.S.] Constitution” in crafting SB 1070.
  • “SB 1070 is not preempted by federal law or the Constitution. SB 1070 does not conflict with federal law, does not constitute an improper regulation of immigration, and Congress has not fully occupied the field.”

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law on April 23, 2010. On July 6, 2010, the Obama Justice Department filed a lawsuit challenging the law and requesting a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from being enforced. On July 28, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton allowed some provisions of the law to be enacted, while granting the Obama administration an injunction on other provisions until the Court could determine whether these provisions are constitutional. The State of Arizona appealed Judge Bolton’s ruling, which is now under review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.“We are quite pleased that the Arizona State Legislature, which represents the people of Arizona, will be able to defend against the Obama administration’s assault on SB 1070. The Legislature has a paramount interest in seeing its law upheld. Arizona citizens have been living on the frontline in the battle against illegal immigration. The Obama administration has utterly failed in its obligation to protect Arizona citizens and secure the border. The people of Arizona are the winners today along with the Arizona State Legislature, Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce, and Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

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