Judicial Watch Client Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce Asks Appellate Court to Reverse SB 1070 Injunction
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a new brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit relating to the Obama administration’s legal challenge to Arizona’s new immigration law, SB 1070. The court filing, on behalf of Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce (the author of SB 1070), asks the appellate court to reverse the preliminary injunction granted in part by the lower court on July 28, 2010, and allow all of the provisions of the law to be enforced immediately.
According to the new brief: “Even though the Arizona Legislature has done nothing more than enact a series of law enforcement provisions under its well-recognized police powers to protect its citizens from serious public safety concerns, the district court has denied Arizona law enforcement officers the opportunity to reasonably interpret and apply the provisions in a constitutionally valid manner.”
On July 28, 2010, pursuant to a lawsuit filed by the Obama administration, a federal court put a hold on four of SB 1070’s key provisions until such time as the court determines that they are constitutionally sound. Judicial Watch addressed the legality of all four provisions in its appellant brief:
- Section 2(B) [reasonable attempt to determine a person’s immigration status] imposes no “new” burden on lawfully present aliens because Arizona law enforcement officials have the discretion to inquire about a person’s immigration status regardless of Section 2(B). Section 2(B) also does not place any undue burden on federal resources because Congress has mandated that the federal government respond to requests from state and local law enforcement officers about persons’ immigration status.”
- Section 3 [willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document] does not regulate the conditions under which a lawfully present alien may remain in the country. Instead, Section 3 utilizes ordinary state police powers to create criminal penalties for the failure to comply with a federal registration scheme.”
- Invoking Arizona’s broad authority to regulate employment under its police powers, Section 5 [unlawful employment of illegal aliens] “seeks to strengthen Arizona’s economy by protecting the state’s fiscal interests and lawfully resident labor force from the harmful effects resulting from the employment of unlawfully present aliens.”
- Section 6 [warrantless arrest] “does not grant Arizona law enforcement officers the authority to determine whether an individual has committed a public offense that makes him removable. Section 6 only authorizes Arizona law enforcement officers to make a warrantless arrest of an individual who has already been determined to have committed a public offense that makes him removable.”
State Senator Pearce issued the following statement on his new brief to defend SB 1070:
This ought to be a no-brainer for the courts. I hope the appeals court allows our state to enforce the rule of law because the Obama administration doesn’t seem to care one whit for the safety of the citizens of Arizona. SB 1070 simply reflects federal immigration law. This Obama team doesn’t want immigration laws enforced — but that doesn’t mean that Arizona can’t take common sense steps to protect its own citizens.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement today on the new push to defend SB 1070:
State Senator Pearce specifically crafted SB 1070 to be entirely consistent with federal law. The district court jumped the gun by invalidating components of the law on a purely speculative basis. It is shameful that the Obama administration has chosen to mount a legal assault against the State of Arizona for simply trying to protect its citizens. It is little wonder that the situation at the border continues to deteriorate given the Obama administration’s unwillingness to secure the border and enforce the law. We hope the appellate court respects the rule of law and allows SB 1070 to be put into full force.
On July 14, 2010, Judicial Watch filed a motion to intervene on behalf of State Senator Pearce in the Obama administration’s lawsuit challenging SB 1070. On July 20, 2010, Judicial Watch filed a memorandum with the district court on behalf of State Senator Pearce opposing the Obama administration’s motion for a preliminary injunction.