Major defeat for Anti Immigration supporters. The Ninth Circuit upheld today a lower court’s block of much of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 law aimed at illegal immigration. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court “did not abuse its discretion” in blocking parts of the law from taking effect last year.
The decision, a victory for the Obama administration and immigration activists who filed suit to block the law, means the SB 1070 case will likely find its way to the Supreme Court. The judges agreed with U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton, who issued a preliminary injunction in July preventing sections of SB 1070 from being enforced.
From the ruling:
The relevant provisions of S.B. 1070 facially conflict with Congressional intent…
We stress that the question before us is not, as Arizona has portrayed, whether state and local law enforcement officials can apply the statute in a constitutional way… This formulation misses the point: there can be no constitutional application of a statute that, on its face, conflicts with Congressional intent and therefore is preempted by the Supremacy Clause….
By imposing mandatory obligations on state and local officers, Arizona interferes with the federal government’s authority to implement its priorities and strategies in law enforcement, turning Arizona officers into state-directed DHS agents.
The decision rejected Arizona’s contention it could enact a state law against undocumented workers seeking employment, citing Congress’ “affirmative choice not to criminalize work as a method of dis- couraging unauthorized immigrant employment.”
“Congress has deliberately crafted a very particular calibration of force which does not include the criminalization of work,” Paez wrote.
The court also upheld Bolton’s injunction against Arizona law enforcment arresting suspected illegal immigrants without warrants based on a believe that they could be subject to civil removal from the United States.