Arizona Files Appeal in Face of Nationwide Protests

Protest against Arizona law in NYC Photo by AP

"In the face of fear that is assaulting our community, we must not be silent. We must make it clear which side we stand on. We stand on the side of love." Reverend Susan Frederick Gray

July 30, 2010

As expected, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer filed as appeal to overturn Wednesday's preliminary injunction issued by Federal Judge Susan Bolton that blocked key provisions of Arizona's controversial law, S.B. 1070.  This was done even before Judge Bolton issued a final ruling in the U.S. vs Arizona lawsuit.  The judge stated that the provisions were preempted by federal immigration law. (See previous post.)

The Saipan Tribune reported that the governor's "acting public information officer, " Teresa Kim called Judge Bolton's  ruling "just a procedural matter." CNMI Attorney General Edward Buckingham joined the Republican AGs of nine states in filing a brief supporting Arizona in the lawsuit filed against the state by the U.S. Attorney.  The CNMI has implemented a law that echoes some of Arizona's provisions that Judge Bolton blocked.  Arizona's law was adopted allegedly to protect its borders and stop illegal immigration, while the CNMI's intention was a defiant one made in an attempt to maintain control of the broken local system that ended when PL100-229 went into effect.

The appeal to the Ninth District Court of Appeals seeks a fast track review to put the judge's order for a temporary injunction on hold. The appeal will be assigned to a panel of three judges and there is no time limit for a ruling.  After the ruling either side can then ask for the entire 9th Circuit Appeals Court to hear the case or it can go to the Supreme Court.

Legal experts say that Judge Bolton's ruling will "withstand challenges." From Arizona Capitol Times:
Constitutional experts and immigration attorneys said it’s impossible to predict how the 9th Circuit will react, especially because no one knows which three of the appellate court’s 29 judges will hear the case.

But Bolton’s 36-page order bolstered her reputation as a judge who puts a great deal of thought into her decisions, attorneys and legal scholars said, and the detailed analysis she gave for why she blocked portions of S1070 was an ominous sign for the law’s supporters.

“What that tells you is if you and I were to go to Las Vegas on this thing, we’d bet on the (federal) government side at this point, because they’re going to be the appellee,” said attorney Tim Berg, of the law firm Fennemore Craig.

Bolton wrote her opinion with the knowledge that it would be challenged and examined by higher courts, said University of Arizona law professor Jack Chin. He said the injunction order will likely stand because it relies on what he called a mainstream legal view that immigration law is a federal prerogative, and anything that interferes with that undermines federal preemption.

Berg said appellate courts stand with the original ruling in about two-thirds of all cases. Unless the 9th Circuit finds some serious flaw in her reasoning, he said, it is unlikely to overrule her injunction.
The U.S. Department of Justice issued the following statement regarding Wednesday's ruling:
"We believe the court ruled correctly when it prevented key provisions of SB1070 from taking effect. 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. 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. This administration takes its responsibility to secure our borders seriously and has dedicated unprecedented resources to that effort. We will continue to work toward smarter and more effective enforcement of our laws while pressing for a comprehensive approach that provides true security and strengthens accountability and responsibility in our immigration system at the national level."
Protests Across Nation

Since yesterday when the remaining provisions of the law went into effect, thousands in Arizona have been protesting the law. At least 71 of the nonviolent protesters were arrested. One who was arrested was Rev. Susan Frederick Gray who chained herself to the entrance of Phoenix jail . She said:
"We’re out here standing here saying, 'Not one more. Not one more mother gets pulled away from her children. Not one more grandfather gets pulled away from his children and grandchildren. Not one more student gets denied the opportunity to follow his dreams, after his father and mother have sweated in labor for our country.'"
Nineteen other Unitarian ministers from across the nation were also arrested as they too protested the law.

Protesters were reportedly peaceful, but some supporting the law were not. Rep. Raul Grijalva closed his Yuma office after a window was shattered by a bullet.  NPR reported that Judge Bolton received threats.

Protesters also rallied against the Arizona law in North Carolina, in New York City, Santa Cruz , Los Angeles, and in numerous other cities across the nation.


Anonymous said...

Nothing will be heard on the appeal until Nov. (USA Today)

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that Jan Brewer may have done more for Illegal Alien rights than anyone in recent memory. You don't have to like the stance she took, although two-thirds of Americans did. She has forced the Feds to look at the situation and take action. The President is right on a few things. He said we have an immigration system where people are waiting in line right now and that will continue. He also said it is not practical to remove millions of people just because of their status.
So just like Arizona created the law, which is in effect and does outlaw the Sanctuary city concept, the Feds had to challenge, and Arizona had to appeal. On and on it goes while illegal aliens live in limbo, and this is not a long term solution.

Anonymous said...

go Arizona!!

Anonymous said...

go Arizona to where? Closed malls?
Empty shops? Nothing like showing your position by voting with your pocketbook or your feet by leaving the state. But ultimately the Federal government will win this point, but at a great loss: ignoring the fact that the Federal government has ignored the enforcement of immigration laws dealing with illegal immigrants-- not legal immigrants. That point seems to be lost in the polarizing debate.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 6:54

Horrible decisions made by Arizona's leadership are responsible for the state's bad reputation resulting in boycotts and exodus of both legal and illegal immigrants. Just like horrible statements and actions made by the CNMI's leadership have led to its poor reputation in Washington, DC and the exodus of residents and nonresidents.

As long as the the Republicans in Congress continue to act as partisan roadblocks to important legislation, all citizens and nonresidents in the US will suffer.

Anonymous said...

Actually, from what I understand, the current makeup of the Supreme Court might rule 5-4 in Arizona's favor. Of course, the ninth circuit will uphold the decision by the lower court. It will take awhile to get to the Supreme Court unless they expedite it. It really does not make much difference as it does not address the underlying problem.
First, get a National ID card system in place. Then get the illegal aliens signed up with the system. Not citizenship or green card, but a guest worker status at this point. Everyone that does not qualify has to go back. Employers are severly punished if they hire anyone without the card. Most countries have this system. Even the US has one (Passport), but it not required.
This way the people get the stay and work and restore some dignity and they can get in line with the other folks who have been legally waiting. Their is nothing wrong with this system, but some people feel it acts too slow and the numbers are restricted to much. Looking at adjustments to that would be the next step.