The Real SB 1070 Case

June 10th, 2012

The case of Arizona v. United States is not the real case. This case is purely a facial challenge to SB 1070 that considers issues of federalism and preemption. It does not, as Solicitor Gernerall Verilli, this case has nothing to do with the racial profiling or the Fourth Amendment.

That case, is winding its way up through the courts.

A decision in favor of Arizona could clear the way for other states to enforce immigration-check requirements and create an opening for states to take a larger role in immigration enforcement after mostly staying out of it for decades and letting the federal government handle it alone.

Five others states – Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah – have enacted similar laws.

If Arizona wins at the Supreme Court, opponents say they likely would go back to lower courts to seek injunctions on other grounds before any provisions that win approval from the Supreme Court take effect. They also may ask the courts to block enforcement of the law’s most controversial parts by arguing that the law requires police to extend the length of time of traffic stops beyond the permitted time.

“We are preparing for the next step in case of a bad decision,” said Andre Segura, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which also is fighting the law in court.’

Update: From the Arizona Republic:

While the federal government’s legal challenge to Senate Bill 1070 sits in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, a separate federal lawsuit alleging the law could violate individuals’ rights is creeping forward.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton heard arguments Monday over whether to grant the case class-action status, which could allow hundreds of thousands to join what has been named the Friendly House case, after one of the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs include immigrants, immigrant-rights groups, religious groups and non-profit organizations.

The federal government’s case — and the looming Supreme Court ruling — focuses on state vs. federal authority, while this case alleges SB 1070 could violate individuals’ Fifth Amendment right to due process, First Amendment right to free speech and 14th Amendment right to equal protection.

SB 1070 makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires an officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest to, when practicable, ask about a person’s legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally.

“A lot of focus has been placed on the federal government’s lawsuit, but our case focuses on the civil-rights violations that SB 1070 will cause,” said attorney Chris Newman with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.