Judge Rules on Validity of Lawsuits Against Arizona
A motion from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona immigration law SB1070 was dismissed by a federal judge on Friday.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued a detailed ruling allowing the lawsuit to continue adding that the time was “ripe” to do so. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Phoenix advocacy group Friendly House who were leading the way with the lawsuit were told their arguments had merit and that parts of the law may violate not only the 14th Amendment, but the 4th as well as it does not allow unreasonable search and seizure. The 14th amendment includes the “equal protection clause” prohibiting unequal treatment for different classes of people or racial discrimination. Judge Bolton also stated that the plaintiffs had fair reason to believe that rights could be violated by portions of SB 1070, and that 4th Amendment issues were so great that she could have issued a stay on those grounds alone.
However, Bolton’s ruling was not one sided as the judge granted did not find standing for two New Mexico residents that felt their driver’s licenses would deny them a constitutional right to travel because N.M. does not verify immigration status when issuing licenses. Also, she rejected the ACLU’s argument that unauthorized immigrants being forbidden from attempting to acquire work violated the First Amendment, saying that the language of the law was unconstitutionally vague.
Arguing the case on behalf of the ACLU was Omar Jadwat who said, “Although not every ground for every claim has survived the motion to dismiss, the major claims are alive at this point.”
The ACLU also asked for an injunction against SB1070, but Bolton called the request moot as the U.S. Department of Justice already had already had one in effect since July. A hearing on that stay in San Francisco will be heard November 1st before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.