For the lawmakers or candidates in the 18 states outside of Arizona considering similar legislation to SB 1070, yesterdays ruling will give significant pause. The core of Judge Susan Bolton ruling is that that the government has a strong argument that federal immigration law trumps state law. This being the primary argument for other states considering similar legislation, they will need to consider the ramifications of giving a first round victory to the Federal government and the ultimate implications if this case makes it way to the Supreme Court. Many states are predicted to take a wait and see approach.
In Bolton’s temporary injunction, she delayed the most controversial provisions of the law. She barred the section requiring officers to check a persons immigration statues while enforcing other laws, the section that required immigrants to carry their papers, the section that banned illegal immigrants from soliciting work and the section that blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants. These are the sections that judge Bolton believes the federal government will ultimately succeed in their arguments.
Although clearly a victory for the Justice Department, the final disposition is far from complete. There will be a trial, a final ruling by Judge Bolton and then several rounds of appeals likely concluding with the Supreme Court ruling.