Judicial Watch Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Arizona State Legislature in Support of State of Arizona Supreme Court Petition
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Arizona State Legislature, supporting Arizona's petition to the Supreme Court to review the Obama administration's lawsuit against SB 1070, Arizona's illegal immigration enforcement law. On April 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction against enforcement of some of the law's provisions, prompting the State of Arizona's petition. (State of Arizona and Janice K. Brewer, Governor of the State of Arizona, v. United States (No. 11-182)).
The Arizona State Legislature, which is now a defendant in the Obama administration lawsuit, argues that SB 1070 is completely consistent with federal law:
The [Arizona] Legislature invoked its well established police powers in crafting SB 1070, for the purpose of protecting the people of Arizona. Rather than welcoming the Legislature's enactment, the United States sued Arizona.
Contrary to the view of the United States, not every state action related to aliens is preempted by federal law. …Only the determination of who should or should not be admitted into the country, and the conditions under which that person may remain, is the regulation of immigration.
Accordingly, the Legislature enacted SB 1070 in reliance on the principle that it had authority to utilize well-established police powers in areas touching on immigration…
The Arizona Legislature also maintains the four provisions put on hold by the lower courts should be reinstated, as the provisions would "significantly assist Arizona's effort to protect its citizens from the adverse effects of illegal immigration." Specifically, these provisions:
- Provide additional guidance to Arizona law enforcement officers as to how to interact with individuals who may not be lawfully present. [Section 2(B).]
- Utilize ordinary state police powers to create state criminal penalties for the failure to comply with federal law. [Section 3.]
- Invoke Arizona's broad authority to regulate employment under its police powers to protect its economy and lawfully resident labor force from the harmful effects resulting from the employment of unlawfully present aliens. [Section 5(C)]
- Re-emphasize Arizona law enforcement officers' pre-existing warrantless arrest authority by authorizing a warrantless arrest of an individual who has already been determined to have committed a public offense that makes him removable. [Section 6.]
"The Arizona State Legislature had the right to pass laws to protect its citizens from the scourge of illegal immigration," said Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch. "The Arizona legislature crafted SB 1070 in a manner completely consistent with federal law. The Obama Justice Department should do its job and start enforcing illegal immigration laws instead of attacking states that are lawfully attempting to deal with the problems of rampant illegal immigration. The Obama administration's lawless approach to illegal immigration is a crisis that must be addressed. We hope the U.S. Supreme Court accepts the State of Arizona's petition, protects the rule of law and upholds the rights of the States to protect its citizens."
"States have an inherent duty under law and the Constitution to protect their citizens from those who break our laws. I pray the Supreme Court honors states' inherent authority and right under the police powers and supports Arizona in the protection of our state from the Obama administration, who has sided with foreign governments against our state and our citizens. The Obama administration's attack on our state's sovereign right to defend itself from the illegal alien invasion is unconscionable," added Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce. "Already, the enacted provisions of SB 1070 have helped reduce crime significantly and led to a mass exodus of illegal aliens from our state. I know President Obama needs votes from the open borders crowd and those who benefit from this invasion, and doesn't want the immigration laws enforced. He has made that abundantly clear by his recent actions to reward those who have broken our laws. He has refused to protect American jobs and the rights of our citizens — Arizona will continue to take common sense steps to protect its own citizens and our border."
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law on April 23, 2010. On July 6, 2010, the Obama Justice Department filed a lawsuit challenging the law and requested a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from being enforced (USA v. The State of Arizona, et al., No. 10-1413). On July 28, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton allowed key provisions of the law to be enacted, while granting the Obama administration an injunction on other provisions until the Court could determine whether these provisions are constitutional. On April 11th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's preliminary injunction.
Judicial Watch filed a "Motion to Intervene," on February 11, 2011 on behalf of the Arizona Legislature with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona stating: "The Legislature…has a paramount interest in seeing that [SB 1070's] enactment is upheld." U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton granted the motion on April 5, 2011, over the objections of the Obama Justice Department. Judicial Watch also represented Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce, the author of SB 1070, in the Obama administration's legal action against the law.
For further information on the Arizona Legislature's amicus curiae brief please visit www.judicialwatch.org. Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office.
SOURCE Judicial Watch