Judge blocks portion of Arizona immigration law SB 1070 (Update)

Not unexpected in my opinion, but it’s important to note a portion of Arizona SB 1070 will go into effect. A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order on portions of the law, including the part where law enforcement should make reasonable attempt to check immigration status, and act accordingly during lawful contact.

Update: Scroll down for an additional perspective from frequent radio guest Andrew McCarthy.

First, as a primer, let’s review the wording of the actual legislation, from Title 11, Chapter 7, Article 8 of the Arizona Revised Statues.

B. For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the united states, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 united states code section 1373(c).

C. If an alien who is unlawfully present in the united states is convicted of a violation of state or local law, on discharge from imprisonment or assessment of any fine that is imposed, the alien shall be transferred immediately to the custody of the united states immigration and customs enforcement or the united states customs and border protection.

From the New York Times, Judge Susan Bolton noted in her ruling…

“There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new (law),” Bolton ruled. “By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.”

The full 36 page ruling from Bolton is embedded below, but here is a screen shot from the ruling concerning the points the judge think the United States attorney likely has a point.

The Obama administration’s point on the “don’t bother them” side of the argument is not based on racial discrimination or human rights. They think these laws are the exclusive purview of the federal government, not the state.

That said, the Arizona legislation is worded in almost the exact way as current federal law, which the Obama administration – and previous administrations including George W. Bush – have been completely unwilling to enforce.

Exit question: If a law is to be the exclusive domain of the federal government, and the federal government refuses to enforce such law, and refuses to allow states to enact legislation to help, forcing the federal government to pick up the slack and do their damn job, where the hell does that leave the United States of America?

Also writing: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, John Schulenburg at Gateway Pundit, and Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place.

The following PDF is courtesy of the Legal Insurrection blog. Do you find it interesting the main stream media – including Fox News, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC et. al. have yet to post the full ruling, yet a blogger has?

Update 1: The New York Times now has the PDF of the ruling.

U.S. v. Arizona – Order on Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Update 2: Andrew McCarthy chimes in over at NRO’s The Corner. Read his full post, even though he says he has not had time to review the ruling in detail.

However this ruling came out, it was only going to be the first round. Appeal is certain. But the gleeful Left may want to put away the party hats. This decision is going to anger most of the country. The upshot of it is to tell Americans that if they want the immigration laws enforced, they are going to need a president willing to do it, a Congress willing to make clear that the federal government has no interest in preempting state enforcement, and the selection of judges who will not invent novel legal theories to frustrate enforcement. They are not going to get that from the Obama/Reid/Pelosi Democrats.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on July 28, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I don't understand why the requirement for aliens to carry registration papers is so onerous.  Green card holders are currently required to carry their green cards at all times.  I have had to provide proof of my citizenship to get jobs, either a birth certificate or current passport.


    Amnesty is not the answer.  When will some liberal come up with the idea that only giving amnesty to Mexicans is somehow racist, and the doors will have to be thrown open to the rest of the world to be "fair".


    Despite her barely concealed glee, Couric reported to tonight that there are some 21 (?) states currently drafting legislation designed to get a handle on illegals.  One will eventually set an ironclad precedent, and then we can get to work securing the border.  This action by the judge will re energize the TEA party and the rest of the majority of Americans that want this problem dealt with.  Ongoing analysis shows that he ruling is flawed, and this is just a ploy to buy time (and votes) for the next elections.


    The welcome mat is out for immigrants, but the path is through legal means.  Go get in line and wait your turn.

  2. porschepete on July 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I don't think that all illegal aliens want to become  citizens. Then they 

    will have to share their wealth. 

  3. NH-Jim on July 29, 2010 at 7:31 am

    So when the time comes that I am driving down the road with my family and an illegal alien (I refuse to use the term immigrant in this case) crashes into my car killing my wife or daughter, the police will not be able to demand the legal residency status of the perpetrator.  For this person did not take the required safe driving courses required by all of us legal citizens in every state.  For this person did not pass the driving tests required by every state to have a legal right to drive on public roadways.  For this person did not have a legal, state-issued operators license on his/her person at the time of the crash.  Will additional charges be applied to this person along with vehicular manslaughter, failure to carry operators license, traffic infractions….?  Huh, Judge Bolton?

    And, I am left to burying my loved one….

    • winnie888 on July 29, 2010 at 11:33 pm

      In answers to all your questions above, NH-Jim….he'll get a court appointed attorney, and in spite of the fact that a citizen of the U.S. has died at his hands, he'll end up getting off for time served (how does a year sound?)…but will he be deported?  That depends on whether or not his wife petitions family court saying what a hardship it would be for her and her kids if he were to be deported.  AND, even if he does get deported after receiving no punishment for killing your wife and/or daughter, he'll be right back up here so fast your head will spin.

  4. NH-Jim on July 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Meanwhile, the body count continues to rise.

    Why?  Well, according to the NY Times, it's our fault and the heat-wave's fault.

    The Arizona law is but a day old (and parts blocked by Federal Judge Bolton), but the Times, James McKinley states (July 28, '10) "But the law has not kept the immigrants from trying to cross hundreds of miles of desert on foot in record-breaking heat. The bodies of 57 border crossers have been brought in during July so far… "These tougher enforcement measures have pushed smugglers and illegal immigrants to take their chances on isolated trails through the deserts and mountains of southern Arizona, where they must sometimes walk for three or four days before reaching a road…Human rights groups say it is the government’s sustained crackdown on human smuggling that has led to more deaths."

    In the words of our President, "Plug the damn hole"

  5. Superman on July 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

    The US needs to make it less attractive for people from other countries to come here illegally.  Get ride of all the darn freebies & services that they receive from the government.  Put massive fines in place for any company caught paying an illegal immigrant for work.  Then maybe they would not want to come here illegally, but they would get in line like everyone else.

  6. JollyRoger on July 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    In the spirit of lawlessness, maybe we should all pick a day in which we celebrate a law-free day!  Surely "equal protection" would justify us all a free pass while we simply break local and state laws- nothing as serious as coming here illegally, conspiring with a spouse or coyote to deliver an anchor baby on American soil with intent to exploit federal gratuities…  And look at Charles Wrangell- don't make an example out of me until all of these politicos have passed a very strenuous "stress-test" on their ethical obligations before they're ever qualified in exercising their authority over us…

  7. PatRiot on July 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Soo,  this is a law that reiterates a law saying it is illegal to be here illegally.  And the judge decides this is a racial issue.  What is this, a Netflix commercial?

    I am beginning that the left harbors those who are afraid to live up to the high standard of the Constitution.

    • Dimsdale on July 30, 2010 at 6:44 am

      The Democrats and Republicans that are pro illegal are trying to make it a racial issue, but it is really geographic: most illegals are Mexican because Mexico is not separated from the U.S. by an ocean.  Or much else for that matter.  If it were a nation of white mongrels (thank you Mr. President), I would be just as ticked off and want them out just as badly.

  8. Dimsdale on August 3, 2010 at 4:04 am

    So if this law is shut down, does that mean that state and local cops are prohibited from arresting ANYONE that breaks a federal law?




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