SB 1070's "Papers Please" Section Can Go Into Effect, Judge Rules
The ACLU lost on section 2(b) today, but the war over SB 1070 is far from over
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In a major disappointment to civil rights advocates, U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton today ruled that Senate Bill 1070's notorious "papers please" section cannot be further enjoined, allowing the provision to go into effect once she officially releases an earlier injunction against it.
The judge disagreed with a coalition of groups led by the ACLU, which had argued that section 2(b) of SB 1070 should be enjoined on the grounds it violates the Fourth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Instead, in Valle del Sol v. Whiting, Bolton concluded that 2(b) could not be challenged on these grounds until it goes into effect and creates the adverse conditions civil rights organizations fear it will.
Bolton cited the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year, denying an injunction on the section, which requires cops to check the immigration status of those stopped, if there's reasonable suspicion to believe the person is in the country illegally.
In June, the Supremes decided that if the section is narrowly interpreted, it possibly could be applied in a constitutional manner.
So the high court reversed Bolton's 2010 injunction on the section, wherein she ruled that federal immigration law preempts that part of 1070.
"This Court will not ignore the clear direction in the Arizona opinion that Subsection 2(B) cannot be challenged further on its face before the law takes effect," Bolton declared in today's order.
"As the Supreme Court stated," she added, "plaintiffs and the United States may be able to challenge the provision on other preemption and constitutional grounds `as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.'"