Opinion: Next move in the Arizona illegal immigration law fight: An immediate Supreme Court petition?


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Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne expressed disappointment late Monday in a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that continued an injunction against four key elements of their state’s controversial illegal immigration law, S.B. 1070.

In a joint statement the officials said they were considering their legal options and expressed strong criticism of the Ninth Circuit’s decision giving special weight to the opposition of other governments such as Mexico.


“I note,’ said Horne, ‘that the 9th Circuit relied heavily on the opposition of foreign governments in upholding the injunction on two of the four elements. As the dissent by Judge Carlos T. Bea eloquently stated, foreign governments should not be given a ‘heckler’s veto’ to establish preemption by the federal government over the state.”

Brewer, who signed the measure nearly a year ago, called that aspect ‘outrageous, adding:....

....’Today’s decision is internationalism run amok that ranks right up there with the U.S. State Department’s decision to refer S.B. 1070 to the United Nations Human Rights Council.’ The overwhelming passage by Arizona’s legislature, which it tied to inadequate Mexican border security by federal authorities, has prompted more than two dozen other states to consider similar legislation which, among other things, requires local police to check the immigration status of those encountered in investigations and traffic stops.

Brewer and others blamed years of poor federal border security for local crime and increased drug violence.

“For decades,’ Brewer said today, ‘the federal government has neglected its constitutional duty to American citizens by failing to secure the border.

‘States like Arizona have borne the brunt of that failure. We see the impacts in our border areas, where Arizona ranchers live day and night with human-traffickers crossing their lands. We see it in our neighborhoods and communities, where drop houses and drug-runners have become a staple of the evening news.’

Added Brewer: “I remain steadfast in my belief that Arizona and other states have a sovereign right and obligation to protect their citizens and enforce immigration law in accordance with federal statute. Monday’s decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Judge Bolton’s suspension of key provisions of SB 1070 does harm to the safety and well-being of Arizonans who suffer the negative effects of illegal immigration.”

Noting that the Ninth Circuit is the nation’s most frequently overturned appeals court, Brewer said she and Horne will consult with the legislature’s attorneys to decide on the next move, which could involve an immediate petititon to the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the injunction.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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