This in from our exclusive Associated Press immigration news feed:
PHOENIX (AP) – A federal appeals court on Monday refused to lift a stay blocking major parts of Arizona’s immigration law from taking effect and said the federal government is likely to be able to prove the controversial law is unconstitutional.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down an appeal filed by Gov. Jan Brewer. She had asked the appeals court to lift an injunction imposed by a federal judge in Phoenix the day before the law was to take effect on July 29, 2010.
The U.S Justice Department sued to block the law, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution because enforcing immigration law is a federal issue.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction preventing four major parts of the law from going into effect pending a trial. Monday’s ruling by the three-judge appeals court panel upheld that injunction.
The panel’s opinion said the government is likely to succeed in its arguments that Congress has given the federal government sole authority to enforce immigration laws, and that Arizona’s law violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. One judge dissented.
Brewer’s lawyers said the federal government hasn’t effectively enforced immigration law and that the state law will assist federal authorities.
“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,” Brewer said in a statement.
The governor’s office said Brewer, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and their legal team – in conjunction with counsel for the Arizona Legislature – will be considering their legal options, including appealing to a larger 9th Circuit panel or seeking an immediate petition for the U.S. Supreme Court, to lift the injunction.
The bill’s author, state Sen. Russell Pearce, issued a statement saying the appeals court ruling was “utterly predictable.”
“SB 1070 is constitutionally sound, and that will be proven when the U.S. Supreme Court takes up this case and makes the proper ruling,” he said. “This battle is a battle of epic proportions. It is about a state’s right to enforce the laws of this land and protect its citizens from those who break our laws.”
When this story first broke last summer, we were right out of the gate noting that this law was unconstitutional from just about any way you looked at it. Nevertheless, Governor Brewer and her legal beagles continue to face into the wind on this who debacle. What’s next? Shall we let states determine what the IRS should get from their citizens? Sure, call me when that happens.
The flip side of this who mess is our federal government who cannot seem to manage it’s way through anything these days without making it a political football. It’s clear that the lack of leadership in focusing on immigration reforms is what has caused Arizona and many other states to make an end run in the name of ‘self-determination’.
I think the Romans had similar problems addressing critical issues of their day and we know how that story ended.