Opponents Once Again Try to Challenge SB 1070 in Federal Court

Aug 13, 2012

Attorneys for the state asked a federal judge late Friday to reject a new bid to block a key provision of SB 1070 from taking effect.

At issue is a section of the law that requires police to question those they have stopped about their immigration status if there is reason to believe they are in the country illegally. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the contention by the Obama administration that provision is preempted by federal law, though the justices did void three other elements of the statute. But opponents point out the high court never addressed whether the law paves the way for racial profiling. So they want Judge Susan Bolton, who issued the first injunction in 2010, to again put the law on hold. In response Friday, attorneys for the state said claims of possible profiling are "entirely speculative," noting the law itself expressly prohibits such activity. Matthew Benson, press aide to Gov. Jan Brewer, said Bolton should reject the new effort.

"The court has spoken and it's time that SB 1070 be able to go into effect as was approved by the Legislature and the governor of this state," Benson said.  "Gov. Brewer has full faith and confidence that Arizona's law enforcement can implement 1070 without stepping on anybody's civil rights or engaging in racial profiling."

Attorneys for the state also pointed out that anyone seeking an injunction must show "irreparable harm'' if the relief is not granted. They said the mere risk that someone will be unlawfully detained is not enough.