Countdown to SB 1070: Hearing on New AZ Immigration Law Begins

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

The lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice challenging Arizona's new immigration laws SB 1070 is finally getting it's day in court. The first hearing was held last Thursday, just a week before the new laws are set to go into effect.

The Justice Department's case was the third lawsuit challenging the new SB 1070 heard by Judge Susan Bolton, a democratic appointee. So far, seven lawsuits total have been filed by both individuals and non-profit organizations like MALDEF and the American Civil Liberties Union. SB 1070, which gives police the power to question anyone they have "reasonable suspicion" to believe are illegal immigrants, was immediately condemned by President Obama when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed them into law in April.

Obama's Justice Department is seeking an injunction to bar the law from going into effect on July 29th. Judge Bolton hinted as to her thought process when she asked Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler, "How is there a preemption issue?" referring to his statement that the Constitution gives the federal government exclusive authority to enforce immigration law. "I understand there may be other issues," Bolton conceded. "Where is the preemption if everybody who is arrested for some crime has their immigration status checked?"

The 90-minute session ended without Bolton coming to a decision.

Read more in our special Call to Action: The Immigration Crisis Section!


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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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