The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday denied a request for a new injunction against a controversial provision of Arizona's immigration law [SB 1070, PDF] requiring law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of persons they stop or arrest if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the US illegally. Last week a judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] lifted an injunction [JURIST report] that barred enforcement of the law. After hearing arguments [JURIST report] on the law in August, District Judge Susan Bolton denied [JURIST report] a request for a preliminary injunction earlier this month in light of the US Supreme Court [official website] ruling in Arizona v. United States [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] which upheld the provision. Following the latest order, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer [official website] expressed contempt [press release] toward the law's challengers:
I am under no illusion that opponents of SB 1070 will stop their baseless allegations and call off their teams of lawyers. Even now, they scheme for new ways to undermine the rule of law and malign the character and commitment of our State and local law enforcement. Know this: They will not succeed. The State of Arizona stands firmly in support of the rule of law, in defense of our citizens and together with our brave men and women in uniform.As a result of the ruling, the law remains in effect.
Immigration law [JURIST backgrounder] has became a hot button issue over the past few years as many states, Arizona being the first, have passed laws giving state and local officials more power to crack down on illegal immigration. In August the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] struck down [JURIST report] several provisions of Alabama's controversial immigration law [HB 56, PDF], upheld a few sections of the law and rejected part of Georgia's immigration law [HB 87, text]. That same month, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] again heard arguments [JURIST report] on two anti-illegal immigrant laws enacted in 2006 by the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which deny permits to businesses that employ illegal immigrants and fine landlords who extend housing to them. In July a judge for the US District Court for the District of South Carolina [official website] declined to lift an injunction [JURIST report] against South Carolina's controversial immigration law [SB 20 materials], despite the recent Supreme Court ruling. The lawsuit against the South Carolina immigration law was put on hold [JURIST report] in January pending the outcome of Arizona v. United States. Last May the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center filed a class action lawsuit challenging Utah's immigration law, the same month that the ACLU filed a class action [JURIST reports] in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana [official website] challenging that state's immigration law.