Ahhh... nothing like the sights and sounds of Racist Republican policies falling apart. And so it begins. Round one goes to the sane & rational. But the Right vows to fight on.
PHOENIX — A federal judge stepped into the fight over Arizona's immigration law at the last minute Wednesday, blocking the heart of the measure and defusing a confrontation between police and thousands of activists that had been building for months.It looks like this will drag on for quite some time, and will eventually be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was full of problems and had measures that were unconstitutional, even after the Arizona legislature tried to clean up their own mess by changing the text.
Coming just hours before the law was to take effect, the ruling isn't the end.
It sets up a lengthy legal battle that could end up before the Supreme Court — ensuring that a law that reignited the immigration debate, inspired similar measures nationwide, created fodder for political campaigns and raised tensions with Mexico will stay in the spotlight.
Protesters who gathered at the state Capitol and outside the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City cheered when they heard the news. The governor, the law's authors and anti-illegal immigration groups vowed to fight on.
"It's a temporary bump in the road," Gov. Jan Brewer said.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton will now have to decide a question as old as the nation itself: Does federal law trump state law? She indicated in her ruling that the federal government's case has a good chance at succeeding.
The Clinton appointee said the controversial sections should be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues, including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
Bolton delayed provisions that required immigrants to carry their papers and banned illegal immigrants from soliciting employment in public places — a move aimed at day laborers. In addition, she blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants for crimes that can lead to deportation.
"Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked," Bolton wrote.
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See our previous postings on the Arizona Immigration Law here and here.
Read Commentary from Ruben Navarrette
Commentary from the Washington Post