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Foundation Defends AZ Law

 DENVER, CO. A western, nonprofit, public-interest law firm active in litigation regarding immigration and constitutional issues, has filed its friend of the court brief defending an Arizona law that addresses illegal immigration impacts. Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), which prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark civil rights case, advised the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that the ruling of an Arizona federal district court striking down portions of S.B. 1070 was in error and must be reversed. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the Obama Administration, which followed lawsuits filed by the ACLU, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), NAACP, and others. On July 28, 2010, the district court agreed with federal lawyers and ruled that the Arizona law conflicted with federal law and was preempted.

“For the Obama Administration, the question is not whether Arizona’s law conflicts with congressional acts, but whether it is consistent with White House policy, such as, ‘foreign relations [] and humanitarian concerns,’” said William Perry Pendley, MSLF president. “This fallacious argument proves the lawsuit is not truly about illegal immigration and who may enforce those laws. It is about the Constitution, federalism, and dual sovereignty.”

On April 23, 2010, Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer signed Arizona S.B. 1070 into law. Arizona House Bill 2162 made additional changes to S.B. 1070 and was signed by Governor Brewer on April 30, 2010. The intent of S.B. 1070 is, through “cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws” “to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona” and “to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.”

After passage of S.B. 1070, seven lawsuits were filed challenging its constitutionality. The lawsuit filed on July 6, 2010, by the United States seeks a declaration that some provisions of S.B. 1070 are unconstitutional because they are preempted by federal law. Concurrently, the United States filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin all those provisions until the district court could issue a final decision on the merits.

On July 28, 2010, the district court granted the United States’ motion, in part, and preliminarily enjoined certain provisions of S.B. 1070. On July 29, Arizona and Governor Brewer appealed to the Ninth Circuit. On July 30, the Ninth Circuit denied Arizona and Governor Brewer’s motion for expedited briefing and placed the case on its November 2010 calendar. After the Ninth Circuit rules, the case will return to Arizona federal district court.

Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest law firm dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and the free enterprise system. Its offices are in the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area.



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