Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Federal appeals court signals skepticism over some objections to Arizona's illegal immigration law

Mexico border Fence at Nogales

There are persistent rumors floating around of elections allegedly occurring all across the country Tuesday. So we interrupt Susan Sarandon's robo-calls on behalf of legalizing marijuana in California, to bring you this court update on the controversial Arizona illegal-immigration law's legal status.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case today in San Francisco. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was on hand as the most staunch defender of the state law, SB 1070, and one whose chances of reelection tomorrow have soared as a result.

The court's actual ruling on Arizona's appeal of a partial lower court injunction might not come for weeks. And, whatever it is, the losers will no doubt appeal the decision, likely all the way up to the Supreme Court, which could take years. So there's no Sig Alert on illegal desert border crossings quite yet.

The case is being watched extremely closely across the country. That's because 37 governor's chairs are....

...up for election Tuesday. Republicans like Brewer are expected to win many of those offices. Absent a clear legal victory, President Obama and Atty. Gen. Eric Holder will likely face a couple dozen more similar laws in coming months, challenging the feds' failure and ineffectiveness in securing the border with Mexico against illegal immigration, drugs, criminals and possible terrorists.

Initial indications from judges' questioning during today's hearing signal Holder might have a problem on his hand, at least with his objections to part of the state law.

"I've read your brief," Judge John T. Noonan, a Reagan appointee, told the lead Justice attorney, Edwin Kneedler. "I've read the District Court opinion.  I've heard your interchange with my two colleagues. And I don't understand your argument. We are dependent as a court on counsel being responsive. . . . You keep saying the problem is that a state officer is told to do something. That's not a matter of preemption. . . . I would think the proper thing to do is to concede that this is a point where you don't have an argument."Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

The feds argue that federal law -- even one that goes long unenforced, as Arizona maintains -- preempts any state's effort to address the same problem.

The court's queries during the hour-long hearing seemed to question the federal objection to the Arizona law that requires local police to request background checks on suspected illegal immigrants who are stopped or arrested on probable cause for other reasons.

The other judges are Richard Paez, a Democratic appointee, and Carlos Bea, a Republican appointee. Both are of Latino descent.

Federal officials have argued this could produce a surge of background check requests that might overwhelm their system.

After the hearing Brewer's office issued the following statement:

Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments regarding the State of Arizona’s request to lift the injunction put in place by the federal district court in July regarding enforcement SB 1070.

My counsel, John Bouma, argued that this case is about what a state – any state – can do about a failed federal immigration system that even President Obama acknowledges is broken. There are very serious crimes associated with this failure, including human smuggling, drug trafficking and other activities involving coyotes in Arizona, as acknowledged by Judge Bolton.  Arizona is on the front line in a fight against crime that is spilling over the international border. As noted in the court record, the federal government has essentially had to cede a vast territory inside the State of Arizona to the drug runners and human smugglers. 

With a federal government that cannot or will not do its job, Arizona determined that Arizona law enforcement officers would assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws to the full extent permitted by federal law. The District Court applied the wrong legal standard of review and issued a preliminary injunction that preserves the status quo – a status quo that is unacceptable to the people lawfully present in Arizona, many whose lives are affected on a daily basis.

Although the judges asked challenging questions of both sides during this morning’s hearing, we are hopeful that after carefully considering the arguments, the 9th Circuit will lift the stay and allow SB 1070 to be enforced.  The health, welfare and safety of the citizens of Arizona are irreparably harmed every day the courts allow SB 1070 to be put on hold and the federal government refuses to enforce all immigration laws.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Speaking of appeals, click here to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available here on Kindle now.

Photo: Matt York / Associated Press; Associated Press (Brewer).

Comments () | Archives (10)

The comments to this entry are closed.

If you love runaway spending and illegals competing for the few jobs left, then vote Democrat again.

This is what most young people think of the whole situation. The tax payers of tomorrow are terribly worried. Let's get it together!!!

The Federal government wants to decide who kidnaps you daughter, if a knife in your chest is alleged or real and why we can't seem to get along with law breakers who simply want what you have after you pay for it! This seems reasonable to me and I am sure Obama, Holder and Nappy would all agree.

Paez is a total leftist hack. One who had severe problems getting confirmed and was only confirmed as a "deal" with the Dems to get Bush judges confirmed. I have no doubt whatsoever that this legal lightweight will cast his vote with the Holder DOJ and with the Reconquistas. It would be nice to get judges who actually believe in this country.

Person with non US jurisdiction should be treated by local law enforcement officers with different standard, such as notifying jurisdiction country of thereof. In order to do so, officers should be able to fully implement Federal Immigration Law by enforcing at scene of suspicious or criminal activity. Enough American soil given to criminal aliens already! Too many good people in Arizona and other states killed by illegals, one more death is too much. Vote Dems out before country is destroyed!

Sorry, I mean North Korea, not North America.

I'm on the Do Not Call List.
How do Robo Calls get through?

“Prop. 200”, “House Bill 2013″ and “SB1070″

0 = Arizona
3 = USA/ Our Constitution/ We the People of the United States

We are a country that is ruled by the Constitution (with all Amendments), and the Declaration of Independence, not by the majority of the day. When the uneducated do not know the principles in these documents, therein lays the problem in losing, so no one should be surprised when the dullards lose in court after being smartly challenged.

Last month of October 2010, our Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Arizona’s requirement that people show proof of citizenship to register to vote or the 2004, “Prop. 200”. In the month of July 2010, our U.S. Federal courts have found the so called State of Arizona hate filled legislation namely “House Bill 2013″ and “SB1070″ Un-constitution (So much for the intellect of Jan Brewer, “Did you read the bills you signed?”). But we all know that they will go crying to the Supreme Court of the United States, please, please, please go. We will fight you in Arizona, any other state, and yes in Washington DC. We will not tire, we will not be silent and we will persevere, I promise you.

In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over the most extreme of clans; the Baggers, Birthers and Blowhards (people who love to push their beliefs and hate on others while trying to take away the rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win in November. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”.

I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of these laws, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, housing, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO! You were all wrong then and you are wrong now!

I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.

How easy it is for those who are using Federal supremacy to allow for treasonous conduct, sedition and destruction of the Republic so that an invading army of illegal immigrants overwhelm legal US citizens and demand their rights and benefits to country they could care less about. Eric Holder's treachery will not go unnoticed, he deserves to be tried and imprisoned for his abuse of office and failure to uphold his sworn duties under the Constitution. If some blowhard racist La Raza traitor wants to abuse the system to achieve their questionable aims, they should be expected to be met and defeated by those who have sworn to defend the Republic against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

I am a united states citizen born and bred in the good ole USA. I am also a christian who lives my life by the principles of the Bible. I live my everyday life with a conscience and do in every situation what i think that God would approve of. This is what the people of the USA need to do when it comes to dealing with illegal immigrants. I personally think they should be welcomed to the USA with open arms with out going through a bunch of bull crap to become legal. I have plenty of mexican friends who are very humble people who just want an opportunity for themselves and their families that their countries cant provide for them had they stayed in their countries. If every american person were to ask themselves what would God do in this situation in dealing with the illegal immigrants then surely they would know that God would welcom them with open arms. Americans say well they come here and take jobs from the american people, well do you know who you blame for that? The american business owners and the people who manage these businesses. If the businesses of the USA would not hire the illegal mexicans in as cheap labor then we wouldnt have that problem now would we. I myself work unskilled labor and i havent had a problem finding jobs. seems to me that americans are just plain lazy and want someone to blame so they blame the economy and their job situation on the illegal immigrants. when the real problem really lies within themselves. The mexicans come here and take jobs hired in from the businesses in the USA who hire them for cheap labor and the mexicans think they are making good money compared to the money they make in their countries. So its not their fault that they want to provide for themselves and their families. ALL AMERICANS IF YOU WERE IN THEIR SITUATION AND YOU WERE THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT AND YOU HAD LITTLE CHILDREN AND FAMILY TO TAKE CARE OF YOU WOULD DO THE SAME AS THEM. YOU GO WHERE YOU CAN PROVIDE FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY. MEXICANS ARE PEOPLE TO WITH FEELINGS AND NEEDS AS ANYONE IN THE WORLD. IF EVERY SELF CENTERED AMERICAN OUT THEIR WOULD STOP JUST FOR A MINUTE AND QUIT THINKING THAT THEY ARE THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS ON THIS EARTH AND ACTUALLY TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION SOMEONE ELSES FEELINGS FOR A SECOND THEN THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY SEE THAT THE WAY THE USA TREATS THE MEXICAN PEOPLE COMING TO THE USA IS WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY DESERVE FAIR TREATMENT AS ANYONE OF YOU OUT THEIR. I DONT CALL THEM ILLEGALS BECAUSE THAT UNDERMINES THEIR INTELLIGENCE AND THEY ARE GOOD HUMBLE PEOPLE WHO DESERVE RESPECT AND THE RIGHT TO PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES. SO GET A GRIP AMREICANS QUIT BEING SELF CENTERED AND LAZY!!!!!!! REMEMBER YOU WERE FORTUNATE TO BE BORN IN THE USA LEGAL!!!!!


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: