Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

SCOTUS gives split decision on SB1070: UPDATE on Tucson protest

brownskinThe US Supreme Court issued their long-awaited decision Arizona’s infamous SB1070. They struct down several parts of the “papers please” law, but kept the “papers please” part.

From the Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday delivered a split decision in the Obama administration’s challenge to Arizona’s aggressive immigration law, striking multiple provisions but upholding the “papers please” provision. Civil rights groups argue the latter measure, a centerpiece of S.B. 1070, invites racial profiling.

Monday’s decision on “papers please” rested on the more technical issue of whether the law unconstitutionally invaded the federal government’s exclusive prerogative to set immigration policy. The justices found that it was not clear whether Arizona was supplanting or supporting federal policy by requiring state law enforcement to demand immigration papers from anyone stopped, detained or arrested in the state who officers reasonably suspect is in the country without authorization. The provision that was upheld — at least for now — also commands police to check all arrestees’ immigration status with the federal government before they are released.

The court gave the Obama administration a victory by striking three other challenged provisions as stepping on federal prerogatives. Two of them made it a crime for undocumented immigrants to be present and to seek employment in Arizona, while a third authorized police officers to make warrantless arrests of anyone they had probable cause to believe had committed a deportable offense.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “The history of the United States is in part made of the stories, talents and lasting contributions of those who crossed oceans and deserts to come here.

“The National Government has significant power to regulate immigration. With power comes responsibility, and the sound exercise of national power over immigration depends on the Nation’s meeting its responsibility to base its laws on a political will informed by searching, thoughtful, rational civic discourse. Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.”

Justice Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito each wrote separately, concurring in part and dissenting in part. Noting that he would have upheld the state law in its entirety, Scalia wrote, “Arizona has moved to protect its sovereignty — not in contradiction of federal law, but in complete compliance with it. The laws under challenge here do not extend or revise federal immigration restrictions, but merely enforce those restrictions more effectively. If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.”

“I agree with Justice Scalia that federal immigration law does not preempt any of the challenged provisions of SB 1070,” Thomas wrote. “I reach that conclusion, however, for the simple reason that there is no conflict between the ‘ordinary meaning’ of the relevant federal laws and that of the four provisions of Arizona law at issue here.”

Arizona’s “papers please” policy remains embattled despite the state’s win at the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton heard arguments on whether to certify a class of what could be hundreds of thousands of individuals now trying to bring equal protection, free speech and due process challenges to S.B. 1070. These are separate issues from the question of pre-empting federal policy.

Beyond the Grand Canyon State, lawmakers in Utah, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina will be parsing the Supreme Court’s decision to see how their Arizona-style immigration statutes will be affected.

Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in Arizona v. United States, presumably because she worked on the case during her tenure as President Barack Obama’s first solicitor general. Erin Mershon contributed to this report. [Emphasis added.]

Local leftists have planned a demonstration for the day of the SB1070 decision. I guess that would be today.

UPDATE: Derechos Humanos Press Conference and Protest

ACTION ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TODAY!!!!! [June 25]

Tucson Community Members Demand a Repeal of SB1070: Affirm the Principle that if a Law is Unjust, Our Duty is Resistance!

1. Press Conference TODAY At: 1pm @ Arizona State Building in Downtown Tucson, corner of Congress and Granada.

2. Community rally at 4:30 pm TODAY and TOMORROW, in opposition to SB1070 at the same place. Arizona State Building in Downtown Tucson, corner of Congress and Granada.

3. Things to bring if you can: noise makers, signs, water and friends. [And cameras.]

[This post was published originally on Blog for Arizona on June 24, 2012.]

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About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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Alex’s first #turkey. #thanksgiving #tucson
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