In a decision that declares that there are likely to be no circumstances under which the challenged portions of Arizona's S.B. 1070 are to be found valid under the Supremacy Clause, the 9th Circuit affirmed the District Court's injunction prohibiting enforcement of the controversial immigration law.
The court's refusal to lift the injunction is a big win for S.B. 1070's opponents, not only pinning Arizona's hopes on a fickle Supreme Court, but signaling to other states that similar laws will face tough challenges.
The 9th Circuit's decision deals with perhaps the most objectionable portions of S.B. 1070.
These include provisions that punish undocumented workers that apply for employment, and immigrants who do not carry registration papers; warrantless arrests of illegal aliens; and inquiries into immigration status when a person is stopped by police.
In incredible detail, the court analyzed each of these provisions, pointing out just how S.B. 1070 legislates in areas fully occupied by Congress, as well as how they create an obstacle to and contradict Congressional intent and objectives.
The court also was not very fond of just how S.B. 1070 has negatively impacted foreign relations, particularly with Mexico.
As of last month, at least six other states had S.B. 1070 copycat bills in the works. Such a strong legal analysis is sure to make state legislators question the validity of these laws, or, at the very least, tone them down.
They, however, may wait until the Supreme Court decides whether it will hear an appeal. If the Supreme Court refuses, it will likely be taken as a signal that the Court agrees with the 9th Circuit, signaling the unconstitutionality of S.B. 1070 and its cohorts.