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Judge Won't Dismiss Challenge to Arizona's Immigration Law

October 13, 2010  | 

A federal judge has dismissed motions from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and the state's two most outspoken sheriffs to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the nations' toughest immigration law, reports the Arizona Republic.

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton found that "race, alienage, or national origin discrimination was a motivating factor in the enactment of S.B. 1070," ruling that the lawsuits challenging the law are appropriate due to the "alleged harm" that will occur if S.B. 170 goes into effect, "regardless of how it is enforced or applied."

Bolton wrote about the potential of law officers to violate the Fourth and 14th amendments.

Bolton found merit in the plaintiffs' arguments for potential Fourth Amendment and 14th Amendment violations because the immigration law "contains no meaningful procedural safeguards against erroneous deprivations of liberty, and immigration status is not something that is easily ascertainable. A person who is lawfully present in the U.S. may look and act the same way as a person who does not have permission to be in the country, and plaintiffs' allegations of 'subjective and arbitrary' detention decisions by law enforcement agents are plausible."

Brewer, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu had asked Bolton to dismiss the challenge that is led by the Phoenix advocacy group Friendly House and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Excerpts of the ruling have been published by Courthouse News.

Read the full story at

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