The highly controversial anti-immigration bill passed by the state of Arizona last year has hit another roadblock in its implementation. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to lift the stay on its implementation that had been imposed by a lower court.
The ruling made it clear that the Court of Appeals saw the law as stepping over the line in its conflict with federal government. In other words, just because a state government objects to what the federal government is doing (or is not doing, in the view of Arizona) it does not have the legislative authority to override the federal government. There is obviously a great deal of frustration with the government's lack of willingness to come up with a "comprehensive" immigration reform plan, but as my son (Greg Weeks) and I have argued elsewhere, this is a true conundrum--there is probably no immigration reform plan that is going to please a majority of members of Congress and, of course, that is why no such plan has been forthcoming.A federal appeals court on Monday refused to lift a stay blocking major parts of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect and said the federal government is likely to be able to prove the controversial law is unconstitutional.The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down an appeal filed by Gov. Jan Brewer. She had asked the appeals court to lift an injunction imposed by a federal judge in Phoenix the day before the law was to take effect on July 29, 2010.The U.S Justice Department sued to block the law, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution because enforcing immigration law is a federal issue.U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction preventing four major parts of the law from going into effect pending a trial. Monday's ruling by the three-judge appeals court panel upheld that injunction.The panel's opinion said the government is likely to succeed in its arguments that Congress has given the federal government sole authority to enforce immigration laws, and that Arizona's law violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. One judge dissented.Brewer's lawyers said the federal government hasn't effectively enforced immigration law and that the state law will assist federal authorities.