Thursday, July 29, 2010
Calm urged after judge's 'beyond absurd' ruling Clinton appointee guts Arizona law to defend citizens from illegal aliens
An activist group battling illegal immigration is calling for citizens to remain "calm" after a ruling from a federal judge in Arizona gutted a state law intended to defend citizens from illegal aliens – a decision a key member of Congress called "beyond absurd."
The ruling released today by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, a Clinton appointee, struck down sections of the Arizona law that made it a crime not to carry appropriate papers for immigration registration and criminalized illegal aliens' efforts to get jobs.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the bill into law and has accused the federal government of failing her citizens, promised to continue pursuing the case on appeal and go as high as the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
Those applauding Bolton included the Mexican government, which had complained to Congress about the law, which made it a crime to be illegally in the U.S.
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Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said the ruling fails the logic test.
"The federal government has a right and a responsibility to enforce existing laws, but when they fail to meet that responsibility, we should not stand in the way of the states that take action to respond to the very real threat of border violence, drug cartels and human smuggling," he said. "The people who live under the constant threat of border violence have every right to be protected and have every right to defend themselves, their families and their communities."
Issa said he is "certain that the Supreme Court would agree that there is no legal recourse or precedent for stopping a state from operating within its rights by asserting its sovereignty in support of immigration laws that the federal government has failed to enforce."
"There's nowhere in the Constitution that says a state is limited to what it absolutely won't do and can be stopped for what it might do and to exercise a judgment against a state that has passed a law that is consistent with existing federal law is beyond absurd," Issa said.
It was the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC that pleaded for calm.
According to a prepared statement signed by William Gheen, its president, "There is a sense of extreme anger sweeping America today, in reaction to the news that Obama and U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton thwarted democracy in America. We are appealing to Americans to remain calm and to channel that anger into sweeping politicians, business leaders and special-interest groups that support comprehensive immigration reform out of power in the elections."
ALIPAC asserted President Obama and Judge Bolton "sided with illegal aliens against the American public."
"The will of the American public has been usurped," the group said. "The president is required by the U.S. Constitution to protect all states from invasion, while assuring states a Republic form of governance. With this court case Obama has deprived Americans of both!"
The statement continued, "It is a sad day in America, when part of our own government has turned against the American public on behalf of invaders."
The American Center for Law and Justice said the ruling was "extremely disappointing."
The organization had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case on behalf of 81 members of Congress in support of the state's effort.
"It is unfortunate that this court blocked key portions of Arizona's immigration law S.B. 1070 and failed to permit it to take effect in its entirety," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the organization. "We believe the federal district court got it wrong and in its complex ruling has made it even more difficult for Arizona to protect and defend its borders. We believe Arizona's law complements federal law and remain hopeful that the appeals process will ultimately produce a decision that underscores the fact that Arizona has a constitutional right to protect its citizens and defend its borders. This decision marks the beginning of a lengthy legal process that will have tremendous ramifications nationwide."
Its brief had argued that while the federal government has power to set immigration law, the state effort did not "interfere with the U.S. foreign-policy goals as prescribed."
Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch USA, said it is a simple case of career-building.
"After many years of legal practice, I had no difficulty predicting the result. Judge Bolton, who was appointed to the court during the Clinton administration, knows that if she is ever to be nominated to a higher post – perhaps at the Ninth Circuit – that she better not rule against her benefactor, the Democratic establishment now led by President Barack Obama," he said.
"Regrettably in her zeal to cover her own political flanks, the people of Arizona and the nation have been treated as unimportant. This is just another example of the judiciary feathering its own nest, at the expense of the people."
He said the ruling "is not only outrageous, it also conflicts with established law that police officers can probe into such matters once 'probable cause exists.'"
"Now, it is even unclear, given the judge's politically motivated ruling, that they can even follow the law that existed before Arizona S.B. 1070. Judge Bolton, in her zeal to bow down to and further the pre-election strategy of President Obama and the Democrat establishment, has subverted legitimate law enforcement and endangered the citizens of Arizona."
Klayman's organization represents the Arizona Latino Republican Association and its CEO, Jesse Fernandez, both of whom support Arizona's law.
"My clients intervened in this case to tell the American people that Latinos also respect the law and are proud to be part of this country, and want to play a major role in solving the illegal-immigration problem. The rich Latin culture has added greatly to our nation and its values," Klayman said.
The judge's ruling attacked four parts of the state law, placing them on hold while the full trial and appeal process is being run.
"Even though Arizona's interests may be consistent with those of the federal government, it is not in the public interest for Arizona to enforce preempted laws," Bolton wrote.
A few provisions, such as state plans to prevent "sanctuary city" policies, are going into effect.