Gov. Brewhaha Still Fighting For SB1070
Arizona Governor Skips Ninth Circuit Court Appeal And Takes Immigrant Legislation Directly To The Supreme Court
Gov. Jan Brewer's official portrait.
By John Monahan
Modern Times Magazine .com
May 10, 2011 — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is not relenting on the legality of SB1070, announcing yesterday she will direct attorneys to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal.
“I’ve always known this legal fight would be a long one,” said Governor Brewer. “But now that this is the path we’ve chosen, I am confident Arizona will prevail.”
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to lift injunctions imposed upon four key provisions of the law. Those provisions include a requirement that law enforcement officers verify immigration status when they arrest an individual and have reasonable suspicion to believe they’re in the country illegally, and a mandate that specific alien or foreign visitors register with the government and carry documentation.
By appealing this case straight to the U.S. Supreme Court, rather than back to the Ninth Circuit Court, the governor and her attorneys say there is greater likelihood that legal questions surrounding SB 1070 will be resolved quickly so that the law can begin to do its job.
The state of Arizona has until July 11, 2011, to file its official petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court. It will likely be late September or early October before the court announces whether it will hear the case.
A "petition for writ of certiorari" is filed with the Supreme Court when a party wants the court to review a decision of a federal or state court. A petition is printed in booklet format and 40 copies are filed with the Court. If the Court grants the petition, the case is scheduled for the filing of briefs and for oral argument.
A minimum of four of the nine Justices are required to grant a writ of certiorari, referred to as the "rule of four.” The court denies the vast majority of petitions and thus leaves the decision of the lower court to stand without review; it takes roughly 80 to 150 cases each term.
In 2009, for example, 8,241 petitions were filed, with a grant rate of approximately 1.1 percent. The Supreme Court is generally careful to choose only cases over which the Court has jurisdiction and which the Court considers sufficiently important, such as cases involving deep constitutional questions, to merit the use of its limited resources. The Supreme Court sometimes grants a writ of certiorari to resolve a "circuit split," when the federal appeals courts in two (or more) federal judicial circuits have ruled differently in similar situations. These are often called "percolating issues."
Haven’t Brewer and Senate President Russell Pearce learned their lesson yet? During this legislative session, someone told Brewer and Pearce "enough." Who? A group of more than 60 business and educational leaders who drafted a public letter in late March to Senate President Russell Pearce in an effort to stop his newest attempts to impact immigration issues, such as ‘denying’ citizenship to children of illegal immigrants.
“Arizona-based businesses saw contracts cancelled or were turned away from bidding. Sales outside of the state declined. Even a business which merely had “Arizona” in its name felt the effects of the boycotts, compelling them to launch an educational campaign about their company’s roots in Brooklyn. It is an undeniable fact that each of our companies and our employees were impacted by the boycotts and the coincident negative image,” the letter read. “Tourism, one of our state’s largest industries and employment centers, also suffered from negative perceptions after the passage of SB 1070. The fact Governor Brewer directed $250,000 to repairing Arizona’s reputation strongly suggests these efforts – whether fair or unfair — are harmful to our image.”
Why is Brewer, who touts her business support, going against business on this matter, especially since it is widely assumed that even if the Supreme Court does hear the appeal, they will rule the same way as the Ninth Circuit: they will uphold the injunction.
The Roberts court might be conservative, but they are still federalists. They will not uphold a state’s role as immigration cop. She probably knows this anyway. Even if police do arrest illegal immigrants, it is not economically feasible to house them in prison. Exporting 100,000 people costs a lot of money.
Hopefully, the court will finally kill SB1070 and hopefully, Congress will tackle immigration reform.
There has to be some common ground, right?
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