Federal Judge Recognizes Another Challenge to SB 1070

May 30, 2012

A federal judge has set the stage for another challenge to the state's immigration law. 

There actually were multiple challenges to SB 1070 when it was approved. The one by the Obama administration charged -- and Judge Susan Bolton ruled -- that key provisions of the 2010 statute are preempted by federal law. The fate of that challenge is expected to be decided next month by the U.S. Supreme Court. But in a new ruling, Bolton rejected arguments by attorneys for the governor that various individuals alleging their rights were being endangered had no right to sue. The judge said they had made a showing that they could be personally -- and adversely -- affected if Arizona is allowed to begin enforcing the law. Gubernatorial press aide Matthew Benson.

"Obviously the governor's office believes some of these individual plaintiffs didn't have claims that they could make given that most of these provisions of the law have been enjoined," Benson said. "So there's no injury at this point. Obviously the federal judge disagreed and that's unfortunate. But it doesn't change the complexion of the issue."

Bolton's ruling will not matter if the nation's high court sides with the Obama administration and voids the law. But if the justices let some of the provisions take effect -- and there were indications during last month's hearing they might -- then this case becomes the new battleground over SB 1070.