Supreme Court May Uphold Key Provision of Arizona’s Illegal Immigrant Law

Legal Insurrection:  The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today about Arizona’s controversial illegal immigratio law, SB 1070.  Based on the initial reports, it appears that the Court may uphold at least one key provision of the law, which allows state law enforcement to inquire about a person’s immigration status.  Even some of the Court’s liberal Justices seemed skeptical about prohibiting state law enforcement from checking the immigration status of a person within the state’s borders.  What remains unclear is how the Court will view the provisions of the law that make it a state crime to violate federal immigration law. 

Supreme Court To Hear Arizona Immigration Case  On Wednesday, April 25, the Supreme Court will hear from both sides of the argument as to whether states can adopt their own policies on handling illegal immigration.  Arizona’s lawmakers appear to be staunchly supportive of such sovereignty:

“If the federal government had been doing and would continue to do its job in securing the border here in southern Arizona, this would not be an issue. Unfortunately, they failed to do that so Arizona stepped up and said, ‘We want to be partners. Here’s a role we think we can play,'” said Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County, which shares an 83.5-mile border with Mexico in the state’s southeastern corner.

Five states have adopted policies similar to Arizona’s.  For the entire article on this hotly debated issue, click here.

Medical Marijuana and “Debilitating” Conditions

Arizona Department of Health Services: The Department of Health Services in Arizona is considering adding four new conditions to the approved list for “debilitating” conditions.  Apparently the health department has made it through the first phase of deciding whether to add (1) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; (2) Generalized Anxiety Disorder; (3) Migraines; and (4) Depression.  A public hearing will be held on May 25 from 1-4pm regarding these conditions and whether they will be added.  Stay tuned…

Bill Allowing Guns In State Buildings Vetoed By Brewer

AZ Central:  Gov. Jan Brewer rebuffed gun-rights advocates by vetoing for a second time a bill to allow guns on public property, and sent a strong message that such a proposal would need wider support from police, cities and the public before she would sign it.

Brewer’s veto of the bill, which could have let guns into city halls, police stations, county courts, senior centers, swimming pools, libraries and the state Capitol, was the latest setback for a push to expand the right to carry guns in public places in Arizona.”

Arizona’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

Yuma Sun:  “If you think the kind of incident that resulted in the death of a Florida teen cannot happen here, you’re wrong.

Arizona adopted its own “stand your ground” law two years ago. And not a single legislator spoke out against it at that time.

In fact, the change in the law was tacked on at nearly the last minute to another unrelated measure dealing with guns. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it after just a 20-second promotion from a gun-rights lobbyist.

Dave Kopp of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, who provided that explanation, said nothing more was needed.

He noted that existing law already spelled out that people have no duty to retreat when confronted in their homes or their own vehicles. That concept is known as the “castle doctrine.”

“We believe that anyplace you have a legal right to be, you should be able to defend yourself without having to run away first,” Kopp told lawmakers.”

9th Circuit Strikes Parts of Arizona Voter ID Law

Yuma Sun:  “Arizona is entitled to demand that people present identification before being allowed to cast a ballot, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.  In a split decision, the judges rejected arguments that mandating would-be voters show a driver’s license or other identification unfairly discriminates against Latino voters. Judge Sandra Ikuta, writing for the majority, said while challengers made that claim, they failed to present any credible evidence.  The court also brushed aside arguments that the requirement to provide identification, approved by voters in 2004, amounts to a poll tax.  But the judges said the state cannot strictly enforce another provision in that 2004 initiative that requires anyone who wants to register to vote to first provide acceptable proof of citizenship.”

An Analysis of SB 1070 Arguments Before the Supreme Court

ABA Journal:  “Oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court’s October Term 2011 will end April 25 with one of the most important and politically controversial cases of the year: Arizona v. United States. The issue before the court is whether key provisions of Arizona’s statute SB 1070—which calls on state and local law enforcement to aggressively enforce federal immigration laws—are preempted by federal law. The case poses basic questions about the allocation of power between federal and state governments and does so in a context that arouses deep emotion on both sides.

In 2010, Arizona adopted SB 1070, titled, “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.” It sought to use the resources of Arizona state and local governments to help control illegal immigration. Its preamble states that its purpose is to make “attrition

[of undocumented aliens] through enforcement the public policy of all state and local governments in Arizona.””

Arizona Governor Has Signed Abortion Bill HB 2036 Into Law  From the Arizona Department of Health blog, the Arizona Governor has signed HB 2036.  The full text is here.  Notable provisions include but are not limited to the requirement that for any facility where abortions are performed, the facility must conspicuously post signs outside and inside, where visible to patients, that it is unlawful for a woman to be forced to have an abortion.  Another notable is that no contract may require a woman to have an abortion.


Medical Marijuana Dispensary Registration Certificate Applications Accepted May 14-May 25  The Arizona Department of Health Services has revised its rules.  It is now accepting applications May 14-25, but applicants are warned not to apply early.  The Department expects to take 30 days to review each application.  If information is missing, the applicants will be given 20 days to supply that information.  The Department expects to award dispensary certificates by August 7 with a random lottery where there is more than one qualified applicant per Community Health Analysis Area.


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