Today the Department of Justice, a coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups, and the State of Arizona are gathering in District Judge Susan Bolton’s Phoenix courtroom for another hearing on SB 1070. Bolton is hearing arguments in two more cases that challenge SB 1070, the Arizona law that allows law enforcement officers to detain and investigate the immigration status of anyone they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the state without papers. SB 1070 makes it a state crime to be caught without papers in Arizona.
Both last Thursday’s hearings and today’s center around several groups’ requests for an injunction, which would block SB 1070 from going into effect while attorneys argue over the law’s constitutionality in the courts. In order for the injunction to be granted, SB 1070 challengers have to prove that the law would do irreparable harm were it to go into effect. Last week’s hearing ended without a ruling from Judge Bolton, who did not give an indication about how she will rule.
Judge Bolton’s morning hearing will gather over 100 plaintiffs, including groups like MALDEF, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Immigration Law Center and the Muslim American Society, who have requested an injunction. Then, at 1:30 p.m. pacific time, Judge Bolton will convene a hearing to discuss arguments from the Department of Justice, which filed its lawsuit against the Arizona in early July. Bolton also will hear motions from the State of Arizona to dismiss the lawsuit entirely.
SB 1070 faces a total of seven legal challenges, and is set to go into effect a week from today, on July 29.