Gov. Brewer on SB 1070: ‘Let’s Just Go to the Supreme Court’

Arizona's immigration hawks may finally get their day before the Supreme Court.

By Asraa Mustufa May 10, 2011

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Monday that her state will appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking them to overturn a ruling that put key elements of the state’s controversial immigration enforcement law SB 1070 on hold.

The move comes after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals turned down the same bid by Arizona officials last month. Instead of asking a larger panel of Ninth Circuit judges to rehear the appeal, Brewer feels that pushing the process to the Supreme Court will be "a much quicker fix."

"Everyone knows that the 9th circuit has a reputation of being very, very liberal," Brewer told Fox News. "After deliberating and thinking about it, I said, let’s just go to the Supreme Court. You know these things are so expensive and they take so long. And in the meantime, Arizona is just bearing the brunt of all the illegal immigration in the country!"

A federal judge in Phoenix issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the toughest portions of SB 1070 on the eve of its implementation last July. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton enjoined the sections that required immigrants to carry federal immigration papers, made it illegal for undocumented immigrants to work in Arizona, and required state and local law enforcement to check the immigration status of anyone they suspected of being undocumented, and allowing them to be held in custody until a determination was made. However, other parts of the bill are currently in effect, including measures that target day laborers. Critics argue that in effect SB 1070 made it a state crime to be an undocumented immigrant and legalized or mandated racial profiling.

The Department of Justice also came out against the bill in a lawsuit, arguing that constitutionally, only the federal government has the right to create and enforce immigration law, and that Arizona was violating the Supremacy Clause with their immigration bill, one of a slew of legal challenges to SB 1070. Arizona is also suing the federal government themselves, arguing that it has failed to enforce immigration laws and to protect the state.

Despite these costly legal battles, a year after SB 1070 first passed, several state legislatures are still considering copycat bills. Now Arizona has until July 11 to file their appeal with the Supreme Court, after which the justices would decide whether or not to hear the case later this year.