The Obama administration won another round in the battle over Arizona’s contentious immigration measure, SB 1070 today as a federal appeals court ruled that most provisions of the bill will remain blocked from taking effect.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that blocks provisions of the law that allows police to question and detain persons whom they believe, based on a “reasonable suspicion” are in the country illegally.
The three judge panel upheld the lower court 2-1 and ruled only on whether the original order blocking implementation should stand, not whether the Arizona law was unconstitutional. That means the Justice Department’s move to have the entire law declared unconstitutional can proceed.
According to The Washington Post, the justices, while not ruling on the merits of the law gave strong indications that they accepted the Justice Department’s arguments and would likely rule the bill was unconstitutional.
This decision marks the first appellate action on the controversial bill. The next step will likely be an appeal by Gov. Jan Brewer’s administration to the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Should Brewer lose there as well her final stop will be review before the Supreme Court.
photo courtesy of Barnaby via Flickr