Even though much of Arizona’s controversial immigration bill was gutted Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court, one remaining provision will still face several more legal challenges.
Section 2(b) is the section of Senate Bill 1070 that permits law enforcement officers to inquire about immigration status during lawful stops.
It was the only key provision not preempted by the justices.
But two national organizations have already filed lawsuits against the law, specifically targeting that section.
In separate cases, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, and the League of United Latin American Citizens allege that the remaining portion of the law will lead to racial profiling.
“What the courts basically said is ‘We don’t have evidence today to justify blocking it, so you guys in Arizona figure it out,’” said Alessandra Soler, Arizona’s executive director for the ACLU.
The two lawsuits have been filed in federal district court. They will both be heard by the same judge who first ruled on Justice Department’s challenge to SB 1070.
In the opinions of several justices, the Supreme Court wrote that section 2(b) must be applied carefully, warning Arizona officials that it could lead to civil rights issues.
Governor Jan Brewer and other state leaders said the law will not lead to widespread racial profiling. However, they still anticipate more litigation to come.
“This certainly is not the end of our journey,” Brewer said. “We fully expect lawsuits."
Arizona State University law professor Paul Bender said that police will have to tread carefully. He said the Supreme Court’s decision makes determining their position on future challenges very clear.
“This decision clearly says, ‘Hey states, stay out of federal immigration law,’” Bender said.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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