While an appeal of the federal judge's temporary injunction invalidating key provisions in Arizona's immigration law is certain, having the matter reach the U.S. Supreme Court is not certain, a University of Arizona law professor said.
Professor Gabriel "Jack" Chin made the statement to hundreds of StarNet readers who took part in a live chat hours after Wednesday's ruling.
StarNet readers peppered Chin with questions about the ruling and on today's implementation of the parts of the law not affected by the injunction.
"SB 1070 might not reach the Supreme Court. But this idea of 'mirror-image' enforcement is embodied in so many laws across the nation that it might. The idea is that states can "help" enforce federal law by enacting their own laws that are the same or similar. The problem is when states do this in areas that are within exclusive federal jurisdiction, like immigration or foreign policy," Chin wrote in the chat.
Because immigration is primarily regulated at the federal level, the Arizona law's major provisions were pre-empted, Chin explained.
"Arizona tried to make things criminal that the U.S. Congress had decided not to make criminal (such as illegal immigrants working in the U.S.), and SB 1070 had the possibility of harassing legal noncitizens and U.S. citizens in ways not provided for by federal law," he wrote.
Readers also asked about provisions regarding the hiring of day laborers.
"The day-laborer provision applies to all workers, legal or otherwise. And the United States did not seek to have it enjoined. Arizona cannot criminalize hiring undocumented workers, because that power was specifically taken away in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. So it does not violate Arizona law to pick up day laborers if you don't block traffic," Chin wrote.
Chin told chat participants that Bolton's ruling made other lawsuits challenging SB 1070 less relevant.
"I think most of the other suits against SB 1070 become much less important based on this order," he said. "This order was not a final ruling. In addition to the appeal, there will also be further proceedings at the trial level.
"It is possible that other parts of the law, or other laws, could be struck down, or even that some parts she (the judge) struck down could be revived if, for instance, Arizona courts construe them in a way that resolves some of the judge's concerns," Chin added.
Star reporters Brady McCombs and Tim Steller also took part in the chat and answered readers' questions regarding the ruling's effect on existing local law-enforcement efforts.
The consensus was that the remaining provisions of the law will have little effect on law-enforcement agencies that already frequently turn over illegal immigrants to federal authorities.