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The federal government is on board with the activist side of the equation as well. Authorities have put Arizona on notice that they will help enforce the law, but only if that enforcement “conforms to their priorities.” Those priorities are apparently limited to catching repeat violators and those who threaten public safety and national security. If the feds refuse to pick up illegals detained by Arizona police, local officers will likely be forced to let them go, unless they’re suspected of committing a crime that requires incarceration. In other words, the Obama administration’s position is clear: breaking an additional law on top of being in the country illegally is the minimum threshold for getting involved, despite the reality that it is the federal government’s duty to enforce immigration law.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio mulled the reality of the fed’s position. “I am mulling what I will do if they don’t respond,” he said. “I don’t feel comfortable letting the illegal alien back on the street.”
The machinations behind the effort to overturn the statute–despite its approval by the United States Supreme Court–reveals one of the pillars of progressive ideology: no court, not even the highest one in the nation, will stop us from attempting to overturn any law that does not align with our worldview. Thus, it was completely unsurprising that a coalition of civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups, including the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center and the Mexican American Legal defense and Educational Fund, tried to get Bolton to ignore that ruling and re-instate the injunction. Now that she has refused to do so, the coalition is appealing her ruling to the infamous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a body notoriously sympathetic to leftist causes. The coalition has filed another suit as well in which they raise a separate claim that the law was passed with intent to discriminate, and thus violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
If any one of these suits succeed, or the 9th Circuit over-rules Bolton, it is highly likely the case would be forced back into the Supreme Court. During the original ruling Justice Anthony Kennedy alluded to such a possibility. Despite writing for the majority, Kennedy noted that the ruling “does not foreclose other preemption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.” Kennedy contended that if an individual were detained under SB 1070 longer than they would have been before, just to check their legal status, it would constitute a constitutional problem.
How one determines such an ill-defined time period is precisely the fodder activists will undoubtedly use in their ongoing attempt to eviscerate the state’s ability to protect its citizens, even as a sympathetic DOJ–which is also continuing to sue the state–studiously ignores their obligation to enforce the law. In other words when it comes to a choice between the rule of law and the progressive agenda–the rule of law be damned.
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