July 28th, 2010
02:09 PM ET

Toobin: What does Arizona immigration ruling mean?

A federal judge has granted an injunction blocking enforcement of parts of a controversial immigration law in Arizona that is scheduled to go into effect Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton ruled the federal government "is likely to succeed" in its challenge of the legality of one of the most controversial sections of the Arizona law. That provision required police to "make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested" if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States illegally.

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst, spoke with T.J. Holmes on "CNN Newsroom" and offered his immediate reaction to the ruling and what it could mean for Arizona and other states.

What exactly did the judge rule?

The judge ruled that certain provisions are unconstitutional, but parts of the law she approved. The most controversial of which is the duty forced on law enforcement officers to determine if immigrants are people reasonably suspected of being illegal are in fact illegal. That has been struck down temporarily.

The judge said this - the requirement of law enforcement officials to essentially make all possibly illegal immigrants show their papers - is a violation of the separation of powers, a violation of federal sovereignty and federal control of immigration matters.

That argument was the one maintained by the Obama administration. Many civil rights groups argued it was simply discriminatory towards Hispanics.

The judge struck down the law on the ground that it was a violation of the federal control of immigration matters. That's why the controversial provision at least for the time being will not go into effect.

So what happens now?

Some of it will have to do with the legal strategy followed by the state of Arizona here. The state of Arizona could ask the judge to revisit the issue after more fact-finding. They could also go directly to the Court of Appeals - which is the next up in the federal court structure.

I think this is a case very much destined for United States Supreme Court. It is the kind of big issue relating to the responsibilities of state versus federal government on a very important matter, so it's likely, given how much attention this law received that other states will be passing similar laws. I think the Supreme Court will get involved probably next year. The issue that's up in the air is will the law be in effect while the appeals process goes forward? At the moment the answer is no - at least this one provision. But certainly an appeals process will begin. If not immediately, then soon.

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Mako

    This is a much bigger issue than the law itself. Arizona and other states are screaming that our own Federal Government has less interest in protecting and helping our legal citizens, than illegals. Instead of helping Arizona, Obama has chosen the low road and punished Arizona. As an independent voter, who doesn't care for democrats or republicans... I made a mistake in voting for Obama. I had my rose colored glasses on at the time, but clearly I was wrong. Can't wait for NOVEMBER 2010 and 2012.

    Obama has done next to nothing to help out the West side of the U.S.A. Racial NEWS on CNN (a liberal news media organization) gets more coverage than our own U.S. Citizens being killed by illegals in the United States of America. Our Federal Government and major News Organizations are actually protecting illegals more than the legals citizens of this country. The American People should be out-ragged and ready to stand up to Washington D.C. Most countries around the world have much stricter immigration laws and enforce them way more than we do. And it will be our downfall if we let Washington D.C. continue to spit in our faces and carry on with their own agendas – even if they go against the majority of the legal U.S. citizens. We are now learning that if you do things the wrong way here in the U.S. you will be okay. Time for the people that do things the right way – to either clean political house or leave the U.S. and watch it continue to sink under the leadership that was Bush... and now Obama.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • muzak

      President Obama brought up immigration reform last year and was blocked by the republican party now known as the party of no. Voting republicans back in a majority is simply insane.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Right on muzak!

      July 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobInIrvine

      Mako, I'm out-ragged all right. Were you home skooled? (sic)

      July 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leilani in AZ

      Right you are Mako! And as you can see from later remarks, uninformed people continue to make this and other issues a Dem vs. Rep issue. It is NOT. It's a U.S. Citizenship issue in this case! Wonder why the economy is in the dumper? One very simple reason your county, state and city governments don't have money to run the government is that illegal residents aren't paying taxes but are taxing the welfare system, the school system, the healthcare system. Simple accounting people. And here in Arizona as with our other Southwest neighbors, we feel that economic burden a lot more than other states. Therefore, we decided to try to do something about it!

      July 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ozzi


      July 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nomorelawsandorder

    @Laura: good luck... we will getch ya BHO

    July 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jim

    let the tea bags chew on this decision

    July 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |

      Enforce the law S...head. Leave my country illegal!

      July 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. American Girl

    Most Employers want E-verify, so let's make it nationwide law. I have found out that employees were using false id and tried to report it but our govt doesn't care. There is no followup procedure by SSA nor EDD to prosecute and we cannot even fire them. I have done payroll in CA and AZ and AZ is the only state that will even go after them. One of the employees stole the id of soldier and poor soldier returning from Iraq couldn't get SUI benefits. I turned her into Sheriff Joe and he pickerd her up at work. But the Feds do NothiNG!

    July 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • erika morgan

      E-verify is not the answer either because they often have wrong information too. If the worker is not a US citizen the employer must make an arrangement personally with the US ambassador in the country of origin of the worker by going to that country to find this employee. The employer must carry the paper that allows the foreigner to work in the US and be responsible for the worker by the arrangement he made with the US ambassador as a part of his permission to bring this worker into the US. When the job is done for which this arrangement was made the employer is responsible for taking the worker back home. If the employer does not have this paper and is caught paying the foreigner (signing a check, having his signature stamped on a check or handing over cash), then he must do jail time personally period. Problem solved. You can not control folks who are not citizens because there is no incentive for them to follow your laws but you can control your own citizens so do it.

      July 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Trucho3

    This is a great day in American History.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      A great day for illegals maybe. Sucks for most everyone else though.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Pete, who does this suck for? I don't know anyone whose job was taken. I do know a lot of restaurants, farms and construction firms that would have to jack up prices a lot if they can't get immigrant labor. That will hurt everyone in the pocketbook.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Josh

    I have recently moved to Minneapolis, MN from Hattiesburg, MS. A few days after arriving here i am riding in the passenger side of a vehicle with a friend when we pass through what they call a "DUI Inforcement Zone.' Apparently this meant that they were pulling over every car they could in the city to check for 'drunks.' Due to my Mississippi drivers liscense and the fact that i couldn't recall my home address, the cop took me out of the car and handcuffed me and was going to take me to jail because it's illegal up here to not have a liscense with your current address on it. I am a mid 20's white male. If it's legal to arrest me for being from mississippi, then heck yeah this law makes 1000000x more sense then the ones that everyone is happy with up in the Police State of Minnesota

    July 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobInIrvine

      You must have violated the anti-Redneck law.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |

      Dear Josh;

      Please make Minessota a favor and deport yourself back to MIssissipi. That State is perfect for idiots like yourself.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Eric


    North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard
    If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely.
    If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot.
    If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally you will be jailed.
    If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard from
    If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally you will be branded a spy
    and your fate will be sealed.
    If you cross the Mexican borders illegally you will jailed for two years.
    If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into political
    prison to rot.


    July 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Yes and we give them free healthcare, jobs and they don't have to pay taxes. See the problem? We are just asking for our government to get them out of the country, that is it.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Carol

    The Fourth Amendment says – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • MD

      These rights apply to citizens only.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      MD: Where do you see the word "Citizens" in the Fourth Amendment? It applies to EVERYONE in the US, whether citizens or not.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenneth Hudson

      I think CNN's coverage of this issue is biased. Just look at the number of clips you show of the illegals flaunting it in our faces!

      July 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenneth Hudson

      That is talking about citizens of the U.S. It does not mean just because you sneak across the border you automatically have the same rights as a legal resident/

      July 29, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Another Voice

    To me this case has never been about the illegals but about the USCs and LPRs that would be discriminated against under this law. I am pleased that the Judge has raised the very concerns about natural born USCs not being verifiable and being arrested for jay walking.

    Judge Bolton has essentially gutted this law and I wonder if Arizona is going to waste more taxpayer money by appealing this or if they are going to have the good sense to recognize that they lost fair and square.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. noblesoul

    Well the fed needs to take a time out on immigration.It needs to fix moreover solve the mess of legal immigration which enhances illegal immigration in a lot of ways.Some people argue that all illegals should be deported.Well if thats a rationale way of solving a misdemenour/ violation then people who have traffic violations shoudnt't be allowed to drive..This problem needs to be addressed in humane and rationale way.These people are not blowing up tunnels or planes... moreover a comprehensive approach would enhance national security.There are in some cases decades just to enhance there life and support there families.The rhethoric in the media has to calm down and spreading and no I am accusing the media here just how we tackle meaning language would determine "hatred" for immigrants.We should lead the world and show how civil we are with people.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mads

    Sounds good to me Eric. I agree with Shooter. Cross into Afghanistan.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Why should I need to travel? You and your paranoid schizophrenic buds want to implement North Korean, Iranian, and Afghan justice here in the US. That is why I posted what your ilk is polluting Yahoo message boards with. You are complaining they don't shoot people at the border in this country. That is the type of society you want. Everyone needs to understand the mental capacity of your 'movement'.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    so, its the federal government that is supposed to do what the state is not allowed to do, Yet its the state that has to afford all of the illegals and deal with them. Everyone knows the federal gov. does absolutely nothing about it. That is why they are all here. VOTE THEM OUT...............

    July 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • muzak

      You're right, we need to vote all republicans out of Congress. They are the ones that blocked the immigration reform last year.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      You mean the reform that would make all illegals legal? How is that useful? That would just encourage more illegals hoping for the same deal!

      July 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • muzak

      Texas Pete – we will never know if the reform would have included making the current unregistered aliens legal or not, as the party of no made sure the reform got no where. But, regardless, thanks to their actions (the party of no) we are stuck with the current problems. How's that working for you?!

      July 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      Better to have an armed robber battering down the door then to have him already inside.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shooter

    The federal government is worthless. Texas, arizona, the whole south should secede from the p.o.s. that used to be the united states. feds should control border, but the dont!

    July 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marty Rogers

      great idea!!!! the south holds progress back. Just let the few intelligent people in those states know so they can leave in time!

      July 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      didn't the south try that a while back? I don't think it worked too well...

      July 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Yes, PLEASE! Why don't you red necks form your own little country, where you can keep everyone out that doesn't look like you, and where everybody is required to carry their "papers" on them.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Go for it. We'll be adding some MAJOR tariffs on American made goods, though, so good luck getting by without immigrant labor. You'll be part of Mexico inside of 10 years.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg of L.A.

      I say let all of them secede and let them elect Sarah Palin as their President. Then we can pass laws to keep those maniacs from immigrating to the United States.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      lol the federal government does not know how to enforce immigration laws. That is the whole point!

      July 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leilani in AZ

      thanx shooter – a little extreme but YES we are trying to FORCE the feds to do SOMETHING. our state is broke already from trying to work within the framework of the fed laws. its not working! now the President decides to further slpa us down by suing us? the only people who "won" today were the lawyers. its still against the law to be in Arizona (and the United States) illegally. So to all the people protesting outside my office building downtown? Go inside and get some a/c – its too hot for this stupidity.

      July 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • DKJ

      The South tried that once and it didn't work to well, but I bet you it would US troops to the borders.

      July 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • shack56

      This is too good to pass up. I pray your wish comes true please encourage all the elected officials from the South to secede . But when they do we want our Military bases back. We will use the extra couragous men and women to keep you and your states out OUR NEW BORDER GAURDS. No where does it say Alabama Army, or Texas Army. Get your own. If any of those people have jobs in states that are still in MY COUNTRY they can pay to drive on my interstates.When you have another hurricane DON'T CALL US WELL CALL YOU. Oh and my personal favorite if any of these states get money and championships thru the NCAA for their foot ball and basketball teams STBT. They will no longer be part of MY COUNTRY. NBA and NFL same thing. It will be our championship not theirs. So please encourage all to do this. The south has continued to vote republicans in and are still the poorest states in the nation. You do know what the definition of insane is right? Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome each time. I remember a time America, Love it or Leave It.. Please leave.....SOON

      July 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Shooter

    "progress"? What do you mean by "progress"? Socialized medicine. Welfare. Also, if you haven't noticed, people are flocking to the south from the "progressive" north.

    July 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Val

    The thing that a lot of people do not know about this law is that it would require everyone to carry papers (if it does not want to be discriminatory). A driver's license is not proof of citizenship. It is proof of idenity. Proof of citizenship would be a birth certificate or passport. Would everyone want to be carry those things around all the time?

    July 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Red

      Had you even read SB1070 you would have read that as far as the state of AZ is concerned, any driver's license issued from a state that requires proof of citizenship is an acceptable as proof of citizenship. Most states, do require proof of citizenship before a diver's license is issued. Val, please don't make any further comments until you know what YOU are talking about. You're simply uninformed.

      July 28, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • DKJ

      Woudln't bother me, Ihave all my paper work because if I want a job or anything else government related I have to show I was born in my own country, why shouldn't illegals immagrants have to. I work with several illegals who openly brag about it all because the know the feds wont do their jobs. Washington state here where our local drug trafficers beats the ICE back.

      July 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
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