SCOTUS Win: Arizona ‘Papers Please’ Kaputt

As police complain the section SCOTUS provisionally left in will create a legal nightmare, LI teams hail work that positioned decision portaying law as stalking horse for Nazi-like INTERNAL surveillance, and will continue for border treaties allowing free movement–and are contacting officials offering to ramp up pressure on the issue. See also: 


…Senior police officers in Arizona have warned that their relations with Hispanic communities could be damaged after the US supreme court allowed a section of the state’s hardline immigration law to stand.

The provision, dubbed the “show me your papers” clause, requires that officers check the immigration status of anyone they “reasonably suspect” of being present illegally in the US.

US supreme court justices allowed the measure to stand on Monday, when they struck down other aspects of Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration laws.

Roberto Villasenor, the chief of police of Arizona’s second largest city, Tucson, warned that the supreme court was taking the police into dangerous new territory. He said no case law existed that gave clear guidance on how officers should interpret the “reasonable suspicion” clause – a term that is not defined in the text of the legislation.

“Under the supreme court decision, police departments in Arizona must enforce section 2b, and no one respects the authority of the courts more than police chiefs, so we will do our best to enforce the law. But we are in uncharted territory on this issue,” Villasenor said.

He also warned that it exposed the police to the threat of multiple legal actions from the public. Under the wording of the law, public individuals are given the power to sue the police if they think the provisions of the act are not being fulfilled. “So police in Arizona may be sued by people who believe they are not aggressive enough in enforcing the law – or by others who believe that police are being too aggressive or are engaging in racial profiling,” he said.

By a majority of five to three, the court blocked implementation of several components of the SB1070 law on the grounds that the federal government had broad powers for setting immigration policy, not individual states.

The Obama administration had wanted the whole Arizona immigration law declared unconstitutional.

Justices did not come out in favour of the police power, simply saying it was withholding its view until lower courts discussed it. It said that “without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume [the police power] will be construed in a way that conflicts with federal law”….

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