The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of continuing police immigration status checks in Arizona, while the 11th Circuit Court denied Alabama’s request to restore enforcement provisions that were blocked earlier this year. The 9th Circuit Court also took up a separate case involving Arizona law.


The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by pro-illegal aliens groups challenging a provision of the SB 1070 that requires police, after a lawful stop and if practicable, to check the immigration status of suspected illegal aliens.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that lower courts should not have blocked implementation of the status check provision because federal preemption could not be proven without seeing how it was implemented. The Court remanded the case to the 9th Circuit Court, which together with a federal District Court cleared the way for the state to implement the provision. However, the pro-illegal aliens groups decided to challenge the law one more time.

In a separate case, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit heard oral arguments in a challenge to a provision of Arizona’s SB 1070 law that creates penalties for day laborers who block traffic while seeking work. A lower court judge had previously blocked the law’s implementation.

Lawyers for the state argued that the law was a legal way to remedy traffic congestion caused by day laborers. Opponents said the law's real purpose is to crackdown on illegal immigrants and called it a violation of the laborers’ free speech rights.

The judges asked the state why a new law was needed when blocking traffic is already illegal in Arizona. "There are indeed other statutes and ordinances," replied a lawyer for Arizona. "But those statutes and ordinances have obviously been insufficient to deter this specific problem."

In June, the Supreme Court invalidated a provision of SB 1070 that bans illegal aliens from seeking work in the state but did not address the provision in this case because it was still being litigated in a lower court.

Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan said that Arizona's position was "not unsympathetic," but noted that the state’s illegal immigration laws are "not doing really well with the Supreme Court."


The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request from Alabama for a full-court hearing to revisit the decision of its three-judge panel in the U.S. v. Alabama case. The court did not give a reason for its decision.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Arizona SB 1070 case, the three-judge panel invalidated provisions of Alabama law that create penalties for harboring and transporting illegal aliens, and that block state courts from enforcing contracts involving illegal aliens. These provisions will now remain blocked.

Read here and here for more information.

Interior Enforcement
state policies
court cases

Updated: Thu, Oct 18th 2012 @ 3:54pm EDT