Judicial Watch Goes to Court to Protect AZ Illegal Immigration Law

On April 1, Judicial Watch will represent the Arizona State Legislature in court, defending SB 1070, Arizona’s get-tough illegal immigration law, against the Obama administration’s all-out legal assault.

The Arizona Legislature has every right to defend its law, but the Obama administration is trying to block it from joining the lawsuit.



As noted by The Associated Press: “A federal judge set an April 1 hearing for arguments over the Arizona Legislature’s request to become a party in the U.S. Justice Department’s challenge to the state’s immigration enforcement law. The Legislature argues that lawmakers should be allowed to help defend the law and cite a new law that lets legislative leaders participate in efforts to defend the enforcement law against challenges.”

As I told you last month, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed “emergency legislation” on February 7, 2011, paving the way for the Arizona legislature’s intervention. And we filed a “Motion to Intervene” on February 11, 2011.

However, as noted in our recent response to the court filed on March 7, the Obama administration is doing everything in its power to keep the Arizona Legislature out of the lawsuit by raising “a host of meritless objections:”
[The Obama administration] makes the patronizing suggestion that if the Legislature happens to have “arguments that it wishes to advance, it should do so through defendants” or simply as an amicus. It is undeniable that the State of Arizona has now unequivocally indicated how it wishes to be sued in this case. It is not the proper role of the United States to try to dictate how Arizona presents its defense. Arizona is entitled to defend itself in the manner it sees fit. With the permission of this Court, it should be allowed to do so.

In recent installments of the Weekly Update, I’ve put the spotlight on the Obama administration’s abysmal record on illegal immigration.



First, in a fit of arrogance the Obama administration decided to ignore Congress and enact stealth amnesty by allowing illegal aliens to roam free as long as they have no “serious” criminal record. (This policy speaks volumes as obviously the Obama White House does not think the very act of violating federal immigration laws is a “serious” act.)

At the same time, the Obama Justice Department (DOJ) also made the startling announcement that it will not prosecute sanctuary cities that roll out the welcome mat for illegal aliens crossing the border. These sanctuary policies are a direct violation of a federal immigration enforcement law passed in 1996. But apparently this is not a “serious” enough law for the Obama administration to enforce.

As I pointed out last week, these lax and unlawful policies may have directly led to the death of a Virginia nun last summer at the hands of an illegal alien who had been arrested on two prior occasions but was released onto the streets by the Obama administration. The nun was just one of many victims of illegal alien crime nationwide.

Add to this the DOJ’s decision to openly attack the State of Arizona for simply trying to protect its citizens from the scourge of rampant illegal immigration, and you have a recipe for disaster. That’s why this lawsuit is so important. We already represent Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce, who authored the legislation. And now we’re trying to make sure the Arizona legislature has its day in court. The court and the American people need to know:

  • The Arizona Legislature has a right to protect its citizens.

  • Arizona has a right to self defense under the Constitution, particularly when the federal government fails to protect it.

  • The Arizona Legislature complied with all relevant federal, state and local laws, including the Arizona Constitution and the [U.S.] Constitution in crafting SB 1070.

  • SB 1070 is not preempted by federal law or the Constitution. SB 1070 does not conflict with federal law, does not constitute an improper regulation of immigration, and Congress has not fully occupied the field.


Folks, our client, State Senator Pearce, said it best when he deemed our efforts on his behalf a “legal battle of epic proportions.”

“It is outrageous that the Obama administration would attack Arizona for simply protecting its own citizens, especially when it has failed so miserably to do its constitutional duty and secure the border,” State Senator Pearce said. “As a Senator in a state on the frontlines, I see firsthand the damage being done to our state and our country. What happens here in Arizona will impact every state in the country interested in protecting its citizens by enforcing the rule of law. We are a nation of laws. We must have the courage—the fortitude—to enforce, with compassion but without apology, those laws that protect the integrity of our borders and the rights of our lawful citizens.”

The country is looking to Arizona—and to your Judicial Watch—to make sure our illegal immigration laws are enforced. We are proud to stand with the citizens of Arizona in this fight to protect the Constitution and the rule of law.

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