The lightning bolt in nature is so spectacular it is beyond words for normal people to describe. Living in San Diego the lightning bolt is the stylized symbol of the half-century old National Football League San Diego Chargers. Famous for long touchdown strikes, the Chargers AKA BOLTS can strike from anywhere on the field. So can the federal courts; strike, that is, like lightning and in so doing judges certainly disappoint some citizens, local and state governments and sometimes the federal government itself. As it is often said, there are two sides to every story and case. Case in point: Valle del Sol v. Whiting, an Arizona case stemming from the state’s passing into law SB1070.
This law was written by Yale-educated Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach while moonlighting for the man the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an American bigot, John Tanton.
Dr. Tanton founded the Federation for Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), NumbersUSA and Official English groups, all funded by an outlier foundation that studies Black penis size relative to crime rates. He also comes from population control groups like Zero Population Growth and Planned Parenthood.
A federal district judge eviscerated SB1070 and she was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States with one exception, that of a “papers please” section of SB1070 that allows local and state police to demand proof of legal residency when people are detained. It declared that issue not legally “ripe” but suggested that when that provision was enforced the courts would rule on it when someone with standing sued.
In the meanwhile, two other controversial SB1070 provisions jumped from the district court to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals where a panel unanimously upheld the lower court’s junking of these provisions of SB1070.
The provisions in question make it illegal for a person in a car to pick up and hire a person for work, and for someone to enter a stopped car for that purpose, if the vehicle blocks traffic.
The judges agreed that the State of Arizona simply failed to prove the lower court injunctions wrong when SB1070 criminalized stopping on a road to offer someone a job or for an individual to ask for a job or enter a stopped car after accepting a job offer. The court said it was a broad assault on commercial and free speech. They also ruled that Arizona failed to show how traffic safety was actually involved.
Arizona … has failed to justify a need to serve that interest through targeting and penalizing day labor solicitation that blocks traffic, rather than directly targeting those who create traffic hazards without reference to their speech, as currently proscribed under the state’s pre-existing traffic law. Laws like this one that restrict more protected speech than necessary violate the First Amendment.
That pesky 1st Amendment to the Constitution — if only we had a President like Venezuela’s now-deceased Hugo Chavez who simply closed down newspapers, television and radio stations when they criticized him.
Another interesting part of the court’s decision was how the judges smacked Arizona around for trying to cover unconstitutionality by claiming it was trying to improve traffic safety. Judge Fisher wrote that SB1070 was a “classic example” of limiting free speech to a narrow band consisting of making it a crime to offer someone a job or to accepting one from a roadside or sidewalk.
On Arizona’s claim that the intent of the law was only “traffic safety” the court ruled:
The district court reasonably determined that the purpose of the day labor provisions was to suppress labor-solicitation speech rather than to promote traffic safety. Significantly, the purposes clause introducing S.B. 1070 describes it as an immigration bill, not a traffic safety bill…Finally, the day labor provisions’ punishment is far out of line with punishments for other similar traffic violations. For example, conduct that recklessly impedes traffic is punishable by 30 days’ imprisonment, but day labor solicitation that is not dangerous or reckless, but merely impedes traffic, is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment.
The decision does not rule these provisions unconstitutional but it prohibits them from being implemented. The judges also stated that if these provisions were enforced, they would most likely be ruled unconstitutional at the first opportunity in front of a judge.
Once again, the John Tanton/Kris Kobach legal conspiracy to attack legal and illegal immigrants with laws at the state (Arizona, Alabama, Georgia) and local levels (Texas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania) that violate the federal constitution’s power in Article 1, Section 8 for Congress to “make a uniform rule of naturalization (immigration)” suffers extreme mortal wounds in judicial courts.
Reposted with permission from Cafe Con Leche Republicans – original link
Raoul Lowery Contreras (1941) was born in Mexico, raised in the USA. Former U.S. Marine, athlete, Dean’s List at San Diego State. Professional political consultant and California Republican Party official (1963-65)…Television news commentator, radio talk show host…published Op-Ed writer (1988 to present)…author of 12 books (as of 1-05-12). His books are available on Amazon.com.