Posts Tagged ‘9th Circuit Court of Appeals’

LGBT activists in Colorado applaud Prop 8 court ruling

Posted on: February 7th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced it is upholding an earlier court ruling that California’s Proposition 8 voter-passed ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The decision sets the stage for another appeal, likely to the U.S. Supreme Court, and drew applause from gay-rights advocates buoyed by another clear legal victory. Openly gay Colorado Congressman Jared Polis declared the ruling a win for American notions of justice and equality. (more…)

DC: Live from San Francisco: Debate over Arizona immigration law

Posted on: November 1st, 2010 by Patrick Brendel No Comments

Today’s the big day for Arizona immigration law SB 1070: The Ninth Circuit Court of appeals will hear debate over the law today, with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) present to represent the state and supporters of the law. Brewer is asking the panel of three judges to overturn an earlier ruling on the law that temporarily blocked many of its controversial provisions, including a requirement that police check immigration status after stops for other violations.

The judges will hear arguments from the Department of Justice, which filed a suit against the law in July, and the state, with 30 minutes for each side. If you want to watch, the hearing will be broadcast on CSPAN at 9 a.m. Pacific time, noon Eastern.

At stake is whether the law will continue to operate in its limited form, where it has yet to make much impact on policing immigration in Arizona. Law enforcement officials and human rights groups said they haven’t heard of additional arrests or stops under the law, although the provisions feared to provoke racial profiling have been blocked.

A number of groups, politicians and governments have come to the support of both Arizona and the Department of Justice, with amicus briefs filed on both sides to argue the law should or shouldn’t be allowed to go into effect. On Arizona’s side are a number of state attorneys general — particularly Republicans running for governor — and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The Mexican government and a number of human rights organizations support the Justice Department’s attempt to block the law.

No matter which way the judges rule, it’s unlikely the battle over SB 1070 will stop there. Arizona officials, including bill author state Rep. Russell Pearce (R), have promised to take the fight to the Supreme Court, if necessary. Plus, there are a few other pending lawsuits over SB 1070: Federal Judge Susan Bolton has yet to rule on Saldago v. Brewer and has not heard or ruled on National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders v. State of Arizona or LULAC v. Arizona.

(Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Jeremy Vaught)

DC: Court rules Arizona can’t demand proof of citizenship for voter registration

Posted on: October 26th, 2010 by The American Independent No Comments

The state of Arizona cannot require documents proving citizenship for new voter registration, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today. The court ruled that a 2004 law created by Proposition 200 that made voters show a birth certificate, driver’s license or passport before registering to vote violated federal law. The National Voter Registration Act allows voters to register without documentation, but designates lying about citizenship as perjury. Election experts say non-citizen voting is infrequent enough that it has no effect on election results.

Non-citizens who attempt to vote can — and often do — face deportation, which opponents of the Arizona law argued is enough to deter fraud. “The penalties against non-citizens registering to vote are very serious and have served Arizonans — and all Americans — well for decades,” Linda Brown of the Arizona Advocacy Network, a plaintiff in the case, said in a press release. The court seemed to take this view by ruling the federal law does not allow states to require would-be voters to prove citizenship. But in other states, politicians are still proposing legislation that would crack down on voting by non-citizens.

Kris Kobach, who is running for Kansas secretary of state and helped draft Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law, has said he wants to require proof of citizenship at polling stations, claiming “the illegal registration of alien voters has become pervasive.” Kobach won support for this idea from likely governor Sam Brownback, who is currently serving as a Republican senator.

Colorado Republican state Rep. Ted Harvey told TWI he plans to introduce a bill requiring documentation for voter registration in the form of a birth certificate or passport.

In Arizona, challengers to the 2004 law said in a press release that the law had prevented citizens who did not have documentation of their citizenship from voting. “We are elated that the Ninth Circuit has properly applied federal election law and struck down the documentary proof of citizenship requirement,” said Jon Greenbaum of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who argued the case for appellants. “This will enable the many poor people in Arizona who lack driver’s licenses and birth certificates to register to vote.”

DC: Court overturns Hazletown, Pa., anti-immigration law

Posted on: September 9th, 2010 by The American Independent No Comments

A federal appeals court struck down today a Hazleton, Pa., ordinance that criminalized anyone who rented to or hired an illegal immigrant. The ordinance was a precursor to Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law and other copy-cat anti-immigration legislation, and may signal what is to come for laws accused of preempting federal immigration authority.

Hazleton passed its ordinance in 2006. It was considered one of the toughest laws against illegal immigration at the time. The ACLU, along with other rights groups, filed a suit on behalf of the city’s landowners, business owners and residents, and the law was found unconstitutional by a federal court in 2007. In his decision, Judge James M. Munley wrote that the 14th Amendment applies to everyone in the U.S., not just legal residents.

The city of Hazleton appealed that ruling to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, which today agreed the city’s law was unconstitutional because it preempts federal immigration law:

Deciding which aliens may live in the United States has always been the prerogative of the federal government…To be meaningful, the federal government’s exclusive control over residence in this country must extend to any political subdivision. Again, it is not only Hazleton’s ordinance that we must consider. If Hazleton can regulate as it has here, then so could every other state or locality.

Still, future cases on anti-immigration laws are up in the air, The Los Angeles Times reported. The Supreme Court will hear an Arizona case in December to determine whether states can strip business licenses from companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The Obama administration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have pushed for the court to strike down the law, which was upheld by an appeals court because states traditionally control business licensing.

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Leo Reynolds)