Arizona immigration law 101: seven lawsuits, and counting
A federal judge on Thursday hears two lawsuits challenging the tough Arizona immigration law, including the one filed by the Obama administration. Here's a look at the law and the seven cases against it.
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•National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders v. State of Arizona (filed April 29). Two nonprofit groups – including Conclamic Arizona, an organization with 30,000 affiliated churches and a membership of 300 Arizona pastors – as well as US citizens, lawful permanent residents, and others allege the law's proposed class includes "all persons who currently reside in Arizona and find themselves to be negatively affected by the proposed unconstitutional law."Skip to next paragraph
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•Friendly House v. Whiting (filed May 17). Several community service organizations, labor unions, a religious organization, and a business association, as well as several individuals (US citizens and noncitizens), allege that Arizona's law unlawfully attempts to regulate immigration and punish those whom the state deems to be in violation of immigration laws.
•LULAC v. Arizona (filed July 9). The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Latino civil rights group in the US, charges that the guidelines laid out in law enforcement training materials for Arizona's immigration law will lead to racial profiling.
The same federal judge in Arizona is set to hear at least six of the cases.
Who is the judge presiding over these cases?
US District Judge Susan Bolton, nominated to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in 2000, will preside. One of her first orders of business will be to decide whether to grant a motion to temporarily block the law from taking effect on July 29.
In a March ruling on a complaint over the sound of church bells in Phoenix, Judge Bolton said neighbors' arguments were important, but the interests of free speech and religious expression were more important.
What is the public's view of Arizona's law?
Several polls show that a majority of Americans back Arizona's immigration law. One of the most recent, a Christian Science Monitor/TIPP poll released July 12, found that 51 percent of US adults support Arizona's law as it stands, compared with 35 percent who support the Obama administration's case against Arizona.
Governor Brewer on May 26 created a private defense fund to pay the law firm she hired to defend the law. As of July 14, private donors from across the US had given $1.2 million.
Are other states considering similar laws?
Resolutions opposing the Arizona law have been introduced in the California Senate, Illinois House, and New York Senate, while Tennessee passed a resolution in June commending Arizona for the law. In the Michigan House, resolutions have been introduced both for and against Arizona's law.
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