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Case Name United States v. Arizona IM-AZ-0015
Docket / Court 2:10-cv-01413 ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On July 6, 2010, the United States filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Arizona against the State of Arizona and the Governor. The plaintiff, represented by the Department of Justice, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the recently enacted S.B. 1070 was a violation ... read more >
On July 6, 2010, the United States filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Arizona against the State of Arizona and the Governor. The plaintiff, represented by the Department of Justice, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the recently enacted S.B. 1070 was a violation of the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and was preempted by federal law. The plaintiff filed a motion for a preliminary injunction the same day to enjoin the defendant from enforcing S.B. 1070 until the Court made a determination as to its constitutionality. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that S.B. 1070, which contains several provisions designed to "discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens" in Arizona, impermissibly infringes on the federal government's right to enact and enforce immigration policy. (Complaint Re: [ECF# 1], July 6, 2010).

On July 28, 2010, the court (Judge Susan R. Bolton) granted in part and denied in part the plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (703 F.Supp.2d 980). The court found that the plaintiffs were not likely to succeed on the merits in showing that certain provisions of the legislation are preempted by federal law, but that on other provisions the plaintiffs were likely to succeed. Some of the enjoined provisions include a portion of Section 2 of S.B. 1070 "requiring that an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States" and Section 3 of S.B. 1070 "requiring verification of the immigration status of any person arrested prior to releasing that person and creating a crime for the failure to apply for or carry alien registration papers."

In the two weeks immediately following the complaint filing, several groups filed motions for amicus briefs, including a collection of states in support of the defendants and the American Bar Association in support of the plaintiffs. The court denied these amicus pleadings in an order on September 3, 2010, as moot, since the court had not considered the briefs before issuing the preliminary injunction.

Immediately following the issuance of the preliminary injunction, the defendants filed an interlocutory appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit. The 9th Circuit upheld the district court's decision in an opinion filed on April 11, 2011. The court examined the statute on its face to determine whether it conflicted with Congressional intent and therefore was preempted by the Supremacy Clause. The court found that Congress intended for "systematic state immigration enforcement (to) occur under the direction and close supervision of the Attorney General" and that S.B. 1070 impermissibly interfered with that intent. The court affirmed the preliminary injunction as issued by the district court.

The defendants appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted cert on December 12, 2011, and arguments were held April 25, 2012.

See two related cases: Friendly House v. Whiting and League of United Latin American Citizens v. Arizona, in which plaintiffs filed suit against the State of Arizona also seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the implementation of S.B. 1070.

On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court announced their decision, affirming in part and reversing in part. The court held that several provisions of S.B. 1070 were properly enjoined but declined to strike down Section 2(B), which requires state police to check the immigration status of people arrested under non-immigration state law. However, the court did not uphold the provision either: if it is construed not to authorize extra detention time, it may be constitutional.

On August 8, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judges John T. Noonan, Richard A. Paez, and Carlos T. Bea) returned the case to the district court for "further proceedings consistent with the opinion and judgment of the Supreme Court." 2012 WL 3205612, at *1 (9th Cir. Aug. 8, 2012).

On September 18, 2012, pursuant to the stipulation between the parties and the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492 (2012), the court (Judge Susan R. Bolton) dissolved the preliminary injunction of Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070. The court also permanently enjoined Sections 3 and 6.

On March 7, 2013, the parties filed a joint status report in response to the court's February request for a report advising which claims remain. According to the status report, two of the plaintiff's claims remain unresolved: (1) plaintiff's claim regarding Section 2(B) and (2) plaintiff's claim against Section 4 of S.B. 1070, which amended the Arizona statute that establishes criminal penalties for "smuggling of human beings for profit or commercial purpose."

The parties agreed to the voluntary dismissal without prejudice of plaintiff's claim against Section 2(B). The parties proposed that adjudication of plaintiff's claim against Section 4 of S.B. 1070 be stayed pending the Ninth Circuit's decision in Valle del Sol, Inc. v. Whiting (No. 12-17152), because the courts' resolution in that case is likely to have an effect on the smuggling provision in Section 4. The plaintiffs in that case have challenged a portion of Section 5 of S.B. 1070 that imposes criminal penalties under certain circumstances for transporting or harboring an unlawfully present alien and encouraging or inducing an alien to enter or reside in Arizona in violation of law.

On October 8, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court (Judges John T. Noonan, Richard A. Paez, and Carlos T. Bea) issued a decision in Valle del Sol, Inc. v. Whiting, 2013 WL 5526525 (9th Cir. Oct. 8, 2013). The court found that they challenged provision was both void for vagueness and preempted by federal law. The court therefore affirmed the district court's preliminary injunction against the provision.

On April 21, 2014, the Supreme Court denied the writ of certiorari filed by the State and Governor of Arizona in Valle del Sol, thus ending any further review of the Ninth Circuit decision.

On May 29, 2014, the parties notified the court that they had reached an agreement in principle to resolve the plaintiff’s claims regarding Sections 2(B) and 5 of S.B. 1070 and A.R.S. § 13-2929, under which the United States will dismiss without prejudice its facial challenge to Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070, and the defendants will stipulate to a permanent injunction against implementation of Section 5 of S.B. 1070 and A.R.S. § 13-2929. The parties noted that they had not been able to reach any agreement regarding Section 4 of S.B. 1070.

On June 9, 2014, the court ordered all claims in the United States’ complaint challenging on its face Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070 to be dismissed without prejudice.

On July 18, 2014, the U.S. moved for judgment regarding the one claim remaining in this action (a challenge to Section 4 of S.B. 1070 and A.R.S. § 13-2319), which prohibited “smuggling of human beings for profit or commercial purpose.”

On November 7, 2014, the court granted U.S.'s motion for judgment, stating that the Ninth Circuit’s holding in Valle del Sol Inc. v. Whiting dictated that federal law preempts A.R.S. § 13-2319 on both field and conflict preemption grounds.

On January 6, 2015, the defendants filed an appeal in 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but subsequently filed a motion to dismiss. The case is now closed.

Elizabeth Daligga - 06/25/2012
Jennifer Bronson - 11/25/2013
Ginny Lee - 05/26/2017

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Issues and Causes of Action
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National origin discrimination
Search policies
Border police
Criminal prosecution
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Local / state enforcement of immigration laws (duplicate)
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Visas - procedures
Work authorization - procedures
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Defendant(s) State of Arizona
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff is the United States.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-AZ-0016 : Friendly House v. Whiting (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0017 : League of United Latin American Citizens v. Arizona (D. Ariz.)
IM-UT-0002 : Utah Coalition of La Raza v. Herbert (D. Utah)
Additional Resources
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  From Arizona's S.B. 1070 to Georgia's H.B. 87 and Alabama's H.B. 56: Exacerbating the Other and Generative New Discourses and Practices of Segregation
Date: Spring 2012
By: Dr. William Arrocha (California Western School of Law Faculty)
Citation: 48 Cal. W. L. Rev. 245
[ Detail ]

2:10-cv-01413-SRB (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/08/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-AZ-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/06/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Memorandum of Law in Support Therof [ECF# 27]
IM-AZ-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/07/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Leave to File Brief of Amicus Curiae The Center on the Administration of Criminal Law [ECF# 14]
IM-AZ-0015-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/08/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion and Memorandum for Request to File Brief of Amici Curiae Michigan, Florida, Alabama, Nebraska, Northern Mariana Islands, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia [ECF# 30]
IM-AZ-0015-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/14/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 87] (703 F.Supp.2d 980) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0015-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/28/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 118] (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0015-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/03/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
The State of Arizona and Governor Janice K. Brewer's Answer and Counterclaims [ECF# 138]
IM-AZ-0015-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/10/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 166-1] (641 F.3d 339)
IM-AZ-0015-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/11/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 171] (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0015-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/21/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief for Petititoners
IM-AZ-0015-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/06/2012
Brief for the United States
IM-AZ-0015-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/19/2012
Reply Brief for Petitioners
IM-AZ-0015-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2012
Supreme Court Opinion (132 S.Ct. 2492 / 183 L.Ed.2d 351)
IM-AZ-0015-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/25/2012
Source: Supreme Court website
Status Report [ECF# 186]
IM-AZ-0015-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/07/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Alito, Samuel A. Jr. (Third Circuit, SCOTUS)
Bea, Carlos T. (Ninth Circuit)
Bolton, Susan Ritchie (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0015-0005 | IM-AZ-0015-0006 | IM-AZ-0015-0008 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (Ninth Circuit, SCOTUS)
Noonan, John T. Jr. (Ninth Circuit)
Paez, Richard A. (Ninth Circuit, C.D. Cal.)
Scalia, Antonin (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
Thomas, Clarence (SCOTUS, D.C. Circuit)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chilakamarri, Varu (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0015-0001 | IM-AZ-0015-0002 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Delery, Stuart F. (District of Columbia)
Goldberg, Arthur Robert (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0015-0014 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Kneedler, Edwin S. (District of Columbia)
Leonardo, John S. (District of Columbia)
Simpson, W. Scott (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0015-0014 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Verrilli, Donald B. Jr. (District of Columbia)
Wilkenfeld, Joshua (District of Columbia)
Defendant's Lawyers Adams, Joseph G (Arizona)
Bekesha, Michael (District of Columbia)
Bergin, Brian McCormack (Arizona)
Bouma, John J (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0015-0007 | IM-AZ-0015-0010 | IM-AZ-0015-0012 | IM-AZ-0015-0014 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Clement, Paul D. (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0015-0010 | IM-AZ-0015-0012
Cole, David Robert (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0015-9000 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Collins, Gregory Blain (Arizona)
Frakes, Kenneth Michael (Arizona)
Gentala, Peter Andrew (Arizona)
Gonzalez−Melendez, Erica Rose (Arizona)
Henry, Robert Arthur (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0015-0014 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Hiller, Evan Franklin (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0015-0014 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Horne, Thomas C. (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0015-0007 | IM-AZ-0015-0014 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Jakubczyk, John Joseph (Arizona)
Jernigan, Greg (Arizona)
Jimenez, Augustine B. III (Arizona)
Kanefield, Joseph Andrew (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0015-0007 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Kercsmar, Geoffrey S. (Arizona)
Kszywienski, Kelly Ann (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0015-0014 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Martinez, Richard Moreno (Arizona)
Montoya, Stephen G. (Arizona)
Orfanedes, Paul J (District of Columbia)
Peterson, James F. (District of Columbia)
Sciarrotta, Joseph Jr. (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0015-0010 | IM-AZ-0015-0012 | IM-AZ-0015-0014 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Tryon, G Michael (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0015-0014 | IM-AZ-0015-9000
Other Lawyers Alexander, Rachel (Arizona)
Barkow, Anthony S. (New York)
Casey, Timothy James (Arizona)
Dill, Sara Elizabeth (Illinois)
Hardy, David T. (Arizona)
Hethmon, Michael M. (District of Columbia)
Irion, Van (Tennessee)
Klayman, Larry (District of Columbia)
Lamm, Carolyn B. (District of Columbia)
London, Ellen (New York)
Mackin, Kristin Marie (Arizona)
May, Colby M. (District of Columbia)
Meehan, Michael J. (Arizona)
Milgram, Anne (New York)
Murray, Jeffrey James (Arizona)
Murzyn, Jessica Alexandra (New York)
Parker, Richard (Virginia)
Peters, Donald M. (Arizona)
Restuccia, B. Eric (Michigan)
Roe, Garrett R. (District of Columbia)
Sands, Mark (Michigan)
Sekulow, Jay Alan (District of Columbia)
Silverman, Andrew (Arizona)
Solano, Ricardo Jr. (New Jersey)
Zack, Stephen N (Florida)
Zall, Barnaby W (Maryland)

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