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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 (DOJ), sought declaratory and injunctive relief, against the recently enacted S.B. 1070, which contained ... 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 (DOJ), sought declaratory and injunctive relief, against the recently enacted S.B. 1070, which contained several provisions designed to "discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens" in Arizona. The DOJ argued that S.B. 1070 was a violation of the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and that it was preempted by federal law. The DOJ 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 DOJ claimed that S.B. 1070 impermissibly infringed on the federal government's right to enact and enforce immigration policy.

Note that this case was related to two others, 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 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 DOJ was not likely to succeed on the merits in showing that certain provisions of the legislation were preempted by federal law, but that the DOJ was likely to succeed on other provisions. Some of the enjoined provisions included 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 DOJ. The court denied these amicus pleadings in an order on September 3, 2010, as moot, because 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 (Judge Paez) upheld the district court's decision in an opinion filed on April 11, 2011. 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 on its face impermissibly interfered with that intent. The court affirmed the preliminary injunction as issued by the district court. (641 F.3d 339)

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.

On June 25, 2012, Justice Kennedy announced the decision of the Court, 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 required state police to check the immigration status of people arrested under non-immigration state law. However, the Court did not uphold the provision either, instead deciding that if it was construed to not authorize extra detention time, it might be constitutional. (183 L.Ed.2d 351). On August 8, 2012, 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)

On September 18, 2012, pursuant to the stipulation between the parties and the prior Supreme Court ruling, the district court dissolved the preliminary injunction of Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070. The court also permanently enjoined Sections 3 and 6, which created criminal penalties for immigrant who did not federally register or carry federal registration documents, and authorized law enforcement officers to arrest without a warrant anyone they had probable cause to believe committed a removable public offense.

On March 7, 2013, the parties filed a joint status report indicating two of the plaintiff's claims remained 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 established 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) in light of the Supreme Court decision. 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 was likely to have an effect on the smuggling provision in Section 4. The plaintiffs in that case 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 issued a decision in Valle del Sol, Inc. v. Whiting, 2013 WL 5526525. The court found that the 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, under which the United States dismissed without prejudice its facial challenge to Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070, and the defendants stipulated to a permanent injunction against implementation of Section 5 of S.B. 1070. 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 and Section 5 be permanently enjoined.

On July 18, 2014, the U.S. moved for judgment regarding the one claim remaining in this action challenging Section 4 of S.B. 1070. 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 preempted the state law 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
Virginia Weeks - 03/04/2018

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Supremacy Clause
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
National origin discrimination
Racial profiling
Search policies
Border police
Criminal prosecution
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Visas - procedures
Work authorization - procedures
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) State of Arizona
Plaintiff Description The United States
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 2010
Case Closing Year 2015
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. (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
Scalia, Antonin (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
Thomas, Clarence (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
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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