blog Time Hath Found Us: 9th Circuit upholds the will of the people of Arizona ... for now

August 10, 2005

9th Circuit upholds the will of the people of Arizona ... for now

In a rare exercise of restraint, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to overturn a portion of Arizona's proposition 200. The proposition, passed in November 2004, bars illegal immigrants from receiving certain public benefits, makes it a crime for public employees to fail to report undocumented immigrants who seek the benefits outlined in the legislation and requires people to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

Only the provision barring illegals access to public benefits was challenged by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The three judge panel ruled that the plaintiffs had no right to sue.

An Associated Press article published on AZCentral.com states:
The plaintiffs had asked the appellate court to rule that U.S. District Judge David Bury had abused his discretion by refusing to grant a preliminary injunction until a trial is held to determine whether the benefits prohibition is constitutional.

The provisions dealing with voters weren't affected by the challenge.

The three-judge panel's order said the plaintiffs hadn't demonstrated they were hurt by implementation of the law or been charged or specifically threatened with prosecution. Also, there was no allegation of a First Amendment injury that would lower the legal hurdle in front of the right to sue, the order said.