Tag Archives: injunction

Follow up: Rulings Against Sheriff Arpaio

A while back images where shown of Sheriff Arpaio, from Arizona, having 220 immigrants march in a line with shackles.  (One story here).  This story, among others, prompted lawsuits against Arpaio. The first case granted an injunction against Arpaio and the Sheriff’s Office.  The second case ruled that the Human Smuggling Act (which allowed the arrest and prosecution of immigrants).

It is interesting to point out that these decisions came before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision (Oct. 8, 2013), discussed here, which held Arizona S.B. 1070 was void and preempted.

In Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres v. Arpaio, No. CV-07-02513-PHX-GMS (D. Ariz. Oct. 2, 2013), U.S. District Court Judge Snow granted an injunction and listed reforms in which Arpaio and the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office must comply with.  This list includes, for example:

  • Supervisors shall provide effective supervision necessary to direct and guide Deputies.  Some of these include, for example: Respond to certain arrests; confirm the accuracy and completeness of Deputies’ daily reports;and hold Deputies accountable.
  • Supervisors enforcing Immigration-Related laws will directly supervise law enforcement activities.
  • Appointment of a federal independent monitor;
  • Hiring a Community Liaison Officer who is a sworn Deputy fluent in English and Spanish; and
  • Video recorder in every patrol car to record every traffic stop.

In We are America v. Maricopa County Bd. of Supervisors, No. CIV 06-2816-PHX-RCB (Sept. 27, 2013), U.S. District Court Judge Broomfield enjoined Arizona’s Maricopa Migrant Conspiracy Policy.

Sheriff Arpaio created this policy based on the Human Smuggling Act, Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-2319 which allowed for the arrest and prosecution of immigrants for “conspiring to transport themselves within Maricopa County.”

District Court Judge, like the reasoning of the 9th Circuit a few days later, ruled that the statute was preempted by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.

The court also certified the class, which included “all individuals who pay taxes to Maricopa County and object to the use of county tax revenues to stop, detain, arrest, incarcerate, prosecute or penalize individuals for conspiring to transport themselves, and themselves only, in violation of Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-2319 [Human Smuggling Act].”

via Courthouse News Service.

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NY District Ct issues preliminary injunction against NDAA

A federal judge on Wednesday permanently blocked the U.S. military from enforcing a law allowing it to indefinitely detain anyone accused of aiding or participating in terrorism.  The order can be read here.

In May, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest issued a preliminary injunction barring the government from enforcing one paragraph of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a 565-page military appropriations bill that sailed through Congress late last year.

“When the government was asked by the court what the words ‘substantially supported’ mean, it was unable to provide a definition; the same was true for ‘directly supported,'” she wrote in her new order, which makes the preliminary injunction permanent. “There can be no doubt, then, these terms are vague.”

That vagueness does not put citizens on notice, in violation of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, she ruled.

During the evidence phase, four of them — Icelandic Parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, reporter Alexa O’Brien, activist Kai Wargalla, and Hedges — testified that fear of the NDAA made them change how they worked, traveled and associated.

Their testimony convinced the judge that the law had a “chilling effect” on free speech, making the law impermissible under First Amendment grounds.

“Courts must safeguard core constitutional rights,” she wrote. “A long line of Supreme Court precedent adheres to that fundamental principle in unequivocal language. Although it is true that there are scattered cases — primarily decided during World War II — in which the Supreme Court sanctioned undue deference to the executive and legislative branches on constitutional questions, those cases are generally now considered an embarrassment.”

“Presented, as this court is, with unavoidable constitutional questions, it declines to step aside,” Forrest wrote.

She blasted the government’s position that federal courts should provide habeus, rather than judicial, review to military detainees as “without merit” and “dangerous.”

“Habeas petitions (which take years to be resolved following initial detention) are reviewed under a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard (versus the criminal standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’) by a single judge in a civil proceeding, not a jury of twelve citizens in a criminal proceeding which can only return a guilty verdict if unanimous,” Forrest wrote (parentheses in original). “If only habeas review is available to those detained under § 1021(b)(2), even U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, core constitutional rights available in criminal matters would simply be eliminated. No court can accept this proposition and adhere truthfully to its oath.”

The judge refused to “abdicate” her duty to protect constitutional rights out of deference for executive power.

“The court is mindful of the extraordinary importance of the government’s efforts to safeguard the country from terrorism. In light of the high stakes of those efforts as well as the executive branch’s expertise, courts undoubtedly owe the political branches a great deal of deference in the area of national security,” the order states. “Nevertheless, the Constitution places affirmative limits on the power of the Executive to act, and these limits apply in times of peace as well as times of war. Heedlessly to refuse to hear constitutional challenges to the Executive’s conduct in the name of deference would be to abdicate this court’s responsibility to safeguard the rights it has sworn to uphold.”

via Courthouse News Service.

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