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Judge dismisses Arizona policeman's suit against immigration law

She cites prior rulings that public officials cannot sue to block laws they don't want to enforce. Key provisions of SB1070 remain on hold, with arguments scheduled for November.

September 01, 2010|By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Denver — The federal judge who halted most of a controversial Arizona immigration law dismissed a separate lawsuit Tuesday that had been filed by a Tucson police officer.

The complaint by Martin Escobar was one of seven lawsuits filed in an attempt to nullify SB1070, which requires police officers to determine the status of people they have legally detained whom they suspect of being in the country illegally.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, ruling in a lawsuit brought by the Obama administration in late July, found that the key provisions of the law appear to violate the U.S. Constitution. She placed them on hold until the state could convince her otherwise in a trial.

Arizona has appealed Bolton's ruling. Arguments are scheduled before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in November. The case is expected to ultimately end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bolton is still sorting through other actions, however. On Tuesday she granted Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's motion to dismiss Escobar's complaint, ruling that he lacks legal standing to contest the law.

Bolton cited previous rulings that public officials cannot sue to try to block laws they don't want to enforce or believe are unconstitutional. Another police officer, David Salgado of the Phoenix police department, also has a lawsuit pending against SB1070.

Brewer hailed the ruling on Escobar's complaint. "I strongly believe that Arizona will ultimately prevail in all of these legal challenges," she said in a statement.

nicholas.riccardi@latimes.com

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