American Bar Association Brief Urges U.S. District Court in Arizona to Block Enforcement of State Immigration Status Law
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1, 2010 — The American Bar Association has filed an amicus brief supporting litigation seeking an injunction against Arizona’s law authorizing police to stop and detain individuals unless they can produce proof of citizenship or legal immigration status. The brief, filed in Friendly House v. Michael B. Whiting, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, cites four bases for enjoining enforcement of the state law. The ABA argues it will result in increased use of racial profiling, unlawful and unreasonable detentions, and increased burdens and new obligations for the state’s indigent defense system, courts and prosecutors. Additionally, according to the brief, it is an attempt by the state to usurp exclusive federal authority to manage and supervise immigration law enforcement. Although the association “typically files amicus briefs only in the highest federal or state court that will consider a matter, the ABA believes the issues before this court are of such significance to the American people and the practice of law that they must be addressed at this stage of the proceedings,” the brief states. For the amicus brief, click here.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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Editor’s Note: Filed on July 14, 2010, the above link is to a revised version of the original brief filed June 30, 2010, in this case. Also filed on July 14 was a brief in the case of The United States of America v. The State of Arizona and Janice K. Brewer, Governor.
Access audio and video of ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm explaining why the ABA took the extraordinary step of weighing in on this case at the district court level. This video is also available on YouTube.)