Supreme Court Smacks Down Another Racist Arizona Law

Arizona was on the losing end of a battle to discriminate against Latinos once again on Monday.  The U.S. Supreme Court refused to reconsider a federal court ruling that threw out their infamous, 2006 Proposition 100 law, that allowed law enforcement in the state to deny undocumented immigrants bond when they were accused of committing serious crimes.

In October, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Prop 100 was unconstitutional. The court said that the law was a violation of the equal protection clause because it singled out one group of people and denied them due process. The former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas used the law, along with several other anti-immigrant laws, to detain undocumented immigrants and force them to plead guilty to felonies and agree to deportation proceedings.

It was the actions of Andrew Thomas, Senator Russell Pierce, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who made the state the country’s most anti-immigrant state in the country. While in office, Thomas and Pierce, passed a plethora of xenophobic laws targeting Latinos in the state; many of the laws were thrown out by higher courts.

The current Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery decided to appeal the 9th Circuit’s ruling, even though he knew it would be a waste of money because Justice Clarence Thomas had already said it was unlikely that the higher court would hear the appeal. In order for the SCOTUS to take on an appeal four of the seven justices must agree; in this case only the right-wing arm of the court was willing to hear the case.

Montgomery released a statement conveying disappointment that he and his colleagues would not be allowed to violate the right’s of undocumented immigrants:

“By declining to hear a challenge to the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, the high court is effectively permitting a federal appeals court to veto a law enacted to address specific concerns in Arizona,” he said in a formal statement. “First, there is a concern that defendants subject to deportation by the federal government due to their immigration status may be deported when released from state custody on bail and not be present for further proceedings. Second, is my own firsthand experience in finding that defendants released on bail for a serious offense are far less likely to show up for court.” [Source]

Montgomery is complaining that the SCOTUS allowed the lower court to rule on the constitutionality of the law; he’s acting as if the Ninth Circuit isn’t supposed to do that. The entire purpose of the lower courts are to determine if something is constitutional or not, they are the first responders of sorts. As a lawyer you’d think Montgomery would know that, but it seems he understands the court system about as well as he understands the Constitution.

The second complaint he has, is that someone on bail may not show up for their court date “in his personal experience.” In other words: “I don’t trust those brown-skinned people who haven’t been convicted, so I’m going to deny them their rights under that old document thingy that I’m supposed to uphold.”

Arizona is such a cesspool of racist lawmakers. At what point do the people of Arizona look at the people they put into office and realize how much money they are wasting on unconstitutional laws? It’s unbelievably ridiculous and more proof that the Republican Party is neither fiscally responsible or lovers of the Constitution.

Featured image via Nysiaf.org