Judge blocks parts of Arizona immigration law, SB 1070

Posted: Updated:
Gov. Jan Brewer responds to the temporary injunction of portions SB 1070. By Fox 11 News Gov. Jan Brewer responds to the temporary injunction of portions SB 1070. By Fox 11 News

In a huge legal victory for opponents of the law, a federal district judge in Phoenix has blocked key portions of SB 1070, the tough new immigration law scheduled to take effect at midnight tonight.  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, in an interview with Fox 11 reporter Delane Cleveland moments after the ruling was issued, called it a "bump in the road".

Judge Susan Bolton issued her ruling this morning after presiding over three hearings of legal challenges last week.

The law will still take effect Thursday, but without many of the provisions that angered opponents -- including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws. The judge also put on hold a part of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. Judge Bolton put those controversial sections on hold until the courts resolve the issues.

Opponents say the law will lead to racial profiling and is trumped by federal immigration law.

The judge said Arizona's interest do not "trump" the right of the federal government to manage immigration issues.

First reaction to the ruling came from Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, generally expected to be Governor Jan Brewer's opponent in the November general election in the race for Governor.  Goddard said, "Jan Brewer played politics with immigration, and she lost.  Rather than providing the leadership Arizona needs to solve the immigration problem, Jan Brewer signed a bill she could not defend in court which has led to boycotts,  jeopardized our tourism industry and polarized our state."

State Senator Russell Pearce of Mesa, who sponsored the legislation in the Arizona Legislature, told reporters immediately after the ruling that the state will appeal "immediately".