Originally published on POLITICO by Josh Gerstein - October 21, 2011
A federal judge has dismissed a countersuit Arizona Gov. Janice Brewer filed in February after the federal government sued her state to block enforcement of the bulk of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration measure, S.B. 1070.
Brewer’s countersuit alleged that the feds failed to live up to their legal obligations to prevent illegal immigration and to reimburse the state for costs related to illegal aliens in Arizona.
However, on Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton threw out the state’s countersuit in its entirety. She said some of the state’s claims were previously litigated in a lawsuit Arizona filed in 1994.
“The United States’ initiation of the instant litigation, asking the Court to determine different legal issues [related to S.B. 1070], does not permit Arizona to relitigate issues already determined in prior litigation,” Bolton wrote.
Bolton said other claims made by Brewer were previously raised by the State of California more than a decade ago and rejected by the courts. Her 22-page decision is posted here.
“Today’s U.S. District Court decision to dismiss Arizona’s suit against the federal government is frustrating but not entirely surprising,” Brewer said in a statement. “It is but the latest chapter in a story that Arizonans know all too well: the federal government ignores its Constitutional and statutory duty to secure the border. Federal courts avert their eyes. American citizens pay the price.”
Last July, Bolton blocked the most important aspects of S.B. 1070 from taking effect, ruling that the law usurped federal authority over immigration policy. An appeals court essentially upheld her ruling. The Supreme Court is now considering whether to take the case.
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