Justice Department to File Suit Against AZ Immigration Law
The United States Justice Department filed a suit against Arizona's new immigration law today. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department will sue on the grounds that Arizona's new immigration law illegally intrudes on federal prerogatives and violates the Constitution's supremacy clause, which states that federal law trumps state statutes, legally referred to as "preemption."
Justice Department officials believe that enforcing immigration laws is a federal responsibility, according to the Washington Post. The new law allows law enforcement officials in Arizona to request proof of legal immigration, residency, or citizenship of anyone they suspect might be an illegal immigrant. Once the new law is enacted later this month, many of the people Arizona officials detain will be sent to federal immigration agencies, which may interfere with the regular operations of the agencies.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the first to hint that the federal government would file a suit against the Arizona law last month. President Obama spoke out against the Arizona law in his address to Congress last week, stating, "As other states and localities go their own ways, we face the prospect that different rules for immigration will apply in different parts of the country, a patchwork of local immigration rules where we all know one clear national standard is needed," according to the Associated Press.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and many civil rights groups have also publicly condemned the law. At least five other lawsuits have been filed against the Arizona law. The current lawsuit could delay the law from going into effect.
Media Resources: Associated Press 7/6/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/18/10; Wall Street Journal: Law Blog 6/18/10, 7/6/10; Washington Post 7/6/10
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .