9th Circuit Wary of Arpaio’s Arguments

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Embattled Arizona Sheriff Joseph Arpaio seems unlikely to overturn an order that bars him from detaining people he merely suspects are illegal aliens.
     U.S. District Judge Murray Snow issued the injunction in December, and is expected to rule soon in an Arizona trial accusing Arpaio and his office of racially profiling Latinos during “crime suppression sweeps.”
     Arpaio, head of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, says he authorizes such sweeps to enforce Arizona’s human-smuggling law. Five Latinos sued Arpaio and the Sheriff’s Office more than four years ago, claiming they were targeted during stops for minor traffic violations so officers could check their immigration statuses.
     Appearing before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit on Thursday, Arpaio’s attorney Tim Casey argued that the injunction prevents Arpaio’s office from enforcing state law and is “the product of an inappropriate constitutional analysis.”
     There is no standard that requires officers to satisfy all the elements of reasonable suspicion before briefly detaining someone, he added.
     Judge Susan Graber questioned: “But what’s wrong with that?”
     She compared Arpaio’s policy of pulling over drivers to inquire about the immigration status of their passengers to arresting someone for robbery after seeing them walk out of a bank carrying money.
     With Snow’s next verdict imminent, the three-judge panel asked whether its ruling on the narrow issue of a preliminary injunction would be premature.
     “All we have before us is whether we have an abuse of discretion with this injunction,” Judge Clifford Wallace said. “Why doesn’t it make sense just keeping it in place until we have a full trial record?”

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