ACLU to File Multiple Lawsuits in Wake of Arizona Immigration Ruling

The American Civil Liberties Union has a response to Arizona following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the state’s SB 1070 immigration law: “We’ll see you in court.”

The ACLU said Monday it has amassed an $8.7 million fund to sue Arizona and other states with so-called “show me your papers” laws, arguing that such laws amount to racial profiling.

“Bring it on,” said ACLU National Director Anthony Romero in a telephone conference call. “We will fight you anywhere and everywhere.”

In a split decision, the Supreme Court struck down three out of four of the contested provisions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law on Monday.

The decision largely favored the Obama administration, which sued Arizona over the law shortly after it was passed in 2010.

But the ruling left intact perhaps the most controversial portion of the law, section 2B, which calls on state police to check the immigration status of those they stop.

In the Court’s opinion, Justice Kennedy argued that the Justice Department could not demonstrate that section 2B would conflict with federal law without seeing how the state applies the law.

Supporters of the law, including Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio viewed the decision largely as a political victory.

"Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law," Brewer said in a statement. "After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution."

While the ruling overturned three out of four of the contested provisions, the ACLU viewed it as a defeat.

“We remain deeply troubled by the one provision that has remained in play,” Romero said. “It has essentially opened the floodgates to racial profiling.”

The Obama administration did not raise the issue of racial profiling in its challenge to the constitutionality of SB 1070.

The ACLU has played a key role in challenging immigration laws it views as discriminatory, since a 2006 lawsuit against the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which required landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants. A federal court overturned the law in 2010.