The ACLU Again Uses the 9th Circuit to Undermine the Voters Intent and Will

On Wednesday, the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals struck down a voter approved amendment to the Arizona Constitution that required the state to detain illegal aliens accused of serious felonies until trial. The case is Lopez-Valenzuela v. Arpaio, and once again the ACLU has successfully used a class action lawsuit to undermine legitimate efforts to ensure illegal immigration is deterred.

The amendment passed with 78 percent of the vote in 2006. This was a strong indication of voter interest in 1) ensuring illegal aliens who commit felonies show up for trial, and 2) ensuring that people with no right to be in the country do not flee before deportation. The court used the bogus pseudo-reasoning behind what’s called “substantive due process” to engage in a subjective bit of policy gamesmanship to strike down the constitutional amendment. This area of “substantive due process” has become nothing more than an arbitrary vehicle by which a court is allowed to substitute its political judgment for that of the voters (or legislators as the case may be).

Once again, the judiciary has intervened to ensure illegal immigration continues unabated and the community is unprotected. The people have come to expect this endless legislating from the bench. There was a time when courts were very respectful of voter-approve state constitutional changes; a court would be loathe to strike down any law enacted by direct citizen participation. The three judge panel that initially reviewed the case did just that.  But, as we all now know, the ACLU will never give up until it destroys all remaining U.S. immigration controls. It sought an on-banc review and achieved this victory at the expense of community safety and the integrity of our criminal justice system.

Read the decision here. (PDF)

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


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  2. avatar
    Barbara Griffith on

    When you have radical judges like we have now in every state some of them lifetime judges and others that are voted in what is a person supposed to do? They pay more attention to the special interests that want to strike down a law that the voters put in place. I have seen this in every state no matter what the law may be or how beneficial to the community if the special interests want it gone their buddies on the bench will make it happen. This is what is wrong with the judicial system in the US when the ACLU can just walk in and have a legal law on the books removed the voters are thrown under the bus. This discourages citizens from voting because they know their vote won’t mean anything.

  3. avatar

    This is nullifying stupid “article,” if article it be. The author is telling you that in his legally un- and/or under- educated opinion you should accept his view on the case rather than that of professional jurists whose job is to interpret the Constitution of the United States. Last I heard, Arizona was still a state and its laws still subordinate to that document. The states don’t get to determine basic rights and protections. The Constitution does that.

    • avatar

      So, you agree that local governments should have to detain illegals until ICE can get them, right? As you said “The states don’t get to determine basic rights and protections”. The feds have sent out hundreds of thousands of requests that illegal aliens be held, but state and local authorities have ignored these requirements,as you are probably aware, causing extreme social and financial chaos to legal citizens of this country.
      It is pretty obvious, reading your stupid comments, that you are either extremely naive, or are a far left liberal, because these are the only people capable of capable of trusting the 9ths decisions, a court know for it’s leftist leanings. The vast majority of courts in the US do not share the 9th’s biased interpretations, hence the concern about them deciding such issues. They do not reflect the majority opinion, and if these constitutional issues were decided in a court know for it’s conservative POV’s, people like you would shriek, whine and ***** until your “partners” got sick of hearing you. And besides, who are you to determine the legal soundness of the author’s opinions?

  4. avatar

    Please somebody tell me when we are going to have A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS KILLED BY ILLEGAL ALIENS???? The survivors of 911 got over a million each, because the government was derilic of there duty to protect them! What is the difference here!

  5. avatar

    Who Pays the ACLU Legal Fees?

    Foreign countries and other foreign corporate entities ruining America?

    Or worse yet, it comes out of our legal American tax debt burden?

    • avatar

      If it doesn’t scare you off, then you might wanna’ research on George Soros’s connection to the ACLU.
      Happy trails..

  6. avatar

    It is high time we begin to forcefully exert our will against this liberal tyranny.
    Give me liberty or give me death!

  7. avatar

    the aclu excuse me i better put that in capital letters before they sue me..the ACLU in my opion is nothing but a bunch of crooks and bullies that wants to destory the decent people on the U S of A yes get rid of them .heck let`s sue them on grounds of raceism..

    • avatar

      Few people realize what the ACLU acronym REALLY stands for:

      A – All
      C – Criminals
      L – Love
      U – Us

      Because if you examine many ACLU advocacy cases, the true beneficiaries of their policies and legal victories are criminals and lawbreakers. The ACLU has become the de facto pro bono immigration legal services for the illegal alien community.

      • avatar

        LOL! never heard that before!…let’s not forget, though, and in all fairness, the ACLU does occasionally defend free speech, a right precious to those of us who dare to question the idiocy of tolerating illegal aliens invading our country. Believe it or not, even Oliver North (look it up) was a member. How sad and disgusting that they squander scarce resources defending these invaders, instead of concentrating on more deserving issues. If I were a member, I would write them and tell them that I will no longer contribute until they stop wasting money this way.

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      I agree! Get rid of the ACLU! I live in Arizona and I’m sick of our votes not being accounted for.

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