Three Arizona sheriffs, Maricopa County’s Joe Arpaio, Pinal County’s Paul Babeu, and Cochise County’s Larry Dever seemed surprised and encouraged by some of the comments three 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges made during a hearing yesterday on the state’s controversial immigration law, reports the Arizona Republic. They expected the 9th Circuit to be a roadblock in the effort to overturn U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s decision to halt four parts of the law from going into effect. Several statements by the judges left the impression they might allow at least one of the enjoined parts of the law to go into effect.
Babeu said the most beneficial part of the law to his deputies was the portion that makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and he was hopeful the court would allow that portion to go into effect. “I thought the judges were very thoughtful, but I’ve never had a lot of faith in the 9th Circuit,” he said, calling this hearing one of many battles in the war. “And for the sake of public safety and national security, we have to win this.” The panel’s is expected to be appealed to either the full 9th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court.