Lopez-Valenzuela v. County of Maricopa

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 06-18-2013
  • Case #: 11-16487
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Tallman for the Court; Dissent by Circuit Judge Fisher; Circuit Judge Callahan
  • Full Text Opinion

Arizona’s Proposition 100 law serves to further the State’s legitimate and compelling interest of assuring that illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes are present to stand trial and is not a punishment that would violate the due process guarantees of the Constitution.

Plaintiffs-Appellants Angel Lopez-Valenzuela and Isaac Castro-Armenta (“Appellants”) challenged the constitutionality of Arizona’s Proposition 100 statute that requires Arizona courts to not set bail for suspected illegal immigrants who commit serious felony offenses unless proof is shown that the arrestee is legally in the United States. Appellants contended that the no bail requirement was intended to punish suspected illegal immigrants and violated the substantive and procedural due process guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Excessive Bail Clause of the Eighth Amendment, and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Arizona contended that the statute was reasonably related to the legitimate governmental objective of managing arrestees who pose a flight risk. Arizona asked the Ninth Circuit to affirm the lower court’s grant of summary judgment because Appellants did not raise triable issues of fact. The panel reviewed the legislative history of Proposition 100 and concluded that the purpose of the statute was to ensure that arrestees are available to answer for their crime, not to punish offenders. The panel also stated that the Eighth Amendment does not prevent states from denying bail to offenders of serious crimes, and because Arizona’s legislature has defined those crimes, the withholding of bail was not arbitrary or capricious. In addition, the panel held that Proposition 100 is not constitutionally preempted because it “neither regulates immigration nor impermissibly creates state-law immigration classifications.” The panel held that Appellants did not succeed in raising a triable issue of fact on any of their due process claims, nor whether federal immigration law preempts Proposition 100. AFFIRMED.

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