Last Thursday, the often controversial Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (occasionally derisively called the “Ninth Circus Court” for its untenable holdings) threw out a case brought by an Arizona police officer. The court ruled that the officer did not have standing to challenge the state’s strict anti-illegal immigration law, SB 1070.
The appellant, Martin Escobar, is a patrolman with the Tucson police department. He filed suit last year claiming that he was “mandated to enforce SB 1070” and therefore he had standing sufficient to proceed with his complaint.
Simply put, "standing" is a legal concept wherein the party bringing the suit proves to the court that he has “connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case.”
Escobar defended the sufficiency of his standing by explaining that "if he refuses to enforce the Act, he can be disciplined by his employer," and if he does enforce it, he "can be subject to costly civil actions" for "deprivation of civil rights of the individual against whom he enforces the Act."
The Court of Appeals was not persuaded, and it ruled against Escobar's assertion of standing. As a result of its holding in the Escobar case, the Ninth Circuit upheld the decision of the lower court dismissing the suit.
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