Court blocks Utah ‘show me your papers’ law

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 19:08 EDT
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A federal district court in Salt Lake City blocked the implementation of Utah’s so-called “show me your papers” law which was scheduled to go into effect Tuesday.

Like Arizona’s controversial immigrant law, the law passed by Utah earlier this year authorized law enforcement officials to demand proof of a person’s citizenship or immigration status while investigating a crime.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Utah, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olsen filed a class action lawsuit last week claiming that the law was unconstitutional.

“We are pleased the court has ordered that the law cannot take effect until the court has ample time to review the case in full,” Darcy Goddard, Legal Director, ACLU of Utah explained in a statement. “We anticipate proving to the court that this discriminatory law threatens the rights of all people in Utah.”

“Like Arizona’s SB 1070, the Utah law violates the Constitution and is even worse in requiring all Utahans to carry their ‘papers’ at all times to prove they are lawfully present. Wherever civil liberties are threatened, be it in Utah, Arizona or elsewhere, we will continue to challenge unconstitutional laws like these.”

Supporters of the law claim it is not as harsh or controversial as Arizona’s law, which is currently enmeshed in a legal battle.

“There are a number of things we did in our law that clearly are different from Arizona and really try to address the issues that the judge found unconstitutional,” Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said.

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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