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)