This just pisses me off royally....
Well Sir....first off...this is a photygraff of the "Good Guy", Mayor Louis Barletta of Hazleton, PA. Read the story and I'm sure that most of ya...at least those who ain't secular progressive liberal assholes...will get just as pissed off as I am regardin "Activist" Federal Judges. Just how in the hell did our great Nation get to where it is today???
Good on ya Mayor...keep up the good work....
Judge Voids Ordinance on Illegal Immigrants
By JULIA PRESTON
Published: July 27, 2007
A federal judge in Pennsylvania yesterday struck down ordinances adopted by the City of Hazleton to bar illegal immigrants from working or renting homes there, the most resounding legal blow so far to local efforts across the country to crack down on illegal immigration.
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Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times
Mayor Louis J. Barletta of Hazleton, Pa., vowed to appeal a ruling.
The decision, by Judge James M. Munley of Federal District Court, presents a new roadblock to local officials who want to take action against illegal immigration after broad federal legislation to address the issue failed in the Senate last month.
Judge Munley ruled that ordinances first passed last July by the Hazleton City Council interfered with federal law, which regulates immigration, and violated the due process rights of employers, landlords and illegal immigrants.
The ruling resonated beyond Hazleton because the town was the first in the country to pass such measures, after its mayor, Louis J. Barletta, vowed last year to make the city “one of the toughest places in the United States” for illegal immigrants. Many other local initiatives were modeled on Hazleton’s ordinances, which were never put into effect because of the legal challenge.
“Whatever frustrations officials of the City of Hazleton may feel about the current state of immigration enforcement,” Judge Munley wrote in the 206-page decision, “the nature of the political system in the United States prohibits the city from enacting ordinances that disrupt a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme.”
Mr. Barletta said the city would appeal and would fight to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.
“I will not sit back because the federal government has refused to do its job,” Mr. Barletta said at a news conference on the steps of City Hall.
Judge Munley reached his conclusion after a full hearing of the issues in a bench trial, the first such trial in the various legal challenges to local ordinances restricting illegal immigration. The challenge was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and Cozen O’Connor, a private law firm.
The judge emphasized that illegal immigrants had the same civil rights as legal immigrants and citizens.
“Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community,” he wrote.
Kris W. Kobach, a University of Missouri law professor who assisted Hazleton, called the ruling “an extraordinarily bold activist decision.” Mr. Kobach said Judge Munley had misconstrued the limitations on cities like Hazleton in making laws on immigration, which is generally subject to federal law.
According to the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, more than 100 municipalities have considered ordinances to crack down on illegal immigrants.
On June 19 a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against a housing ordinance similar to Hazleton’s in Farmers Branch, Tex., a Dallas suburb. The ordinance, which voters approved in May, would have imposed fines on landlords who rented to illegal immigrants.
Last Friday, the city of Valley Park, Mo., rescinded a similar housing ordinance, after one version of it was struck down in March by a state judge and a revised ordinance brought new state and federal challenges. Similar ordinances were dropped in Escondido, Calif.
Mr. Barletta, the Hazleton mayor, has championed the city’s ordinances because he said illegal immigrants had unleashed a crime wave in Hazleton and had overburdened health and other public services.
At the nine-day trial in March, A.C.L.U. lawyers worked as hard to debunk those claims as they did to undercut the city’s legal arguments. They showed that 4 of 428 violent crimes in Hazleton in the last six years could be attributed to illegal immigrants.
“This opinion should be a glaring red stop light for any local officials thinking about passing similar laws,” said Witold Walczak, the lead A.C.L.U. lawyer in the case.
Among the plaintiffs were four illegal immigrants. Judge Munley allowed them to remain anonymous and to testify through depositions.
This month Pennsylvania prosecutors dropped murder charges against two immigrants in the May 2006 shooting of Derek Kichline, a Hazleton resident whom Mr. Barletta often cited as a victim of an illegal immigrant crime wave. The prosecutors said that important witnesses were not available to testify, including one illegal immigrant who had been deported by federal authorities.
Mr. Barletta and his campaign against illegal immigrants have remained popular in Hazleton, a faded coal-mining center 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia that has recently seen a manufacturing revival. In a mayoral primary in May, Mr. Barletta handily won both the Republican and the Democratic nominations.
Jon Hurdle contributed reporting from Hazleton, Pa.