Judge halts start of new immigration law

Published 6:05 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A federal judge on Monday said she needed more time to consider a challenge to Alabama’s new immigration law, which was to go into effect Sept. 1.

Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn issued a temporary injunction until Sept. 29, blocking the immigration law from being executed or enforced and giving the court more time to consider the issues.

“In entering this order the court specifically notes that it is in no way addressing the merits of the motions,” Blackburn wrote, also noting that the injunction could be lifted before Sept. 29 if she reaches a decision before then.

State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said he was not at all surprised by the judge’s decision.

“There are so many multiple legal issues in regard to the bill,” Ward said. “I think everyone was kind of expecting there to be some sort of delay before a ruling took place.”

Based on the questions Blackburn asked attorneys involved in the case, Ward said the judge “kind of indicated that she was leaning toward ruling with the state on it.”

“But at the same time,” Ward added, “you could tell she wanted more time to make sure that she was going to do it in a way that she’s not going to be overturned by a higher court.”