Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Judge sets court date for Utah immigration law
HB497 » Nearly two years after the law was enacted, oral arguments will take place during legislative session on Feb. 15.
First Published Oct 17 2012 05:43 pm • Last Updated Feb 07 2013 11:31 pm

A federal judge set oral arguments for Utah’s enforcement-only immigration law for Feb. 15 — almost two years after it was signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert.

The law, HB497, was supposed to take effect in May 2011, but lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) successfully argued to U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups that it should be put on hold. The U.S. Department of Justice also sued Utah for enacting the law.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Waddoups issued a temporary restraining order for HB497 within hours of the law taking effect in May 2011.

After a series of filed briefs and oral arguments heard in February, Waddoups opted to hold off on ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court decided on Arizona’s enforcement-only law, SB1070.

The Supreme Court upheld in June key provisions of the Arizona statute — notably the right of local police to inquire about the legal status of those lawfully stopped, arrested or detained.

But Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has argued HB497 was less onerous than Arizona’s, and that based on the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Utah version should be able to take effect.

He said the case has dragged on long enough.

"We’ve had a Supreme Court decision, oral arguments, written briefs and we’ll be in the middle of a legislative session," Shurtleff said. "Yeah, I’m a little frustrated."

But Karen McCreary, executive director of the ACLU of Utah, said she wasn’t at all bothered by the court’s decision to schedule oral arguments.

HB497 requires police to check the legal status of those arrested for felonies and class A misdemeanors, but gives law enforcement the option to check status for class B or C misdemeanors.

story continues below
story continues below

The ACLU and the NILC argue the law will lead to racial profiling while Shurt-leff’s lawyers believe police already have the ability to check status upon those arrests.

On Monday — after both sides traded written briefs after the Supreme Court decision on SB1070 — Waddoups set the oral arguments for Feb. 15.

dmontero@sltrib.comTwitter: @davemontero

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.