Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Panel to Hear AZ Appeal over Judge’s Ruling Includes Two Hispanic Judges

Two of the three judges that will hear the appeal by the state of Arizona and Gov. Jan Brewer of a judge’s ruling which declared parts of the state’s controversial anti-immigrant law unconstitutional, are Hispanic.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit announced the names of the three judges, Richard Paez, Carlos Bea and John Noonan on Friday.  Paez was born to Mexican immigrants in Utah and Bea was born in Spain but raised in Cuba before emigrating to the U.S.

Many already viewed the appeal by the state and Brewer as facing an uphill battle, but with two Hispanics now making up the panel to hear their appeal over a law which is widely considered to be anti-Hispanic, those odds may be further stacked against them.

Paez is considered part of the 9th Circuit’s liberal wing and was appointed by President Bill Clinton.  On the other hand, Bea and Noonan were both appointed by conservative Presidents, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, respectively.  However, in the past, Bea represented immigration clients in private practice before becoming a state court judge and once faced the threat of deportation himself.

“To my knowledge, I am the only circuit judge to have been ordered deported by the Immigration and Naturalization Service,” Bea declared during a 2006 Senate hearing. He was able to get that order overturned on appeal.  In Noonan’s case, he does not always consistently vote with the court’s conservatives and is known to be friendly to immigrants in asylum cases.

The panel will hear arguments on Monday in San Francisco, which Brewer has declared she will be present for despite being up for reelection the next day.