Judge Martone: A voice of reason on the federal bench
U.S. District Judge Frederick Martone has dismissed a lawsuit filed by radical illegal immigration proponent, Salvador Reza against former state Senate President Russell Pearce. The lawsuit was filed after Sen. Pearce had Reza removed from the Arizona state Senate building by Capitol police as a matter of security for leading a disruptive group as a series of bills dealing with illegal immigration were being heard in February 2011. Pearce was the architect of Arizona’s much copied SB 1070. The following day, police arrested Reza for trespassing. No charges were ever filed.
In his ruling in Reza v. Pearce et al, Judge Martone referred to the Senate building as a “limited public forum” where some First Amendment restrictions are permissible as long as they are reasonable and not an effort to suppress speech solely because public officials oppose the speaker’s view. Further, he said, restricting access to the Senate building is constitutionally permissible if it was reasonable and viewpoint neutral.
Salvador Reza later sued Sen. Russell Pearce, alleging his First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, assembly, association, ability to petition and communicate with his elected representatives, as well as his due process and equal protection rights were all violated.
Judge Martone said Reza was unable to provide any evidence to support his claim that his rights were violated, as he alleged.
Illegal immigration continues to be a front and center issue. In the first quarter of 2012 alone, 865 bills and resolutions relating to illegal immigration were introduced in 45 state legislatures and the District of Columbia.