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Arizona taking immigration law to U.S. Supreme Court

Gov. Jan Brewer says Arizona is going directly to the Supreme Court to appeal a ruling by a U.S. 9th Circuit panel that the state's immigration law is unconstitutional.

May 09, 2011|By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
  • Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer leaves a news conference where she announced the state will go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a lower court's decision blocking key parts of a new immigration law.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer leaves a news conference where she announced the… (Ross D. Franklin, Associated…)

Reporting from Denver — Arizona's controversial immigration law is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, officials announced Monday.

Gov. Jan Brewer and Atty. Gen. Tom Horne said they would go directly to the nation's top court to appeal a ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the law is unconstitutional. In doing so, the Arizona officials, both Republicans, are bypassing the full 9th Circuit.

"The American people have clearly sided with Arizona on the righteousness of Senate Bill 1070," Brewer said at a news conference in Phoenix.

Polls have shown wide support for the law, although milder versions of it have been shot down in several state legislatures this year. On Tuesday, a watered-down version goes into effect in Utah, to date the only state to have enacted a similar measure.

The Obama administration sued to block the implementation of the Arizona law. Most of it was put on hold by a federal judge in Phoenix last year, who found it infringed on the federal government's authority to regulate immigration. The law requires police to investigate the status of people they stop and think are illegal immigrants. It also makes it a crime to lack immigration paperwork in Arizona.

The 9th Circuit panel last month upheld the injunction on the law. If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will have an opportunity to set boundaries on how states can police immigration.

The high court is already expected to rule on another Arizona law, which dissolves businesses that repeatedly hire known illegal immigrants, sometime in the coming weeks.

nicholas.riccardi@latimes.com

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