Arizona asks court to overturn immigration law injunction

The state of Arizona appealed to a federal circuit court in San Francisco today to overturn a ruling in which a U.S. trial judge on Wednesday blocked key parts of the state's new immigration law.

The state and Gov. Jan Brewer asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an expedited review of the case, with a hearing in mid-September.

The appeal seeks suspension of a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton of Phoenix in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department to challenge the law, known as SB 1070.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced the appeal with a statement in which she vowed to defend the law, saying, “I will not back down.”

“Illegal immigration is an ongoing crisis the state of Arizona did not create and the federal government has refused to fix,” Brewer said. “SB 1070 protects all of us, every Arizona citizen and everyone here in our state lawfully.”

Among other provisions, Bolton's injunction blocked a requirement that police must determine the immigration status of people whom they arrest or stop for other reasons and reasonably suspect of being in the United States illegally. 

The ruling also halted a provision requiring noncitizens to carry immigration documents with them and making it a crime if they don't.

The remainder of the law went into effect today.

The notice of appeal doesn't give the state's reasoning in the appeal, but proposes a schedule in which briefs would be filed in August and early September and the court would hear arguments the week of Sept. 13. 

The circuit court has no deadline for responding to the request for a speedy appeal, but court spokesman David Madden said he expects the court to act within days on a possible appeal schedule.

The injunction will be defended by U.S. Justice Department lawyers.

Department spokeswoman Hannah August said the government has “nothing additional” to append to a statement issued Wednesday.

In that statement, August said, “We believe the court ruled correctly when it prevented key provisions of SB1070 from taking effect.

“While we understand the frustration of Arizonans with the broken immigration system, a patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement and would ultimately be counterproductive,” August said.
 
The state's appeal will be ruled on by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit. It could then be appealed to an expanded 11-judge panel of the court and after that to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bolton's injunction, if upheld, would remain in effect until a full trial in her court on the Justice Department lawsuit.

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