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Arizona immigration law fight will be taken to high court

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced yesterday that she will ask the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that put the most controversial parts of the state's immigration enforcement law on hold.

The planned appeal to the high court was announced after Brewer lost an initial appeal on April 11, when a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reverse a lower court's order that prevented key parts of the law from being enforced.

Attorney General Tom Horne said going directly to the Supreme Court and skipping a possible second appeal to the 9th Circuit will save time in resolving the case, while Brewer said she is confident "Arizona will prevail in its fight to protect its citizens."

The state must file the appeal by a July 11 deadline, the two Republican elected officials said. The Supreme Court has discretion on whether to hear the appeal on the lower court's order.

"It seems like this is a big enough national issue that it will ultimately be determined by the United States Supreme Court," Horne said.

In its April ruling, the 9th Circuit panel said federal officials are likely to prove the law is unconstitutional and succeed in their argument that Congress has given the federal government sole authority to enforce immigration laws.

Brewer's lawyers argued the federal government hasn't effectively enforced immigration law at the border and in Arizona's interior and that the state's intent in passing the law was to assist federal authorities as Congress has encouraged.

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