LOS ANGELES -- A three-judge appeals panel on Monday ruled that a federal judge did not abuse her authority when she blocked provisions of the Arizona law that targeted illegal immigration.
The panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals turned down a request by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who asked the jurists to lift an injunction imposed by a federal judge the day before the controversial law was to go into effect on July 29.
The original law was enacted in April 2010 after Arizona officials argued that they needed their own immigration law to deal with the growing problem of unauthorized immigration from across the Mexican border. In general, the law establishes a variety of immigration-related actions as state offenses and defines what local and state officials can do to enforce the new law.
The law immediately sparked boycotts and protests across the nation as immigration activists argued that Arizona was trying to usurp a federal prerogative to define immigration rules and had proposed unconstitutional actions, including profiling. The law also required police to check immigration status when enforcing other laws.
The Obama administration's Justice Department sued to block the law from going into effect. It argued that the federal government had the responsibility for immigration law.
Sitting on the panel were Justices John T. Noonan, Richard A. Paez and Carlos T. Bea. Paez wrote the opinion and Noonan concurred. Bea's opinion was a partial concurrence and a partial dissent.
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