Brewer asks Supreme Court to hear SB1070 case

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by Stacey Delikat and Associated Press

azfamily.com

Posted on August 10, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 10 at 10:00 PM

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer filed an appeal Wednesday with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that put on hold key parts of the state's immigration enforcement law.

The appeal comes as Brewer faced a deadline for contesting a district court's decision that, among other things, barred a requirement that police while enforcing other laws question the immigration status of those they suspected of being in the country illegally.

Brewer lost her first appeal in April when a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected her request to overturn the decision. The nation's highest court has discretion on whether to hear her appeal. It will likely be three months before the Supreme Court decides whether to hear arguments in the case.

Lawyers for the governor argued that Arizona bears the brunt of America's border problems and that the 9th Circuit's decision conflicts with Supreme Court precedents and with immigration decisions from another appeals court. The 9th Circuit had said the federal government is likely to be able to prove the law is unconstitutional and likely to succeed in its argument that Congress has given the federal government sole authority to enforce immigration laws.

The governor said in a written statement that her appeal raises issues that apply to other states. "It's about the bedrock constitutional principle of federalism under which states have the inherent authority to protect the safety and welfare of their citizens," Brewer said.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which sued Arizona in a bid to invalidate the law, declined to comment on Brewer's appeal.

Carrisa Hessick, Professor of Law at Arizona State University says it's difficult to predict whether the court will hear the case at all, and if they do, how they will rule.

"There are plenty of people in this country who make a living by predicting what the U.S. Supreme Court will do, but it often surprises us," Hessick says.

She says the fact that Arizona retained former solicitor general under George W Bush, Paul Clement shows the state means business.

"It sends a strong signal to the court that the State of Arizona is taking this case very seriously," Hessick says.

Staunch opponents of SB 1070 said they felt confident the lower courts injuction would be upheld by the high court.

"The law is unconstitutional, I don't know what more they need to hear," said Phoenix attorney Daniel Ortega who is a party in a separate case against the state regarding SB1070.

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