Court Won't Lift Stay on Ariz. Immigration Law

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A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a decision by a district court judge to block major parts of Arizona's immigration law.

A three-judge panel sustained U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton's injunction to block four major components of the legislation pending trial, arguing that the federal government would be able to prove that Congress has given sole authority to the federal government to enforce immigration laws and therefore the Arizona law is unconstitutional.

Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement she remains steadfast in her belief that "Arizona and other states have a sovereign right and obligation to protect their citizens and enforce immigration law in accordance with federal statute."

State Sen. Russell Pearce, who authored the legislation, called the appeals court ruling "utterly predictable."

"SB 1070 is constitutionally sound, and that will be proven when the U.S. Supreme Court takes up this case and makes the proper ruling," the Republican lawmaker said. "This battle is a battle of epic proportions. It is about a state's right to enforce the laws of this land and protect its citizens from those who break our laws."

The American Civil Liberties Union was pleased with Monday's decision.

"Today's decision rightly rejects SB 1070's assault on the core American values of fairness and equality," said Omar Jadwat, an attorney with the AACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.

"Legislators in other states should pay close attention to today's ringing condemnation of Arizona's racial profiling law and refrain from going down the same unconstitutional path," he added.

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AP contributed to this report.

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