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Court denies request for expedited hearing on Arizona immigration law

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The appeals court rules that a hearing will be scheduled in November
  • Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer had requested oral arguments in September
  • The state wants the court to lift an injunction blocking many parts of the law
  • Experts predict the fight could head to the Supreme Court

(CNN) -- A federal appeals court has denied Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's request for an expedited hearing on the state's controversial immigration law. Instead, the case has been scheduled for a hearing during the first week in November.

Brewer had wanted public oral arguments in the case for mid-September. The Justice Department had urged a slower schedule, and the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed in a brief order issued Friday evening.

Arizona filed its appeal Thursday, asking the court to lift U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton's preliminary injunction on the immigration law.

Bolton's ruling Wednesday temporarily blocked some of the most controversial provisions of the law, known as SB 1070, including the requirement that police officers check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

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Bolton also blocked provisions of the law making it a crime for people to fail to apply for or carry "alien registration papers" or "for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply for, or perform work," as well as a provision "authorizing the warrantless arrest of a person" if there is reason to believe that person might be subject to deportation.

The parts of the law that took effect Thursday include a ban on so-called "sanctuary cities" -- municipalities with laws or policies that render them relatively safe for undocumented immigrants.

The judge also allowed a provision in the law that makes it illegal to hire day laborers if doing so impedes traffic. The parts of the law dealing with sanctions for employers who hire illegal immigrants also withstood the first legal test.

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said the ruling reflects the government's argument that immigration enforcement should be dealt with at the federal level.

"Arizona may have good intentions, they may be trying to make up for where the U.S. government has failed, but what the judge is saying is, this is not the way to do it," he said

As other states pass similar laws, Toobin said, the issue is "very much destined for the Supreme Court."

State Sen. Russell Pearce, author of the law, said he foresaw a protracted legal fight from the beginning.

"I wrote it to go to the Supreme Court," he said before the ruling came down. "I'm begging for that fistfight at the Supreme Court. We will win in a 5-4 decision and finally settle this problem."

He added, "My message to the judge, is uphold the Constitution. Uphold states' rights. This is a battle of epic proportions. This is the states versus the central government."

CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report.

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