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Top Republican senator boycotts immigration hearing

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Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, said he won’t take part in Tuesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing on Arizona’s immigration law and said the whole exercise — coming a day before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the law — smacks of another effort to pressure the justices.

That accusation comes just a few weeks after the GOP accused President Obama and fellow Democrats of trying to intimidate the high court in the days following its oral arguments over the new health care law.

Tuesday’s hearing, convened by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, has been contentious since he announced he would hold it. Mr. Schumer initially invited Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the law, to testify, but she declined. Instead, former state Sen. Russell Pearce, who sponsored the bill in the Legislature, is testifying.

Mr. Kyl, Arizona’s junior senator, said Mr. Schumer didn’t consult with anyone from the Arizona congressional delegation before calling the hearing, which “demonstrates that it is intended to be more of a spectacle than a forum for learning anything useful.”

“I will not participate in today’s hearing because it is strictly political theater. The timing of the hearing just one day ahead of the Supreme Court’s review of the law suggests that its purpose is either to influence the court’s decision or to garner publicity,” Mr. Kyl said in a statement.

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