Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday she has asked a federal appeals court to lift a lower court's injunction and let the state's tough immigration law to go fully into effect.
"This federal judge's decision applied the wrong legal standard and ignored key provisions of federal law that empower states to enforce immigration laws," Mrs. Brewer said in a statement.
It's the latest step in a long legal struggle between Arizona and the Obama administration, which is expected to end with the Supreme Court eventually ruling on the law.
Late last month, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction halting key parts of the law, ruling that they infringed on the federal government's right to control immigration policy. She blocked a provision that required police to check the status of those they encountered during regular enforcement who they suspect of being in the country illegally and a provision that required immigrants to carry residency documents.
Judge Bolton allowed provisions banning sanctuary policies and cracking down on the practice of hiring day laborers.
Judge Bolton is still considering the full case, but Mrs. Brewer has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to step in and reinstate the law, arguing that Arizona residents "continue to suffer every day that the federal government refuses to do its job."
A Justice Department spokesman did not return a call seeking comment.
Immigration is an intensely political issue in Arizona and has dominated this year's campaigns in the state.
Mrs. Brewer's standing in polls has soared since she has taken the lead in defending the state's law, and polls show her leading her Democratic opponent for the governorship, state Attorney General Terry Goddard.
Mr. Goddard, who opposes the state law, removed himself from the defense team after Mrs. Brewer sidelined him and has accused the governor of "election-year grandstanding."
The federal government's lawsuit was one of a handful challenging the state law brought by citizens and immigrant-rights groups. Earlier this week, Judge Bolton dismissed one of those challenges, finding that the plaintiff did not show an actual injury from the law.
Mrs. Brewer said she expects the other pending challenges to also be dismissed.
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