- Associated Press - Friday, August 22, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s attorney general plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that a voter-approved law that would require immigration checks of anybody applying for state services is unconstitutional.

The 2011 Republican-led Legislature wrote the proposal meant to deny government jobs and assistance to people who are in the U.S. illegally. Legislators sent the plan to the 2012 ballot, where the referendum passed with nearly 80 percent of the vote.

District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock ruled in June the state law attempts to regulate immigration, which is exclusively a federal power.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Anastasia Burton said Friday that Attorney General Fox intends to appeal the ruling.

Attorney Shahid Haque-Hausrath (shah-HID’ HAWK’ HUS’-rath) challenged the law on behalf of the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance. He says he is confident the Montana Supreme Court will uphold Sherlock’s ruling.

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