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Feds oppose Pearce’s bid to join appeal of new law

The U.S. Justice Department doesn’t want the author of Arizona’s new immigration law to be a party in the state’s appeal of a ruling that put parts of the law on hold.

The Justice Department tells the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that state Sen. Russell Pearce shouldn’t be a party to the appeal because Gov. Jan Brewer’s attorneys are already defending the law.

Pearce’s attorneys say their client has a unique interest in making sure the law’s objectives are defended and is concerned the state doesn’t adequately represent his interests.

One key portion of the law that was blocked by a federal judge required police, while enforcing other laws, to question people’s immigration status if there is a suspicion they’re in the country illegally.

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