Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry Goddard says Republican Gov. Jan Brewer is trying to grab headlines by traveling to San Francisco, where the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing arguments dealing with Arizona’s tough new immigration law.
A three-judge court panel on Monday is to consider Brewer’s appeal of a ruling that put parts of the law on hold. Blocked provisions include a requirement that police — in enforcing other laws — must question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.
“The court will make its decision based on the law, not on who is in the courtroom,” Goddard, Arizona’s attorney general, told a Sunday news conference at the state Capitol. “The governor has no role whatsoever in this proceeding.”
Arizona lawmakers passed the law after years of complaints that the federal government hadn’t done enough to lessen the state’s role as the nation’s busiest illegal entry point.
When U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked key provisions, Brewer appealed, arguing Arizona intended to assist federal authorities.
The Department of Justice, however, contends the law interferes with the federal government’s exclusive power over immigration.
Brewer said last week she was attending the hourlong court hearing “on behalf of the overwhelming majority of citizens who support the rule of law.”
She said she believes states have the right to enforce immigration laws consistent with federal immigration laws.