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Hearing set in Ariz. Lawmakers’ bid to defend SB1070

A federal judge set an April 1 hearing for arguments over the Arizona Legislature’s request to become a party in the U.S. Justice Department’s challenge to the state’s immigration enforcement law.

The Legislature argues that lawmakers should be allowed to help defend the law and cite a new law that lets legislative leaders participate in efforts to defend the enforcement law against challenges.

The Justice Department opposes the request on the argument that the Legislature would prolong the case and that state lawyers are representing Arizona’s interests.

Lawyers for the Legislature say lawmakers won’t delay the case and that it wasn’t the federal government’s place to dictate how Arizona will defend the law.

The most controversial sections of the law were put on hold by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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