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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ninth Circuit ruling: Foreign countries allowed to file briefs re Arizona law

WSY: The other news involves an issue that’s heretofore played out largely at the U.S. Supreme Court — the degree to which foreign countries (and the law of foreign countries) should weigh into the decisionmaking of U.S. judges.

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit allowed a handful of nations to file briefs in support of the Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, known as Senate bill 1070. Briefs were filed by Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Chile.

The move didn’t please Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who responded by asking the Ninth Circuit if Arizona could file a brief in response to the countries’ amicus briefs. “As do many citizens, I find it incredibly offensive that these foreign governments are using our court system to meddle in a domestic legal dispute and to oppose the rule of law,” the Republican governor said in a statement shortly after the state’s motion was filed Tuesday evening.

“What’s even more offensive is that this effort has been supported by the U.S. Department of Justice. American sovereignty begins in the U.S. Constitution and at the border,” she added.

Click here for the Arizona Republic story on Brewer’s response; here for a story from Politico.

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