SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court is considering a request by the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America" to reverse a lower-court decision barring his deputies from detaining people based solely on the suspicion that they're illegal immigrants.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said it would rule later after hearing from lawyers representing Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio on Thursday.
The ACLU and other attorneys filed a federal lawsuit in 2007 alleging Arpaio's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office made traffic stops solely because Hispanics were driving.
A federal judge in December ordered Arpaio's department to refrain from conducting such traffic stops while the class action lawsuit was being considered. Arpaio appealed, arguing that the ruling was deeply flawed and that the decision means that the sheriff's office couldn't enforce certain state laws, even though no judge has declared those statutes unconstitutional.
The San Francisco-based court didn't indicate when it would rule.