Judge halts Alabama immigration law, but not on legal merits

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 30, 2011 1:09 PM
Judge halts Alabama immigration law, but not on legal merits

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday blocked Alabama's tough new immigration law from taking effect this week, citing the need for more time to consider the legal challenges against it.

Chief District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn said the temporary injunction will remain in effect until September 29, but could be lifted sooner if she issues a full order before then as she indicated she plans to do.

"In entering this order the court specifically notes that it is in no way addressing the merits of the motions," the judge wrote in her two-page order.

Lawyers for the Obama administration and other groups last week asked the judge to halt Alabama's immigration law, which was set to take effect this Thursday. The law is widely seen as the toughest state measure on illegal immigration.

(Reporting by Peggy Gargis; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Jerry Norton)