Judge blocks parts of South Carolina immigration law

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2011 1:08 PM

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - South Carolina cannot enforce several key areas of its new law aimed at curbing illegal immigration, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

The law is set to take effect on January 1.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel granted a preliminary injunction, ruling that the federal government has exclusive constitutional authority to regulate immigration and the state's law would disrupt federal enforcement operations.

The U.S. Department of Justice and a coalition of civil rights groups had sued to block parts of the law from going into effect.

(Reporting by Harriet McLeod; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jerry Norton)