Federal judge delays Utah immigration law ruling

AP News
Posted: Feb 21, 2012 7:23 PM
Federal judge delays Utah immigration law ruling

A federal judge is postponing a decision on Utah's immigration enforcement law until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a similar law in Arizona.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups (WAH'-duhps) says there are enough similarities between the Utah and Arizona laws to justify the delay. A previous order putting the Utah law on hold will remain in place.

The Supreme Court plans to hear arguments on the Arizona law in April and is expected to issue a ruling in June.

Justice Department lawyers and civil rights groups say the Utah law usurps federal authority and violates civil rights. Utah attorneys contend the law is constitutional and simply mirrors federal law.

The law requires people arrested for serious crimes to prove their citizenship but gives police discretion for people committing lesser crimes.