Gov. Jan Brewer is lashing out at officials from nearly a dozen other states for their bid urging the U.S. Supreme Court to void Arizona's immigration law.
In a legal brief filed earlier this week, the attorneys for 11 states told the justices that Arizona's SB 1070 conflicts with federal immigration laws. They disputed the state's contention that the state law is merely assisting the federal government in enforcing federal law.
Brewer, in a prepared statement, called the brief "pure politics.''
She noted the filing says that, as states, they do not lightly urge the high court to support federal preemption of any state laws. And they want to "preserve their authority to enact and enforce such laws, even as applied to immigrants.''
But they said there also is a strong interest in recognizing that the question of how to remove illegal immigrants from the country is the job of the federal government.
Brewer called that "rank hypocrisy.''
"In other words, California and its fellow petitioners would like to maintain the ability to establish laws for the betterment and protection of their citizens,'' she said. "They'd just like to deny Arizona the right to do the same.''
The brief is one of many that have been filed on both side of the issue ahead of the scheduled April 25 hearing in Washington over the law, designed to give police more power to detain and arrest those in the country illegally.
A trial judge, ruling on a lawsuit brought by the Obama administration, blocked Arizona from enforcing key provisions of the 2010 law, ruling it improperly intruded into areas reserved for the federal government.
One required police who have stopped someone for any reason to check that person's immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion'' to believe he or she is in the country illegally. Other provisions criminalize looking for work without being legally present in the country and allowing police to arrest those who do not produce certain federal documents.
That decision was upheld by a federal appellate court. Next month's hearing will give the Supreme Court a chance to weigh in.
Others have also asked the high court to void the law.
Earlier this week, Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform and other groups filed their own pleadings urging the justices to uphold the lower court rulings. They argued that the Arizona law improperly interferes with interstate commerce and that the law provides little benefit to the state.
But there also have been briefs filed by supporters of the law, including one by former state Senate President Russell Pearce who crafted the measure.