The U.S. Department of Justice has asked an appeals court to let its lawyers participate in arguments over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's bid to overturn a ruling that bars police from enforcing a minor part of the state's 2010 immigration law.
Brewer is appealing a decision by a lower-court judge who ruled in favor of civil rights groups that sought to block the law's prohibition on harboring illegal immigrants.
The Justice Department filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reject the appeal and said it wants to participate in arguments before the appeals court on April 2.
Brewer's lawyers say the harboring ban in SB 1070 is aimed at confronting crime and doesn't conflict with federal policies.
Opponents say the ban is trumped by federal law.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.