A federal appeals court has denied an Arizona sheriff's request to reverse a lower-court decision barring his deputies from detaining people solely on the suspicion that they're illegal immigrants.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 23-page ruling Tuesday. The San Francisco court considered the narrow question of a preliminary injunction while a Phoenix trial court considers the merits of the entire lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
A small group of Latinos claim Arpaio's deputies pulled over some vehicles only to make immigration status checks during regular traffic patrols and the sheriff's 20 special immigration patrols.
A federal judge in December ordered Arpaio's department to refrain from conducting such traffic stops while the class action suit was being considered.
Arpaio appealed, arguing his deputies had probable cause to make the stops.