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Friday, June 10, 2011 - 2:47am

Judge Expedites Immigration Challenge

A federal judge has set a June 20 hearing for arguments on an attempt by civil liberties groups to block Georgia's law cracking down on illegal immigration from taking effect.

The groups earlier this week asked Judge Thomas Thrash to block the law until a lawsuit they filed last week has been resolved. That lawsuit asked Thrash to find the law unconstitutional and to keep authorities from enforcing it.

Gov. Nathan Deal and other state officials are named as defendants. A lawyer for the state said she plans to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit next week. The judge also plans to hear arguments on that motion June 20.

Thrash agreed to the plaintiffs' request to expedite the hearing since most parts of the law take effect July 1.

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