Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-professed toughest sheriff in America, is once again asking a federal judge to drop a federal discrimination case against him.

Arpaio is facing a lawsuit by the Justice Department, which claims his office carried out a pattern of discrimination against Latinos in its immigration patrols.

While the judge dropped the sheriff’s office from the lawsuit, it let the suit against Arpaio and the county stand.

The county says the case's judge erred in not addressing its argument that the U.S. Constitution requires dismissal if she can't grant the relief sought by the lawsuit.

Arpaio, a lightening rod in the immigration reform effort because of his hard-line views on the matter, faces a federal lawsuit alleging his deputies pulled over Hispanics without probable cause, making the stops only to inquire about the immigration status of the people in the vehicles.

Arpaio denies the allegations, saying people are stopped if deputies have probable cause to believe they have committed crimes and that deputies later find many of them are undocumented immigrants.

A federal judge last year barred Arpaio's deputies from detaining people based solely on the suspicion that they're in the country illegally. In their appeal, Arpaio's attorneys argued the ruling was deeply flawed and that the decision means that the sheriff's office couldn't enforce certain state laws, even though no judge has declared those statutes unconstitutional.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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