The Supreme Court’s order prompted alarm among immigrant rights activists amid confusion on the ground as to whether the law could immediately be enforced.

The appeals court appeared to be taking the hint from the Supreme Court, which in rejecting an emergency application filed by the Biden administration put the onus on the appeals court to act quickly.

“If a decision does not issue soon, the applicants may return to this court,” conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote in a separate opinion joined by fellow conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

On the appeals court, Judge Priscilla Richman and Judge Irma Carillo Ramirez voted to block the law. Judge Andrew Oldham voted for it to remain into effect while the court considers whether to block it.

Richman and Oldham are both Republican appointees, while Ramirez was appointed by President Joe Biden.

The Biden administration has argued that the law conflicts with federal immigration law and that states have no authority to legislate on the issue.

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