Illustrator or Photoshop??
I might not understand the question – but,
Ctrl+J in Photoshop – add shift to cut/paste to a new layer above.
In AI – select the element and drag the lil right-side colored box on its layer to a new layer. This transfers it to the new layer without moving it.
There’s lots of ways of doing this – does that help?
New In depth Photoshop CS Video training – free at http://www.xeler8r.com
Ultimate After Effects Video Training CDs
“Essential AE Training”