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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Suing Arizona:Silly Move by a Joke of an Administration

You can read the pleading here:
The United States understands the State of Arizona’s legitimate concerns about illegal immigration, and has undertaken significant efforts to secure our nation’s borders. The federal government, moreover, welcomes cooperative efforts by states and localities to aid in the enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. But the United States Constitution forbids Arizona from supplanting the federal government’s immigration regime with its own state-specific immigration policy – a policy that, in purpose and effect, interferes with the numerous interests the federal government must balance when enforcing and administering the immigration laws and disrupts the balance actually established by the federal government. Accordingly, S.B. 1070 is invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution and must be struck down.
Apparently, the "interests" of the federal government include allowing "sanctuary cities" and more or less open borders and forcing legitimate immigrants to jump through hoops not required of those who sneak across borders. UPDATE: To clarify, I mean it seems unusual for an administration to argue that its interest in not enforcing the law of the land somehow rises to an act of supremacy that forbids states from enforcing the law of land. Heck, if you don't like the federal law on which the Arizona statute is based, Mr. President, why not ask your gang in the Congress to repeal it and replace it with something more to your liking?

I told you this would be fun, and here, here, here.

UPDATE: James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal sees signs of an "imperial presidency":
Brennan expressly cited "the predominance of federal interest" in immigration (as opposed to employment law), and the federal government's complaint against Arizona alleges, plausibly, that the state law will impose burdens on legal aliens.But he also makes clear that the power to pre-empt or sanction state laws in an area of federal interest rests with Congress, not the president. This would seem to suggest that if the Arizona law is consistent with federal law and Congress has not expressly barred action by states, the Arizona law should stand.

A large part of the administration's argument, by contrast, is that the Arizona law is inconsistent with federal immigration policy--i.e., with the executive branch's decisions about how to enforce laws passed by Congress. An important question for the court, then, will be whether Congress has delegated its authority to pre-empt state laws by granting discretion over law enforcement to the president.

In other words, this is a case about the balance of power within the federal government, with the Obama administration on the side of expanding the authority of the executive branch.
Wait, Obama as an emperor? Who'd a thunk it?

2 comments:

  1. I seem to recall a history class that covered something similar. Where the individual states felt the Federal government was overstepping their bounds. What did they call that argument, again?

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  2. My recollection is that the confederate states were not attempting to enforce federal law.

    But I could be wrong.

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