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Justice Department May Step Into The Fray Against Arizona's Hateful SB 1070

Thus is refreshing news. Justice Department officials told Arizona's attorney general and aides to the governor Friday that the federal government ha

Thus is refreshing news.

Justice Department officials told Arizona's attorney general and aides to the governor Friday that the federal government has serious reservations about the state's new immigration law. They responded that a lawsuit against the state isn't the answer.

"I told them we need solutions from Washington, not more lawsuits," said Attorney General Terry Goddard, a Democrat.

The Justice Department initiated separate meetings by phone and face-to-face in Phoenix with Goddard and aides to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer to reach out to Arizona's leaders and elicit information from state officials regarding the Obama administration's concerns about the new law.

The strong message that the Justice Department representatives delivered at the private meetings – first with Goddard, then with Brewer's staff – left little doubt that the Obama administration is prepared to go to court if necessary in a bid to block the new law, which takes effect July 29.

Goddard said he noted that five privately filed lawsuits already are pending in federal court to challenge the law.

"Every possible argument is being briefed," said Goddard, who is running unopposed for his party's nomination for the governor's race.

Brewer, who is seeking re-election, later said in a statement that her legal team told the Justice Department officials that the law would be "vigorously defended all the way to the United States Supreme Court if necessary."

The department officials, Brewer said, "were advised that I believe the federal government should use its legal resources to fight illegal immigration, not the state of Arizona."

Maybe Orrin Hatch can come up with a Kris Kobach Amendment and send a person or persons to jail for up to six months if they are instrumental in passing state legislation that allows racial profiling.
Anyway, even the WSJ admits that the Arizona law is unconstitutional.
Is Arizona’s new immigration law constitutional?

We hit the question briefly on Friday in this post, and the initial answer to the question seemed to be no, that in passing an immigration law, Arizona was improperly stepping into the domain of the federal government.

The NYT’s John Schwartz on Wednesday takes a deeper look at the question. His finding: that, yes, the law probably — though not definitely — runs violates preemption principles, and is therefore unconstitutional.

“The law is clearly pre-empted by federal law under Supreme Court precedents,” said UC Irvine’s Erwin Chemerinsky.

For decades, the role of controlling immigration and enforcing immigration laws has fallen to the federal government, not the states. And the law will likely fail on those grounds, said Chemerinsky.

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