Cross-posted at Forbes‘ On the Docket.
Yesterday the Department of Justice filed its long anticipated lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of Arizona’s recently passed immigration law, S.B. 1070. Despite the Administration’s heated rhetoric over the past several weeks, including its stunning apology to China for Arizona’s human rights record, the complaint contains not a single claim that the Arizona law violates anyone’s civil rights, whether resulting from racial profiling or otherwise.
Rather, as the DOJ’s brief in support of its preliminary injunction motion makes clear, the lawsuit rests almost exclusively on the government’s claim that Arizona’s new law runs afoul of the Supremacy Clause and is therefore preempted by federal law. In a nutshell, the DOJ’s position is that Arizonans, acting through their elected officials, are improperly interfering with the federal government’s authority (and ability) to carry out immigration policy. According to a DOJ press release, a patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement. Having enacted its own immigration policy to compete with federal immigration law, Arizona supposedly “crossed a constitutional line.” Continue reading