and:INTRODUCTION1. In this action, the United States seeks to declare invalid and preliminarily and permanently enjoin the enforcement of S.B. 1070, as amended and enacted by the State of Arizona, because S.B. 1070 is preempted by federal law and therefore violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. - Legal Filing
This is a nice argument that the Government is taking. It does make me wonder though:Although states may exercise their police power in a manner that has an incidental or indirect effect on aliens, a state may not establish its own immigration policy or enforce state laws in a manner that interferes with the federal immigration laws. The Constitution and the federal immigration laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country. - Legal Filing
- Why is the Government not taking the same position against 'Sanctuary Cities'?
- Why is the Government not taking the same position against laws legalizing medical marijuana?
However, there is one very distinct difference between the Arizona Law the Government is challenging and the laws that they are not challenging. In the case of Arizona, their law is supportive of Federal law, making Federal immigration crime also a State Crime. The laws supporting a city's status as a Sanctuary City and decriminalizing marijuana go directly against Federal Law.
I look forward to seeing Arizona fight this lawsuit and hope they include the hypocrisy of the Government in how they ignore violations of the Supremacy clause.
The Legal filing is an interesting read. I will post more of my comments on that later.
UPDATE: 7 July
"Today's filing," Brewer said in a formal statement, "is nothing more than a massive waste of taxpayer funds. These funds could be better used against the violent Mexican cartels than the people of Arizona."...(and)
Brewer's statement added:- NY Times
The irony is that President Obama’s Administration has chosen to sue Arizona for helping to enforce federal immigration law and not sue local governments that have adopted a patchwork of ‘sanctuary’ policies that directly violate federal law. These patchwork local ‘sanctuary’ policies instruct the police not to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
As for an example of Obama deferring to State Laws that are in violation of Federal Laws, there is also this from the NY Times:
In the Bush administration, federal agents raided medical marijuana distributors that violated federal statutes even if the dispensaries appeared to be complying with state laws. The raids produced a flood of complaints, particularly in California, which in 1996 became the first state to legalize marijuana sales to people with doctors’ prescriptions.
Graham Boyd, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union drug law project, said Mr. Holder’s remarks created a reasonable balance between conflicting state and federal laws and “seem to finally end the policy war over medical marijuana.” He said officials in California and the 12 other states that have authorized the use of medical marijuana had hesitated to adopt regulations to carry out their laws because of uncertainty created by the Bush administration. - NY Times