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Obama v. Justice

Well, it finally happened. The Obama Justice Department (rapidly becoming one of my favorite oxymorons, along with "Jumbo Shrimp" and "Microsoft Works") has filed suit against Arizona over their immigration enforcement law. And in full accord with established precedent, the Obama Regime first told Ecuador about the lawsuit, then made sure that the Mexican government signed off on it before filing it.

And reading around the blogosphere, it's obvious that the complaint has some very interesting things in it.

First up, it doesn't reflect the major criticisms leveled by the administration from as soon as the law was proposed -- that it would lead to racial profiling and violations of civil rights. The simple explanation would be that they've realized that this is a losing argument -- the original law was adequate, but then the lawmakers went back and tightened it up with specific restrictions to head that off.

But, sadly, that isn't the case. The main reason, it appears, that that didn't make the lawsuit is that the law won't go into effect until the end of this month. And without any actual enforcement actions, "profiling" and "civil rights violations" remain entirely abstract.

The main thrust of the lawsuit seems to be based on the supremacy clause. The Constitution gives the federal government exclusive power over matters such as border security and immigration, and they will not tolerate any individual state encroaching on its turf.

The problems with this are many, but here are a few.

First, the Arizona law does not contradict federal law. It merely repeats it, and authorizes (hell, requires) its law enforcement officials to enforce those laws alongside federal officials. For example, if federal law were to change to legalize all illegal aliens in the US, that would apply in Arizona as well and in essence nullify the Arizona law.

On the other hand, as many have noted, many cities have implemented their own illegal immigration policies by declaring themselves "sanctuary cities." Will the Obama regime go after them for intruding on the federal bailiwick?

Another problem is that to declare that federal laws can only be enforced by federal officials is that there are a lot of other things that have been declared as federal matters, not state matters. If the Obama regime's argument holds true on immigration, would it also apply to bank robbery? Counterfeiting? Kidnapping? (Thanks, Maggie!) all these matters are federal offenses, and always involve the FBI and/or the Secret Service. Should state and local law enforcement simply not bother enforcing those matters, too?

Here's a third one: the necessity defense.

The law recognizes that there are cases when you simply cannot rely exclusively on law enforcement or other proper authorities, and authorizes people to act in those extreme cases when they cannot.

For example, the authorities generally frown upon someone taking a police officer's gun and using it to shoot another person. But when said officer has already been shot and killed by the other person, they not only don't prosecute, but will hail the guy who picked up the cop's gun as a hero.

In such cases, no clear precedent is set. It's not suddenly legal for take a cop's gun and start shooting. (In fact, it's likely to get your ass arrested, beaten, and possibly shot.) But in those very, very rare circumstances, it is not only allowed, but honored.

The situation in Arizona is similar. They aren't trying to say that they have the right to set immigration policy. They aren't saying that their border with Mexico is exclusively their right to secure. What they are saying is that the federal government is failing to live up to its obligations, and they are going to do what needs to be done.

The Obama administration's position, as declared in the court filing, is that not only does it have the exclusive right to enforce immigration laws, but it has the exclusive right to not enforce them -- and prevent any others from doing so. In essence, they are saying that they can pick and choose which laws are enforced -- not just by federal officials, but anyone.

There's a far more Constitutionally friendly way to achieve the same thing -- just repeal the laws that Arizona is choosing to enforce. And I'll give Obama half credit -- he apparently is thinking about doing something like that, but purely by his own fiat.

It's been said before, but it bears repeating: we are a nation of laws. That has some implications that are often overlooked -- that laws must be enforced, and that bad laws shouldn't be ignored but amended or repealed.

Suing states to establish the executive branch's right to declare that certain laws will not be enforced? That's a really, really, really bad idea. Imagine, if you will, a militantly pro-life president (you know, one of the left's favorite impossible boogeymen) declaring that anyone shooting an abortion doctor will not be subject to state charges, and only the federal government will have the right to prosecute -- if it chooses.

That's where it leads, folks. That's where Obama wants to take us.

No, thanks.

No, strike that.

Not just no, but HELL, NO.


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Comments (27)

What country, hell what pla... (Below threshold)

What country, hell what planet do we live in that this could happen. Illegals break the law, Arizona tries to fix the problem and the Feds are suing Arizona.

Only in an Obama administration. How could the majority of people not see this coming, it was as plain as the nose on their faces if they really paid attention, even with the media hidding his background.

I can't believe the Obamala... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

I can't believe the Obamalala regime and I are on the same page. I have been calling for them to keep up this idiocy right up to and through November. And they seem to be listening.

There's a reason why obama ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

There's a reason why obama has been cozying up to thugs like Chavez and others. He admires their power and control of their countries. He wants that kind of power for himself.

I fully expect that he intends to be president for the "Ten years or so" that he declared at the start of his presidency. The libs want a dictator and he is perfectly willing to take that job.

This is just one more example of how he cares not one whit for the law or the safety and protection of the people of this country.

Jay, your post is one of th... (Below threshold)

Jay, your post is one of the most cogent disseratations on the DOJoke lawsuit that I have read...bravo!!

Across the board and across the nation the Arizona law that Governor Brewer signed is popular...and viewed as perfectly legal and appropriately limiting in scope. Only the dimwits in the Obama Regime can't, or WON'T, see it.

November 2012 can't soon enough...assuming Lord Obama still permits elections, of course.

I know nothing about "lawye... (Below threshold)

I know nothing about "lawyering" but it seems that you have it right, Jay, that the Arizona law does not contradict federal law. If my reading is correct this is the essence of the supremacy clause. I am not for an activist court but I am surely not for an activist president who shows not even the least shame in attempting to circumvent laws and the Constitution itself. I am hoping the highly inappropriate disrespect shown to the Supreme Court by Obama so publically during his SOTU speech was duly noted by them. He is a very dangerous man. At one point I thought he was incompetent. I no longer believe that. I think he is very calculating. I just don't think any American felt someone like this could win the presidency. Shame on us.

Oxymoronic sums up the Obam... (Below threshold)

Oxymoronic sums up the Obama Justice department nicely.

Can local police enforce Fe... (Below threshold)

Can local police enforce Federal Immigration Law?
Can a police officer call into ICE and ask them to check status?
If Az used thier MOA would BHO stop?

The ICE 287(g) Program: A Law Enforcement Partnership

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for enforcing federal immigration laws as part of its homeland security mission. ICE works closely with federal, state and local law enforcement partners in this mission.

The 287(g) program, one of ICE's top partnership initiatives, allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), in order to receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions. The 287(g) program has emerged as one of the agency's most successful and popular partnership initiatives as more state and local leaders have come to understand how a shared approach to immigration enforcement can benefit their communities.

If California had written t... (Below threshold)

If California had written this law, do you think there would be a challenge? If an oil well blew up in Boston Harbor, do you think it would still be leaking? Of course not, but the red states must be punished for their insolence. It is truly that simple.

It is obvious that the only... (Below threshold)

It is obvious that the only reason the Obama regime is acting in this way towards Arizona and its common-sense law is because they are transparently pandering to Hispanic voters in a crassly politicized manner.

It should surprise nobody, not even Democrats, that the Obama regime prioritizes political power and electioneering over the best interests of America.

Jay,Thank you for ... (Below threshold)


Thank you for summing it up nicely.

I spent yesterday in a near rage after reading the first few pages of the Federal suit which is exactly as you summarized. Basically the Federal government should be the only enforcing power and if they don't or can't do anything about it, well then you are just on your own.

I also noticed that part of the concern seemed to be indicated that the Arizona law would overwhelm the Federal agencies which would have to deal with the illegals captured by the Arizona law.

Isn't it ironic that President oPrah want to grow governement anywhere but the two areas conservatives WANT him to grow government in. Military and Border Security.

I thought there was no way a president could destroy a country in one term, now I am not so sure.

I just got a moonbat idea, ... (Below threshold)

I just got a moonbat idea, which normally I would say no way but we are dealing with BHO.

Moonbat tag on

What if Barry succeeds in get this Federal supremacy suite pass.
He then states that all of the following crimes are Federal matters and enforcement is the sole providence of Federal authorities?

Cap and Trade will pass with many Federal enforcement actions.
new health care act needs enforcement .

Well this sounds like a Job for a Civilian National Security Force.
They will have the ability to enforce all Federal laws.
They will need to have a few bases in Every state.
Why on those bases they can also move the offices of the new Public healthcare workforce.

They will employee lots of Americans since it needs to be as large and as well funned as the US Military.
BHO will be able to use them without getting any Governors approval unlike the National Guard.

And i one stoke 60% of Americans will have a government unionized job.
With 12 million new Citizens as being hired into it.

Moonbat tag off.

Impeachent, impeachment oh ... (Below threshold)

Impeachent, impeachment oh where is thy sting

Impeachent, impeachment ... (Below threshold)

Impeachent, impeachment oh where is thy sting

Not going to happen. Don't waste time hoping for it, and it would be meaningless anyway, as Vice-President Smartass would take over and continue the same policies. In addition, the disaffected left would rally around their messiah, and his popularity would actually increase. Better to crush his dreams in November 2010, and kick him and his fellow statists out in 2012.

hcddbz, I read your "Moonba... (Below threshold)

hcddbz, I read your "Moonbat" comment...and now I need a drink, but it's too damn early!

The only antidote to that scenario remains the 2nd Amendment. Otherwise that scenario could well play out!

Hold Fast!

Well if OBama goes the amne... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Well if OBama goes the amnesty route you can expect it to happen just in time for the Nov elections. Now think of the havoc that would cause at the ballot boxes. Gee, how many fraudulent votes would get cast when the ballot workers are overwhelmed.

I was always told that amidst chaos the person in charge can do anything he wants. Obama is dead set on proving this.

I haven't read the Justice ... (Below threshold)

I haven't read the Justice Dept.'s filing but I believe the AZ law will pass the test. Now, one might question whether someone who hasn't read the suit should be rendering opinions on the matter. I'll simply refer you to Eric Holder's testimony on the AZ law in front of Congress. (/snark)

Rev Lee Harvey Ward Wright ... (Below threshold)

Rev Lee Harvey Ward Wright is that you voting neg on this thread? Come now, you got the balls to show yourself, right?

Jay,Great post but... (Below threshold)


Great post but I think you reached to far for your hypothetical. Try this one instead:

Imagine an administration that decided certain groups and individuals would be immune from prosecution for voter intimidation.

How about Arizona counter s... (Below threshold)

How about Arizona counter sues the F... Out of Holder and company for dereliction of duty, tax cheating and just being all around assholes.

"Imagine an administration ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Imagine an administration that decided certain groups and individuals would be immune from prosecution for voter intimidation."

Then imagine that same administration will stop at nothing to win, including manipulation of the vote by means of intimidation of voters, dilution of votes by encouraging registration fraud through organizations such as ACORN, refusal to count absentee ballots from opponent's constituencies.

We already have these issues, but with obama giving them immunity from prosecution they will have no reason for restraint.

The dems are behaving in the way they are not because they are stupid but because they believe that they will be immune from retribution at the polls. They don't see elections as being about the will of the people. Elections are a game and cheating is OK as long as you don't get caught. Now with the refusal to prosecute they are telling their goons that there is no way they will get caught.

'If California had writt... (Below threshold)

'If California had written this law, do you think there would be a challenge?"

There are similar laws (and even more stringent laws) elsewhere in the country. The reason this admin doesn't go after them is that they know there is no intent to enforce them.

What "comprehensive immigration reform" means is Congress will put all their vapid brains together to craft new legislation. They'll fight and bad mouth each other; misquote and mislead; pit regular people against each other; quietly insert exceptions for special interest lobbyists in exchange for campaign contributions; pile on 16 metric tons of pork; pass an abomination of a bill;

and they'll never enforce one goddamn bit of it.


I mean really. They've passed immigration reform how many times now?

Barry's getting desperate f... (Below threshold)

Barry's getting desperate for votes. He's flipped off the Hispanics but not pushing his 'immigration reform' with the Democrats, Congress could care less at the moment as they're more concerned about getting re-elected. The Hispanics are pushing back so Barry's got to act like he's doing something. So he throws as much shit against the wall as he can, hoping that something will stick. Unfortunately for him, he's discounted what happens to any remaining credibility he has when he loses.

Such a shame the incompeten... (Below threshold)

Such a shame the incompetent Obama is going to have Arizona waste money and manpower defending the charges. Almost all constitutional scholars I have heard speak on this say Arizona has nothing to fear. I hope the Feds have to repay Arizona for this waste of time. $113 billion dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens. More then one tenth of a trillion per year. This is a huge problem. Being from Texas, we already new that but I think the rest of the country has awakened to the problem. ww

I hope AZ sues the federal ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I hope AZ sues the federal govt for negligence in doing their jobs, harassment, and anything else they can think of.

BTW if you think that just ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW if you think that just one law suit will get filed you are sadly mistaken. Look for Obama and his cronies to file lawsuit after lawsuit using any reason whatsoever to try to get this overturned. The federal govt doesnt have to worry about the money it is spending and eventually they will get a sympathetic judge (by hook or crook).

The Obama regime is claimin... (Below threshold)

The Obama regime is claiming its policy of not enforcing the law means the state of Arizona can't either. This is beyond outrageous.

Governor Jan Brewer's statement regarding federal lawsuit against Arizona is here,


"As a direct result of failed and inconsistent federal enforcement, Arizona is under attack from violent Mexican drug and immigrant smuggling cartels. Now, Arizona is under attack in federal court from President Obama and his Department of Justice."

"My legal team will not hesitate to assert the rights of the State of Arizona in this matter. Arizona will ultimately prevail against the lawsuits - including this latest assault by the Obama Administration."

That's right, "Attacking," and, "Assaulting."

If the douche in the ovulat... (Below threshold)

If the douche in the ovulating office is counting on Hispanic votes to keep him in office, he may be in for a big surprise. Unless he does somehow "legalize" the illegal before the November elections he may very well be pissing in the wind. The demonstrators you see on TV are predominately "La Raza" supported by illegal immigrants. They DO NOT represent the majority of Hispanics. With a 40% population of Hispanic in Arizona, don't you think they may make up a great part of the 81% of the Arizona citizens who support the governor? The first people to lose jobs to illegal immigrants ARE THE HISPANIC citizens of the United States. Why would they support the influx of illegals knowing it is THEIR jobs the illegals take first?
Hispanics are caucasian, racial profiling is BS, if one were to discriminate against Hispanics it would be ETHNIC profiling. If you lived in Arizona, you would see that a great many people, not of Hispanic ethnicity, are as dark, if not darker than many of Hispanic ethnicity.

Dumbocrats, dont count on Hispanics to cut their own throats at the polls.






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