U.S. Justice Dept. Sues Az. Over Harsh Anti-Immigration Law
July 6, 2010
(ChattahBox)—In a move that was widely expected, the U.S. Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit against Arizona Tuesday, alleging the state’s harsh anti-immigration law, violates the Constitution and tramples on the civil rights of Americans. Gov. Jan Brewer was annoyed last month, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarked during an interview in Ecuador that the Obama administration had already made the decision to file suit contesting SB 1070. Brewer quickly beat a track to Fox News to complain and declared she would see President Obama “in court!” Indeed she will.
The report by the Washington Post notes that the suit filed in federal court in Phoenix today, also seeks preliminary injunctive relief to bar the anti-immigration law from going into effect as planned on July 29, until the legal issues can be litigated.
The lawsuit relies upon the supremacy clause of the Constitution and invokes civil rights concerns:
“The lawsuit invokes as its main argument the legal doctrine of “preemption,” which is based on the Constitution’s supremacy clause and says that federal law trumps state statutes. Justice Department officials believe that enforcing immigration laws is a federal responsibility, law enforcement sources said.”
“But the filing also contained a civil rights component as well, arguing that the Arizona law would lead to police harassment of U.S. citizens and foreigners. President Obama has warned that the law could violate citizens’ civil rights, and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has expressed concern that it could drive a wedge between police and immigrant communities.”
Gov. Brewer has been in the news of late, stoking fear by exaggerating crime statistics of illegal immigrants and even falsely declaring that “illegals” have decapitated the heads of Arizonans.
She will no doubt continue with her fearmongering, as her office prepares to defend SB 1070 against the federal suit.
Photo Source: White House Flickr