So, now it is announced that Obama is going to prosecute Arizona for it’s anti-illegal-immigrant law. I think Obama is losing it. Here’s a couple of thoughts on the issue:
- The Arizona law is a watered down clone of federal law. It’s hard to see how a legal attack will stand.
- Obama may take the tack that the states cannot do the federal government’s job, although I don’t know where any legal precedent for that might come from. And, even if he does, how can he argue that it is not legal for Arizona to enforce its own laws, since that is exactly what Arizona is doing? However, Obama had better be careful –
- If the courts uphold the idea that it is illegal for the states to enforce federal laws, there are all kinds of worms that are going to come out of that particular can. How many such laws do the locals enforce now?
- And, somewhere, there is the question of what we, the people, are supposed to do when the federal government willfully refuses to enforce its own laws, as in this case.
It seems to me that the federal government is going to have a hard time making any sense on this one. If they won’t let Arizona uphold their own law (AND federal law); then obviously they have a big problem.
The defense will probably be the 10th Amendment: paraphrased, it says (according to WikiPedia): “Powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states by the Constitution of the United States are reserved to the states or the people.”
Wikipedia also says: The Supreme Court rarely declares laws unconstitutional for violating the Tenth Amendment. In the modern era, the Court has only done so where the federal government compels the states to enforce federal statutes.
So the Supreme Court has only ruled that the states must enforce certain federal laws. Obama wants to get a ruling that the states (Arizona in particular) are not allowed to enforce federal law.
This does not compute.