Federal judge Susan Bolton has accepted the Obama DOJ argument that Arizona's law regarding illegal aliens is preempted by federal law. She has, for all practical purposes, wholly gutted the Arizona law with respect to illegal aliens. (You can view the Court's Order here) And in doing so, the judge has realized my worst fears. When I analyzed the federal law suit several weeks ago, I wrote:
Invoking preemption in the present context is a dangerous game indeed. It is critically important to note that the Arizona law is little more than a codification of federal law as regards illegal aliens, . . . Thus the DOJ's argument must be that any state laws predicated on the status of an individual as a citizen or an illegal alien are preempted by federal law.
Think about that for a moment. If the DOJ wins this lawsuit, only the federal government will be able to enforce laws based on illegal aliens. We will become, in essence, a sanctuary country with states, for all intents and purposes, constitutionally prevented from inquiring into the citizenship status of people within their states. As a nation, our ability to address the problems of illegal aliens, already bad now, would be compounded exponentially.
That is now where we stand today. This from Legal Insurrection confirms my assessment:
States have been left helpless to deal with the anarchy created by the failure of the federal government to enforce border security. Whereas yesterday it was unclear how far states (such as Rhode Island) could go, today states are powerless.
The inability of a state to implement a policy of checking the immigration status even of people already under arrest for some other crime is remarkable.
We are in serious trouble. True, what the judge issued today was a Temporary Restraining Order and not a final judgment. But based on the Judge's reasoning, I see no reason to suspect that she will rule otherwise after a full hearing. Let's get that over with and get this thing up to the Supreme Court.
Update: Several people have weighed in with good legal analyses of the Judge's order, and I can't improve upon them. See Andrew McCarthy, Peter Kirsanow, and Mark Levin.
Take Away Question: Why the hell is our federal government siding with illegal aliens?