Judge Asks DoJ Over Pre-Emption – “Seriously?”

All right, that is not what she actually said, but, hey, I can paraphrase, can’t I?

A federal judge pushed back Thursday against a contention by the Obama Justice Department that a tough new Arizona immigration law set to take effect next week would cause “irreparable harm” and intrude into federal immigration enforcement.

“Why can’t Arizona be as inhospitable as they wish to people who have entered or remained in the United States?” U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton asked in a pointed exchange with Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler. Her comment came during a rare federal court hearing in the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Arizona and Gov. Jan Brewer (R).

Bolton, a Democratic appointee, also questioned a core part of the Justice Department’s argument that she should declare the law unconstitutional: that it is “preempted” by federal law because immigration enforcement is an exclusive federal prerogative.

“How is there a preemption issue?” the judge asked. “I understand there may be other issues, but you’re arguing preemption. Where is the preemption if everybody who is arrested for some crime has their immigration status checked?”

As Ed Morrissey points out, there is none, and

Checking people who are arrested or detained for valid ID, and probing their status if they fail to have it, is so basic to law enforcement that Bolton must feel as though she’s slipped into the Twilight Zone.

It just goes to show that not all Democrats live in the Reality Based Community. Some choose not to live in a cuckoo’s nest. But, it gets better!

“It is not for one of our states to be inhospitable in the way this statute does,” Kneedler said, citing as his main argument the legal doctrine of “preemption.”

Well, hey, if that’s the case, Mr. Kneedler, perhaps you should inform your boss that if he is arguing for “preemption,” then he actually has to uphold the federal laws, such as going after sanctuary cities, since there is that real Constitutional provision that “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed..”

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