Newspaper article The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Byline: Stephen Dinan, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Obama administration could file yet another lawsuit against Arizona if it decides racial profiling is taking place under that state's new immigration law, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said.
Mr. Holder's Justice Department sued Tuesday to block the law, arguing that it infringed on the federal government's right to determine immigration policy. But the lawsuit made almost no mention of racial profiling - a key issue in President Obama's attacks against the law in the weeks before the lawsuit was filed.
The attorney general, speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival last week in an interview aired on CBS on Sunday, said the pre-emption argument was the strongest initial argument against the law. If the law goes into effect despite the lawsuit, he said, federal officials will watch for profiling.
If that was the case, we would have the tools and we would bring suit on that basis, he said.
Mr. Holder came under fire in May after he acknowledged to a Senate committee that he had not read the Arizona law, despite having publicly criticized it and arguing that it would lead to racial profiling.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, at a meeting of the nation's governors in Boston, told the Associated Press that the administration can't seem to make up its mind about its criticism of the law.
Why would they have to hesitate, after all the comments they made, and all the outrage that they made against the bill in regards to racial profiling, that it didn't show up? she said.
Speaking on C-SPAN's Newsmakers program, Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Mr. Obama's lawsuit was breaking new ground in a misuse of the supremacy clause of the Constitution.
Never before have we challenged something because it might lead to something. There's nowhere in the Constitution that says a state is limited to what it absolutely won't do and can be stopped for what it might do, he said.
He said Arizona's law amounts to self-help consistent with existing federal programs that have been passed by Republican and Democratic presidents, and therefore does not conflict with the Constitution.
Immigration has been a flash-point issue for years, and Arizona's law has only fanned the flames.
The law, which is slated to take effect July 29 unless a judge blocks it, would require police to check the legal status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally whom they encounter while enforcing other laws. …