Opinion Brief

Should Obama challenge Arizona's immigration law?

The Justice Department is weighing a legal challenge to the still nationally popular show-me-your-papers law. Is that a good idea?

The Obama administration is on the fence about whether to mount a legal challenge to Arizona's controversial new immigration law. Meanwhile, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says she's pulled her Attorney General Terry Goddard, a Democrat, off the case as the state's top lawyer, citing a "lack of confidence" in him, and thousands of protestors on both sides of the argument took to the streets in Phoenix over the Memorial Day weekend. Given that polls still show the law to be broadly popular nationwide, would it be a mistake for Obama to take Arizona to court? (Watch Obama stop short of supporting the Arizona boycott)

The law needs to be challenged: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has a strong case, says Adam Serwer in The American Prospect, that the Arizona law "unconstitutionally infringes on the authority of the federal government to enforce immigration laws" and tramples the civil rights of legally residing Latinos by encouraging racial profiling. "Even a non-lawyer" could tell you this law is problematic."Justice Department gearing up to challenge AZ immigration law"

Obama shouldn't waste his time: Whatever you think of the law, it will withstand a legal challenge, says the Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro in the Houston Chronicle. Not only does a 2005 Supreme Court ruling give it some cover, but late amendments — safeguarding civil liberties, forbidding racial profiling, clarifying that only federal immigration officials can verify if an immigrant is legal — "improved an already constitutional bill.""Update on the Arizona immigration issue"

Conservatives, not just liberals, should back a challenge: Obama has failed to secure our borders, says Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) in The Washington Post, but Arizona's solution is a "shameful," anti-American "government overreach." All "freedom-loving conservatives," and those who value "constitutional principles," should agree we "do not want to live in a nation where American citizens are asked 'Where are your papers?'""Why conservatives should oppose Arizona's immigration law"

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