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An ill-fitting suit

The Augusta Chronicle The Obama administration has wailed for weeks and weeks now about how the Arizona illegal immigration law will lead to racist arrests and mass civil rights violations. Oddly enough, though, when it came time to actually make a legal case in its lawsuit against the state, the administration focused on other arguments. Hmm. Wonder why. Could it be that the administration has finally read the Arizona law? And that it’s become clear the administration has no case — that the Arizona law actually does more to protect against civil rights violations than the existing federal law it mostly parallels? Instead, the administration is hanging its hat on the argument that the state has infringed on a federal responsibility. We can’t wait for that testimony! We want to hear all about how the federal government has lived up to its obligations. As a sovereign state, and as a free people, Arizona and its residents have a God-given right to protect themselves against such things as illegal immigration. The federal government is trying to stop the state from protecting itself, while passing down the costs of illegal immigration — estimated by one watchdog organization to be $113 billion a year nationally, $2.6 billion in Arizona alone. Meanwhile, “sanctuary city” policies — in which municipalities openly invite federal law-breaking by promising not to report illegal aliens — are tacitly approved by this and prior administrations. We have a question that we hope the court answers in the course of this lawsuit: Does this or any other presidential administration have the right to ignore certain laws and enforce others? Or are acts of Congress binding on them? By its tolerance of sanctuary policies and its lawsuit against those who would actually attempt to enforce the law, the Obama administration is arguably acting outside the U.S. Constitution. Now, that’s a lawsuit we’d like to see. Lawmakers in Oklahoma, Utah and South Carolina next year could pass legislation similar to Arizona’s. What will Mr. Obama do then? Sue them all? It’s an unseemly and frightening development — the federal government that was created by the states turning around and attempting to subjugate them to the federal will at the point of a legal bayonet. We don’t think Mr. Obama has a prayer in this case. But if he should somehow win, we wonder if the union itself has one.

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