And thus check the New York Times' editorial (arguing for federal supremacy), especially the last paragraph:
Most important, the president can follow through on his recent promise to end the chaos of the immigration system with a comprehensive reform bill. Stamping out unjust laws like Arizona’s is a good place to start.That pretty much sums it up, more than the editors probably thought. Apparently, one's view of federalism is determined by an easily-identified position on the immigration issue, with what's essentially a non-enforcement stand being the prevalent viewpoint of elites. And notice two words there especially: "comprehensive" and "unjust." The notion of "comprehensive" is of course shorthand for amnesty, and the adjective "unjust" is the signifier that immigration enforcement is inherently "racist."
One problem (putting aside arguments over states rights) is that the Times --- and the Obama administration --- is applying the federal supremacy standard unequally, and hence hypocritically. Arizona's been on the forefront of forcing the federal government to meet its mandated requirements of border security, but it's especially interesting to find out that Rhode Island has already been doing what AZ SB 1070 requires, without so much as a peep from any of the radical left's open-borders constituencies. William Jacobson reported on this, for example, "Hey, Rhode Island Already Checks Immigration Status At Traffic Stops":
Despite the failure of the Rhode Island legislature to pass an Arizona-like immigration bill, Rhode Island already has implemented the critical piece of the Arizona law, checking the immigration status of people stopped for traffic violations where there is a reasonable suspicion, and reporting all illegals to federal authorities for deportation.William cites the Boston Globe, "R.I. troopers embrace firm immigration role." (And see Ed Morrissey as well, "Arizona – the new Rhode Island?")
Picking up from there is Andrew McCarthy's piece, "United States v. Arizona — How 'Bout United States v. Rhode Island?" Notice the citations of earlier case law, which servs to emphasize leftist hypocrisy ever more:
If, as President Obama and Attorney General Holder claim, there is a federal preemption issue, why hasn’t the administration sued Rhode Island already? After all, Rhode Island is actually enforcing these procedures, while the Arizona law hasn’t even gone into effect yet.RELATED: Rather than quoting it, I'll just send readers to read this unhinged post at Feathered Bastard. (States rights must be crushed? Whoo. That's strong. )
Could it be because — as we’ve discussed here before — the Supreme Court in Muehler v. Mena has already held that police do not need any reason (not probable cause, not reasonable suspicion) to ask a person about his immigration status?
Could it be that just this past February, in Estrada v. Rhode Island, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the Rhode Island procedures, reasoning that, in Muehler v. Mena, the Supreme Court “held that a police officer does not need independent reasonable suspicion to question an individual about her immigration status…”?
So, we have a Justice Department that drops a case it already won against New Black Panthers who are on tape intimidating voters in blatant violation of federal law, but that sues a sovereign state for enacting a statute in support of immigration enforcement practices that have already been upheld by two of the nation’s highest courts. Perfect