Posted by Curt on 23 July, 2010 at 10:32 am. 2 comments already!

We knew the Obama administration didn’t have a case against Arizona….now it appears, at first glance, that the federal judge to decide the case has some serious concerns over the Federal suit:

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?”

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Bolton is hearing six other lawsuits filed against the Arizona law. A former Arizona state court judge, she was nominated for the federal bench by Democratic President Bill Clinton, but legal observers say she is hard to pigeonhole ideologically.

Granted, it’s still early and it’s a hearing where these kind of questions routinely get asked. Either way, no way this isn’t headed to SCOTUS.

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