Report: Dept. Of Justice To File Legal Challenge Against Arizona Immigration Law

CBS News is reporting that the Justice Department is preparing to file suit to challenge the Arizona Immigration law:

As Hotsheet reported yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a television interview in Ecuador this month that the Obama Justice Department “will be bringing a lawsuit” against the controversial Arizona immigration measure signed into law earlier this year.

The comment was striking because both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder had said only that the administration was considering a suit. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called Clinton’s comments stunning and added that “to learn of this lawsuit through an Ecuadorean interview with the secretary of state is just outrageous.”

It was unclear yesterday whether Clinton’s comments were simply a prediction or mistake or whether instead she was getting ahead of a planned announcement by the administration.

Now a senior administration official tells CBS News that the federal government will indeed formally challenge the law when Justice Department lawyers are finished building the case. The official said Justice is still working on building the case.

I would imagine that we’ll see a lawsuit filed sometime before the end of July, when the law is scheduled to go into effect, and that the Justice Department will ask the Court to enjoin enforcement of the law until it has been ruled upon.

H/T: Hot Air

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Since this law, passed by Arizona is a minic of federal regulations with the addition of prohibitions against profilng, it is difficult to believe the DOJ will seriously challenge this law. If they do, it is just for political purposes and by any learned read, will withstand judicial review.

  2. jpe says:

    There are strong preemption and 14th amendment arguments against the bill, ZRIII.

  3. JKB says:

    This is all very confusing. The Justice department is to file suit claiming local law enforcement investigating possible unlawful aliens. But the US Navy NCIS has issued a Be on the Lookout for some Afghani aliens in the US who are here lawfully but are playing hooky from school.

    But the state and local law enforcement can’t inquire into the immigration status even if they have reasonable suspicion. What about LA, NYC, San Diego, San Francisco and all the other sanctuary cities where illegal immigrants can’t be questioned. Looks like these guys picked the right place to skip school in.

  4. AllenS says:


    What section of Amendment XIV are you talking about? Please explain “strong preemption”. What will Holder do when it is pointed out that Federal Law is not being enforced?