DoJ No Longer Bothered by 'Patchwork of Laws'?

By Jon Feere and Jon Feere on November 11, 2011

The Obama administration's justification for filing lawsuits against Arizona, Alabama, and South Carolina is that state-level immigration-related initiatives are creating a "patchwork of laws" that are too burdensome for aliens to follow. As Attorney General Eric Holder recently put it, "a patchwork of state laws is not the solution and will only create problems." So much for the laboratories of democracy.

Of course, Americans are able to navigate varying state laws on everything from taxes to guns without much of a problem. And on immigration, the Obama administration has not initiated a lawsuit against sanctuary cities or states prohibiting E-Verify, despite the patchwork these jurisdictions create, and despite the fact that such policies are aimed at undermining federal law rather than supporting it. It is quite transparent that the administration's lawsuits are simply an attempt to stifle enforcement of immigration laws.

And now that fact has become even more transparent.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is seeking to overturn a court decision on her state's S.B. 1070 and has petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case. Generally, the high court will get involved if there are conflicting circuit court decisions, if the lower court decision is in conflict with Supreme Court decisions, or if the matter is of national importance.

But the Justice Department is happy with the lower courts' rulings against Arizona and doesn't want the matter to go before the Supreme Court. They likely fear a decision like Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting from earlier this year which upheld Arizona's right to require use of E-Verify and revoke businesses licenses of businesses knowingly hiring illegal aliens.

In response to Gov. Brewer, the Justice Department told the Court: "That several states have recently adopted new laws in this important area is not a sufficient reason for this court to grant review."

So the patchwork apparently justifies endless lawsuits against states and continuous calls for mass amnesty, but it's not enough for the Supreme Court to help clarify the issues at hand? Surely a ruling would have the effect of creating straightforward guidelines that all states could follow, thereby reducing or even eliminating the patchwork supposedly troubling the administration.

But creating consistency among state laws is not the Obama administration's real goal. The real goal is mass amnesty, limited enforcement at the federal level, and non-enforcement at the state level. With the help of hundreds of open-border activist groups, the White House thinks it can threaten states into submission via lawsuits; a Supreme Court ruling favorable to the states would hurt those efforts while revealing flaws in the administration's legal reasoning. It's an outcome they want to avoid at all costs, even if it reveals the phoniness of their patchwork argument.