CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Arizona Challenge Does Not Focus on Profiling"

The story is in the New York Times:

Justice Department officials and legal experts say the government, political consequences aside, faced up to cold legal practicalities. Racial profiling claims are difficult enough to prove, let alone before a law takes effect, and there are no examples that prosecutors can point to of legal citizens whose lives were disrupted by the Arizona law because they looked like an illegal immigrant to a police officer.

Dennis Burke, the United States attorney here, said in an interview that focusing the case on “pre-emption,” the legal doctrine based on the Constitution’s supremacy clause that elevates federal law over states’, was the surest route to suspending the law before it goes into effect July 29. The federal government has successfully used the pre-emption argument in several cases, but this would be the biggest test in an immigration case.

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