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Conservative Group Sues DOJ for Info on Its Decision to Sue Arizona

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, announced today that is has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Justice to try to get at the government’s reason for suing Arizona over its SB 1070 immigration law. The law’s most controversial provisions, including instructing local law enforcement officers to check immigration status while enforcing other laws, were blocked by a federal judge July 28. Before the case appears before an appeals court in November, Judicial Watch hopes to obtain “any and all communications between the Department of Justice and any third parties.”

Translation: They want to know whether the ACLU and other civil rights organizations that spoke out against the law influenced the DOJ’s decision to file a lawsuit July 6. The DOJ lawsuit was one of seven legal challenges to SB 1070, including a suit filed May 17 by the ACLU and a coalition of civil rights groups.

From the press release:

“The American people ought to know if the Obama Justice Department is being run by radical leftist organizations such as the ACLU. I suspect that the Obama Justice Department is making decisions on behalf of its leftist allies, instead of in the public interest,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ”This is a simple request for information. The Obama administration should stop stonewalling and release these basic documents on its decision to attack Arizona over its get-tough illegal immigration law.”

The DOJ has maintained that its lawsuit is based on concern that the Arizona law preempts federal law and could harm the federal government’s ability to set priorities on immigration enforcement and foreign policy.

Of course, Judicial Watch isn’t exactly impartial: The press release notes the organization represents Russell Pearce, the Arizona state senator who wrote SB 1070.

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