When Judge Susan Bolton granted an injunction halting the enforcement of key provisions of the Arizona immigration enforcement law, she ruled in favor of the Justice Department’s position, but against the president’s political interest.
Had the judge sustained this law, it would have made moot Barack Obama’s opposition to the Arizona law. As it is, she has transformed the law into a big campaign issue against Obama. Now the president is standing in the way of a state that wants to enforce the law that he won’t.
The Arizona law is massively popular in the United States. Over 60 percent of all American voters support it. But the president has sought and has succeeded in stopping it from taking effect. Now this majority — close to two-thirds of the electorate — that backs the law will be able to focus their blame for its non-enforcement squarely on the president of the United States.