Eric Holder Admits He Didn't Read Arizona Law Before Criticizing ItSubmitted by cactus1010 on Fri, 05/14/2010 - 02:15
Attorney General Holder Admits He's Never Read Arizona's Immigration Law
Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday said that he hasn't read Arizona's recently adopted anti-illegal immigration law that has generated sharp criticism from the Administration he represents.
In a Department of Justice oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) said to Holder, "I understand that you may file a lawsuit against the law. Seems to me the Administration ought to be enforcing border security and immigration laws and not challenge them, and that the Administration is on the wrong side of the American people."
Poe then asked Holder point blank, "Have you read the Arizona law?"
Given the Administration's stated antipathy towards this legislation, the response from its Attorney General is sure to shock many Americans on both sides of the aisle (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
REPRESENTATIVE TED POE, (R-TEXAS): So Arizona, since the federal government totally fails to secure the border desperately then passed laws to protect its own people. The law is supported by 70 percent of the people in Arizona, 60 percent of all Americans, and 50 percent of all Hispanics according to the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll done just this week. And I understand that you may file a lawsuit against the law. Seems to me the Administration ought to be enforcing border security and immigration laws and not challenge them, and that the Administration is on the wrong side of the American people. Have you read the Arizona law?
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have not had a chance to, I've glanced at it. I have not read it.
POE: It's ten pages. It's a lot shorter than the healthcare bill which was 2,000 pages long. I'll give you my copy of it if you would like to have a copy. Even though you haven't read the law, do you have an opinion as to whether it's Constitutional?
HOLDER: I have not really, I have not been briefed yet.
Later during his questioning, Poe further challenged the Attorney General:
POE: You have some concerns about the statute. It's hard for me to understand how you would have concerns about something being un-Constitutional if you haven't even read the law. Seems like you wouldn't make a judgment about whether it violates civil rights statutes, whether it violates federal preemption concepts if you hadn't read the law. So, can you help me out there a little bit, how you can make a judgment call on that, but you haven't read the law and determined whether it's Constitutional or not?
Holder's response will even FURTHER amaze most Americans on both sides of the aisle:
HOLDER: Well, what I've said is that I've not made up my mind. I've only made, made the comments that I've made on the basis of things that I've been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, looking at television, talking to people who are on the review panel, on the review team that are looking at the law. But I've not reached any conclusions as yet with regard to. I've just expressed concerns on the basis of what I've heard about the law. But I'm not in the position to say at this point, not having read the law, not having had the chance to interact with people doing the review, exactly what my position is.