State Attorney General Tom Corbett joined colleagues from eight other states plus the Northern Mariana Islands yesterday in filing an amici curiae -- Latin for "friend of the court" -- brief in support of Arizona's controversial new immigration law. You can read the filing here. You can find the Northern Mariana Islands here.
The filing in federal court in Arizona challenges a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, which claims the Arizona law unjustly asserts state power in the federal issue of immigration. "By lawsuit, rather than by litigation, the Federal Government seeks to negate this pre-existing power of the States to verify a person's immigration status and similarly seeks to reject the assistance that the States can lawfully provide to the Federal Government," the filing says.
"The lawsuit filed by the federal government in this case undermines the constitutional authority of all our states," added Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for Corbett's office.
The same state Attorneys General who made this filing -- from Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia -- also joined Corbett filing a lawsuit earlier this year to challenge the federal health care reform legislation. Like Corbett, the Attorneys General in Michigan and South Carolina were running for governor.
Corbett capitalized on the health care lawsuit, sending out a campaign fund-raising letter saying that he was "leading the fight against 'Obamacare.'" We've asked his campaign if voters should be expecting a new fund-raising letter based on his participation in the immigration filing. We'll let you know when we get an answer.
UPDATE, 1:25 pm: Corbett campaign spokesman Kevin Harley responds: "I don't know that the campaign has any plans on doing anything with the immigration issue."