Gregory Kane: Holder should sue Maryland to be consistent 

There is simply no delicate, nice way to put this: Attorney General Eric Holder is lying.

On the CBS show "Face the Nation" this past Sunday, Holder said it is "not true at all" that the Department of Justice's lawsuit against Arizona's SB 1070 is politically motivated. Then Holder tried to take the constitutional high road, claiming that the Arizona law allowing local police to inquire about the immigration status of those reasonably suspected of being illegal immigrants is "inconsistent with our federal Constitution."

Oh, is it now? Holder strikes me as one of two things: an attorney general who hasn't read the Constitution, or an attorney general who's read it and assumes most of us haven't.

But there must be tens of thousands of Americans who have read the U.S. Constitution. And we know which powers Article I, Section 10, forbids the states to have. And we know that Arizona's SB 1070 can't be even remotely construed as falling into that category.

We are also familiar with the much-maligned (and frankly, much-abused and -misused) 10th Amendment, which gives to the states powers not prohibited by the federal government. And we sure as heck know one of two things: When Holder says SB 1070 is "inconsistent with" and "pre-empted by" federal law, either he doesn't know what he's talking about, or he's deliberately misleading the American people.

I'm going with theory No. 2. Say what you want about President Obama, but you can't deny this: He's an intelligent man not prone to appointing driveling idiots to positions of power.

So Holder knows exactly what he's talking about. For Holder, there exist two U.S. Constitutions: the one that's actually written, and the one that's in his head.

Arizona's SB 1070 might be inconsistent with the Constitution that exists in Holder's head. That's why he didn't say SB 1070 is unconstitutional. He knows it isn't.

Had he made the claim, Holder would have had to cite the specific article and section, or the specific amendment that SB 1070 violates. He can't do it; that's why he throws around words like "inconsistent" and "pre-empted."

But if Holder were the Mr. Consistency that he claims to be when it comes to federal law, he would, as attorney general, have hauled the state of Maryland into court at least one year ago.

In April of 2009, the state Legislature passed what was supposed to be the Proof of Lawful Presence Act, which would have required Maryland to grant driver's licenses only to those immigrants who could show they are in our country legally. The law would have brought Maryland in compliance with the federal Real ID Act.

But what did Maryland legislators do?

Eviscerate the law by allowing 350,000 illegal immigrants to renew driver's licenses they weren't supposed to have in the first place. It was a flagrant violation of a federal law that's already on the books.

So now we have Holder, who's made not move one to have Maryland comply with a federal law that the state has clearly violated, filing a lawsuit against another state for passing a law that is, to use Holder's favorite new word, "consistent" with the Real ID Act.

There's one reason that Holder has Arizona and not Maryland on his hit list. Maryland's violation of federal law was a display of legislators cravenly caving in to political correctness and currying favor with minorities. Arizona legislators did exactly the opposite.

In spite of Holder's attempts to deceive the American public, his decision to go after Arizona, while ignoring Maryland, is nothing but political.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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Gregory Kane

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Examiner columnist Gregory Kane is an award-winning journalist who lives in Baltimore.

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