In case you're worried about politics influencing President Obama's Justice Deparment, the federal lawsuit against Arizona's controversial immigration law should set your mind at rest. In the days since the lawsuit was announced, it's become clear that this makes things a whole lot tougher for Arizona Democrats running for office this year. If the White House political operation was hoping to help its political allies out west, this most definitely would not be the way to do it.
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"[The lawsuit] puts Democrats between a rock and hard spot," Earl de Berge of the Rocky Mountain Poll, which does extensive research on Arizona politics, told me. De Berge said that the lawsuit gives Republicans more cause to call them "weak on immigration," a brush they've been painted with for months during the debate over Arizona's infamous 1070 immigration law.
"One of the things that's interesting about this move from the Justice Department is that some of the steam was removed from the debate when  was passed," de Berge said. He said that the lawsuit has reignited the immigration issue among conservatives after Democrats had begun to put it behind them in the wake of the law's passage. "From that standpoint, [the lawsuit] really gives a longer life for this issue to the Republicans," which is an advantage to them, de Berge said.