Imperious Presidency Increasingly Reckless and Lawless; National Center Responds to White House Threats Against the State of Arizona

Washington, D.C. – The National Center for Public Policy Research issued the following statement following reports that the White House will ignore the ruling by the Supreme Court in the Arizona Immigration case upholding Section 2:

“If reports that there will be reprisals against the State of Arizona are true, this Administration has taken reckless and lawless to a new level,” says legal commentator Horace Cooper, an adjunct fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Kicking Arizona out of the 287(g) task force program and stripping its existing officers of their authority to enforce federal immigration violations because Mr. Obama doesn’t like the Court’s ruling isn’t just pedantic and priggish, it challenges Constitutional construct of the separation of powers.”

Section 2, the mainstay of the Arizona effort, requires police to conduct immigration checks on individuals they arrest or merely stop for questioning when they suspect are in the U.S. illegally, was upheld by all 8 justices that participated in today’s decision.

“After having brought Arizona to Court, now the White House refuses to be bound by the decision? If the Administration didn’t plan to accept the Court’s ruling, why waste time and energy forcing Arizona to justify its actions?,” Cooper asks.

“Refusing to issue detainers merely because the referrals come from Arizona smacks of retaliation and threatens to damage our federalist system,” Cooper adds. “It is the height of irony that the DOJ would bring Arizona to court and then, when the Court sides with Arizona, the White House would decide that they unilaterally had the authority to resolve the dispute,” Cooper explains.

“Litigants that successfully challenge the Federal government shouldn’t be subject to reprisals, and the President as the chief law enforcement officer should stand foursquare with them. This smacks more of political expediency than any commitment to civil rights. This action is yet another example of the ‘imperious presidency’ pushing White House power past the stretching point and doing so for political ambitions rather than support for the rule of law,” Cooper concluded.

Cooper, a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University, is the author of a commentary supporting Section 2 of SB 1070, “See Something, Say Something: New York City Versus Arizona,” published by the National Center for Public Policy Research in 2010; as well as numerous other recent and pending papers analyzing the constitutional underpinnings of various claims made by the Obama Administration on Voter ID, drug tests as a prerequisite for receiving welfare benefits, the HHS contraceptive mandate, the NTSB cell phone while driving ban and more, as well as recent Supreme Court decisions, most recently, last week’s public employee union political spending case, Knox. V. SEIU.

Horace Cooper is an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a member of the African-American leadership group Project 21, and a legal commentator. He taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia and was a senior counsel to U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey. He is a frequent radio and television guest and guest-host, most recently guest-hosting the nationally-syndicated G. Gordon Liddy Show on June 22.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters. In 2011 it received over 350,000 individual donations. Two percent of its revenue comes from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.


The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.