It's not only non-lawyers who feel that way. Ann Althouse reports that one of the judges felt that way about the Justice Department's argument that the Federal Government had "pre-empted" the Arizona law, quoting the Washington Post report:
"I've read your brief, I've read the District Court opinion, I've heard your interchange with my two colleagues, and I don't understand your argument," Noonan told deputy solicitor general Edwin S. Kneedler. "We are dependent as a court on counsel being responsive. . . . You keep saying the problem is that a state officer is told to do something. That's not a matter of preemption. . . . I would think the proper thing to do is to concede that this is a point where you don't have an argument."Professor Althouse, who's a professor of Constitutional Law, writes "Yeah, well, but that's not preemption." So the Administration's case is a little mysterious to her, too.
"With respect, I do believe we have an argument," responded Kneedler, who said the Arizona law is unconstitutional and threatens civil liberties by subjecting lawful immigrants to "interrogation and police surveillance.''