Times Continues to Emphasize Angry Opposition to Popular Arizona Immigration Law

The Times continued to emphasize the angry opposition to Arizona's popular new immigration enforcement law, challenged in court this week by the Obama administration.

Friday's story by reporter James McKinley Jr., "Taking to Streets and Court on Immigration - U.S. Lays Out Its Case Challenging Constitutionality of Arizona Law," displayed the paper's usual slant against the law.

With just a week remaining before Arizona's stringent new immigration law is set to take effect, a federal judge in Phoenix heard, for the first time, from Obama administration lawyers urging her to strike down the controversial legislation while dozens of demonstrators argued both sides outside the courthouse.

As protesters blocked traffic, chanted, sang, yelled and banged on bass drums, lawyers from the Justice Department and for the State of Arizona sparred over whether the law, known locally as SB1070, violates the United States Constitution's supremacy clause, which says federal law generally trumps state law. The federal judge, Susan R. Bolton, asked pointed questions of both sides, but made no ruling from the bench before adjourning at 3 p.m.

What's "controversial" about the legislation, beyond the fact of some shouting leftists (not necessarily benign "civil rights groups") don't like it? Even slanted media polls show that most Americans embrace the measure.

[Judge Susan Bolton's] comments during the hearing, along with those she made during a hearing in the morning on another suit brought by civil rights groups, suggested she is likely to rule on whether certain parts of the law are pre-empted by federal law, rather than striking down the entire law.

The courtroom was packed with spectators, many from civil rights groups and charities that aid immigrants.

The Times at least acknowledged arrests made of disruptive pro-illegal immigrant protesters, incidents the paper had previously ignored.

Outside the courthouse, people of all political stripes mounted noisy demonstrations. Charlene Greenwood, 46 and unemployed, described herself as a Tea Party member, wore a semiautomatic pistol on her hip and signs that read, "Illegal immigrants have better health care than I do" and, "Bank robbers, drug dealers and prostitutes are just trying to support their families too."

She said she regarded all illegal immigrants as criminals and people who support them as traitors. She said the state had to step in because the federal government had failed to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country.

About 30 protesters blocked traffic, many wearing T-shirts that said "Stop the Hate." Several unfurled a large, white banner that blared "Stop SB1070. We will not comply." Others in the group held a banner in Spanish saying: "There is no problem with immigration; there is a problem with capitalism. Revolution is the solution." After two hours, the police cleared the intersection and arrested seven people.