Suing Arizona: The political pros and cons
t can’t help,” former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) said of the likely political impact on President Barack Obama’s re-election chances and those of other Democrats facing voters next fall. “It just seems like an issue that’s tailor made to being used by the the other party to their advantage.”
But there is also a potential political upside to a immigration-related legal showdown that may ultimately be resolved by the Supreme Court: It could give a major boost to Obama’s urgent effort to shore up his support among Latinos in advance of 2012.
If the Supreme Court does weigh in on the issue this term - and it’s expected to decide in the next several weeks - the legal battle would come to a head, conveniently, just as Obama is trying to make amends for what many Latinos regard as a less-than-aggressive drive to pass immigration reform legislation.
“My sense is [the Obama camp has] actually thought about this a lot,” said Muzaffar Chishti of the Migration Policy Institute. “You can see an organized campaign the last three months of reaching out to the Latino electorate and a plan to do ‘everything we can’ to improve things on immigration….Going to the Supreme Court is going to be significant to try to communicate: ‘We’ll go to the wall on this.’”