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Senior WH Official Confirms They Will File Suit Against Arizona’s SB1070

Hillary Clinton let the cat out of the bag a bit early yesterday, speaking with a TV station in Ecuador, when she said that the federal government would file suit against the state of Arizona over their draconian immigration law, SB1070. But after the Justice Department issued no comment on the matter, today a senior Administration official confirmed Clinton’s comment:

It was unclear yesterday whether Clinton’s comments were simply a prediction or mistake or whether instead she was getting ahead of a planned announcement by the administration.

Now a senior administration official tells CBS News that the federal government will indeed formally challenge the law when Justice Department lawyers are finished building the case. The official said Justice is still working on building the case.

Contacted about Clinton’s comments today, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said they reflected her beliefs.

“The Secretary was asked about the Arizona law during a TV interview in Ecuador,” he said. “She believes that a better approach is comprehensive immigration reform, and said so. Regarding how far along the legal review is, that is a matter for the Department of Justice.”

Presumably the Justice Department wouldn’t confirm this initially because they haven’t completed their case.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who signed the law, already reacted to the Clinton comments by saying “this is no way to treat the people of Arizona,” and I think the Hispanic-Americans living in that state agree.

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David Dayen

David Dayen