“A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the most contested provisions of Arizona's new immigration law one day before they were to take effect, ratcheting up the legal and political debate over the increasingly divisive issue,” the Washington Post reports. “U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton's ruling handed the Obama administration a key initial victory in its lawsuit against Arizona and Gov. Jan Brewer (R). It also set up a legal struggle that is likely to play out over several years and across numerous states, with Brewer vowing to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and legal experts saying the high court is likely to hear it.”
The New York Times: “Judge Bolton, appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton, did allow some, less debated provisions of the law to go into effect, including one that bans cities from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration agents. But she largely sided with arguments in a lawsuit by the Obama administration that the law, rather than closely hewing to existing federal statutes, as its supporters have claimed, interferes with longstanding federal authority over immigration and could lead to harassment of citizens and legal immigrants.”
Here’s how the Arizona Republic played the news: “Reactions Wednesday were predictably polarized. From Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, speaking to a gathering of Hispanic activists at her Phoenix restaurant: ‘We hope this decision will be a wake-up call across America that there is only one immigration law.’ From Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce, who sponsored the legislation and predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court eventually will uphold the entire law: ‘People don't understand, there was no ruling gutting the bill. It was a temporary roadblock in certain portions. We'll win those on appeal… I hoped for this battle.’”
Note that when NBC's Ann Curry asked Vice President Biden about the economy on the Today show and whether the administration is doing enough on the economy, he responded by saying, it is never doing enough until it restores the eight million jobs lost in the "Bush recession."
On tap for today: "President Barack Obama is defending his administration's education policies, responding to criticism that so far they have not substantially helped minority students," the AP writes, adding, "Obama was to speak Thursday at the centennial convention of the National Urban League, one of eight civil rights organizations that released a report this week calling the president's $4.35 billion education initiative an ineffective approach for failing schools."
More from the AP: "President Barack Obama's nominee to be chief of U.S. intelligence, James R. Clapper, is expected to be approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee when the panel meets Thursday.”
A preview of Obama’s appearance in “The View”: "President Obama charmed the ladies on 'The View' on Wednesday and confidently showed off his command of the big challenges facing the nation today. But the name Snooki didn't ring a bell," the New York Daily News writes. Yet Obama poked fun at the overblown stereotypes "Snooki" and "The Situation" in a Radio and Television Correspondents Association speech. (We guess someone else wrote the jokes.)