Jan Brewer and Tom Horne's Silly Rebuttal To the Ninth Circuit

Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne have issued a joint press release denouncing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' 2-1 decision today upholding District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton's injunction of four key parts of Arizona's "breathing-while-brown-law," Senate Bill 1070.

You can read the entire release, here. However, the statements in it are so ludicrous and, at points, so downright dumb, that Attorney General Horne may want to ask for his money back on his Harvard education and law degree.

Since we all know Brewer has the IQ of a bag of bricks, her clueless blatherings are to be expected, even when written by others, as must always be the case with someone who appears to be a functional illiterate.

Horne, however, is a different story. A former Democrat, Horne is Canadian-born and is the offspring of parents who fled the Nazis. I know he knows better, but he obviously feels he must cop the hard-right nativist line to remain in the local GOP's good graces. What other explanation is there for Horne's stance on 1070 or his crusade to eliminate ethnic studies in Arizona's public schools?

In other words, I don't buy it that he's a true-believer, along the lines of state Senate President Russell Pearce.

In any case, the release states that in the days ahead, Brewer, Horne and Brewer's pricey legal beagles at Snell and Wilmer will be "considering their options," such as an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, or a review by the entire Ninth Circuit, rather than just the three judges who ruled today.

The rest of the release is chock full of inaccurate and ridiculous statements, so I'll run down why they're so risible right here:

1) "I note that the 9th Circuit relied heavily on the opposition of foreign governments in upholding the injunction on two of the four elements," said Attorney General Horne. "As the dissent by Judge Carlos T. Bea eloquently stated, foreign governments should not be given a 'heckler's veto' to establish preemption by the federal government over the state."

Nice try, Tom. Bea did make the point about the "heckler's veto," but Bea also agreed with the majority in upholding the injunction against sections of SB 1070 dealing with day-laborers and making it a state crime for legal aliens not to have their "papers" on them at all times. There is federal statute already on the legal aliens and their papers, but the federal government has the ultimate say in how it is enforced.

Regarding the "heckler's veto," Judge Richard Paez, writing for the majority, was using the example of the opposition of some foreign governments to SB 1070 as evidence that the law had already had a deleterious effect on U.S. foreign relations. In part, the government had to prove there was a likelihood of "more than incidental effect."

As there has already has been a negative effect on U.S. relations with other countries, this fact weighed toward preemption of the state law. This was not the sole reason the Ninth let the injunction stand. But Horne and Brewer are emphasizing it because it makes a nice talking point for their side.

2) "It is outrageous that the Ninth Circuit Court would grant foreign nations the de facto right to veto the duly-enacted laws of a sovereign state of the United States," said Governor Brewer. "Judge Bea was correct in his dissent when he wrote that 'a foreign nation may not cause a state law to be pre-empted simply by complaining about the law's effects on foreign nations.' Today's decision is internationalism run amok that ranks right up there with the U.S. State Department's decision to refer S.B. 1070 to the United Nations Human Rights Council."

So does Brewer agree with Bea when he concludes that the majority is correct in upholding the injunction against the two sections mentioned above?

Moreover, you'd have to ignore all 48 pages of the majority decision to conclude that foreign nations have caused SB 1070 to be preempted "simply by complaining about the law's effects."

The majority answers Bea's assertion by stating,

"As a preliminary matter, we disagree with the dissent's characterization of our opinion, as we do not conclude that a foreign government's complaints alone require preemption. Our consideration of this evidence is consistent with the Supreme Court's concern that we not disregard or minimize the importance of such evidence."

As to Brewer's shibboleth about "the U.S. State Department's decision to refer S.B. 1070 to the United Nations Human Rights Council," this is pure bunk, the sort of loony conspiracy nonsense we saw with the so-called "truthers" who believed the 9/11 attacks were an "inside job."

SB 1070 was not "referred" to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Rather the controversy over the law was mentioned in passing in the U.S.'s Universal Periodic Review before the Human Rights Council, a process in which all member nations participate.

Here is the statement in the U.S.'s report that idiot Brewer regards as "internationalism run amok" (assuming she can even pronounce the word "internationalism"):

"A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world. The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined."

Really "outrageous" stuff, eh? Right up there with FDR at Yalta...

3) Attorney General Horne noted that these sections of SB 1070 either mirror federal law or comport with earlier Ninth Circuit Court decisions. Horne stated: "I believe the Ninth Circuit decision will be overturned by the United States Supreme Court, and I pledge to make every possible effort to achieve that result."

Here's another canard, that SB 1070 simply "mirrors" federal law. Um, no.

Federal law does not require local cops to inquire after immigration status. It does not force local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law to the fullest extent possible, upon pain of citizen lawsuits. It does not bar day-laborers from soliciting, thereby "criminalizing" work. It does not seek state penalties for violations of federal law. And so on.

4) Brewer's also quoted as saying, "For decades, the federal government has neglected its constitutional duty to American citizens by failing to secure the border. States like Arizona have borne the brunt of that failure. We see the impacts in our border areas, where Arizona ranchers live day and night with human-traffickers crossing their lands. We see it in our neighborhoods and communities, where drop houses and drug-runners have become a staple of the evening news."

Yep, there sure is illegal immigration coming through the Arizona corridor. And human trafficking and drug running are bad. We can all agree on this.

However, the U.S.-Mexico border is far more secure than, say, our northern border with Canada. Which one do you think is easier for al-Qaeda operatives to cross, assuming they don't just buy airline tickets like they did last time?

As for a spike in crime, the numbers don't support it.

Crime has been trending down in Arizona for several years now. Comparing 2008's numbers to 2009's, there was a 14 percent decline in violent crime in Arizona, and that was long before SB 1070 was enacted. This, according to that pinko-liberal outlet the FBI.

Crime is also down on the border, in Sheriff Paul Babeu's Pinal County, and across the board. All the nativists (and the politicians catering to them) can do to whip up fear of brown people is to point to anecdotal incidents, a classic and, unfortunately, very effective logical fallacy.

At what point will the politicians' prevarications subside? I mean, isn't anyone besides me tired of this ongoing, annoying tsunami of hateful rhetoric and half-truths in regard to immigration?

Eventually, Arizona's electorate is bound to wake up and realize that they've been ill-served by the opportunists in power now. At least (sigh), that's the day I wait for...

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.