Tuesday, August 10, 2010

God, Save Arizona!

AZCentral is reporting that former Maricopa County Attorney [like a county prosecutor, but way-scarier,] and current Arizona Attorney General candidate Andrew "Yessir Sheriff Joe!" Thomas planned a full-fledged coup with mass indictments of most Maricopans not named Andrew, Joe, or Lisa.   This story is so preposterous that it is a wonder that it hasn't been made into a video game, maybe an update of whack-a-mole.

Bad Lawyer has covered the extensive adventures of Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe, terming their reign of terror, Stalinistic.  But really, words fail when the actual reality exceeds satire.  You can also read quality background coverage at the ABAJournal website and at the Phoenix New Times which is currently  running this report of Sheriff Joe's men run wild.

It's real easy to be cynical about life and law in places like China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, but it isn't much of an exaggeration to find similarities with our Dear Leader Joe and his army of tax-funded lawyers (now, including former Congressman Bob Barr) and armament and other toys bought on the people's credit cards. With outrage after outrage  piling up--is it not a wonderful thing that these clowns are driving immigration politics in the United States? 

Think about this, it's as if Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn were put in charge of immigration policy in America.  But that is exactly what's happening, Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona legislature are dancing to the political tune whistled by Joe Arpaio--and, this song is the mainstay of the immigration platform of one or two American political parties.  I console myself with the firm conviction that when the music is over, there are going to be a lot of politicians running around looking for missing chairs.  There will come a time in this country where we look back at the anti-immigration hysteria driven by these political lizards in Arizona and politicians who happily associate themselves now with these figures and the sentiments that they represent are going to be embarrassed and will try to deny, that they ever were associated with these xenophobic ideals.


  1. I think it's a sad state of affairs when Americans are automatically termed xenophobes when all they want is for those coming into our country to respect the law and the society which they are seeking to join and for those running the country to enforce the law.

    No amount of rationalization or explaination from me will change the minds of the "progressive" liberals that think the law is more of a request or suggestion instead of a mandate that applies to everybody.

    A sad state of affairs indeed. You and many others in this country are losing or have lost the ability or the willingness to think rationally.

  2. Anon @ 12:32--

    Thank you for your comment.

    It's interesting that you equate being opposed to "enforc[ing] the law" with criticizing illegal, unnecessary and unconstitutional enactments; or, alternatively with criticizing the rampaging shenanigans of a crooked Sheriff and his lawyer (sidekick.) To be fair to you I'm not sure you intended the latter, But I presume you are a big fan of Sheriff Joe and Atty Andy, no?

    How is suing many of Maricopa's County's elected officials or having them repeatedly indicted only to have the charges tossed as malicious and frivolous "enforc[ing] the law?" How is spending the taxpayers monies on steaks, lusury hotel rooms, in-room movies and RVs "enforcin[ing] the law?"

  3. Remember when AZ politics featured principled conservatives like Barry Goldwater and an earlier version of John McCain? Me either.

  4. @ BL. I was specifically responding to the reference to xenophobia. Xenophobia has nothing to do with any rampage a sheriff is going on or whether or not he's abusing his authority. I'd argue those are two separate issues. If he's abusing his authority that's one issue. My objection is to painting anybody who opposes illegal immigration as a xenophobe.

    If you want to criticize an abuse of authority, then I have no objection to that. I'll admit I don't keep up with all the antics in Arizona, so I'll take your word for it.

    I simply have a problem with how you get from a sheriff's alleged runaway abuse of authority to ---> xenophobia. Too often, I see "enlightened" individuals have knee-jerk reactions to ANY statement remotely critical of ILLEGAL aliens or any calls for action to ENFORCE the laws.

    You asked, "How is suing many of Maricopa's County's elected officials or having them repeatedly indicted only to have the charges tossed as malicious and frivolous "enforc[ing] the law?" How is spending the taxpayers monies on steaks, lusury hotel rooms, in-room movies and RVs "enforcin[ing] the law?""

    My question to you is, How is that xenophobia? It isn't. It is an abuse of authority. When I refer to enforcing the law, I am referring to enforcing immigration laws, laws that have been on the books and ignored for decades.

  5. @ BL: And as far as "unconstitutional" enactments are concerned, let's wait until we've heard the final word on that shall we?

    Frankly, if the federal government is unable and/or unwilling to DO ITS JOB! then a state ought to have the right to protect its own borders. It is not ONLY the US / Mexico border. It is ALSO the Arizona / Mexico border and what happens on that border directly affects life in that state. To say that a state shall not be allowed to have any say regarding what happens/crosses its own border is preposterous. That state has a right to protect its sovereignty.

    (I must admit here I'm a law student. What I say may be ignorant or naive.)
    Granted, it is the federal government that has the authority to protect the border and it is federal law, but
    1) Does that necessarily that it is exclusively the federal government's job to enforce that law? Aren't there numerous instances of state and local agencies enforcing or helping enforce federal laws? If this is the case, then there's no reason why Arizona law enforcement shouldn't be allowed to enforce the federal law (or a state law that mirrors the federal law).
    2) The federal government is not doing it's job. By failing to enforce its own laws, isn't the federal government, in a sense, abdicating that authority? If the federal government refuses to step up and do its duty, then it ought to get out of the way and let SOMEBODY else with the moral fortitude do it. If the federal government is too impotent to protect Arizona's border, then let Arizona protect its border.

  6. finally the message is being heard B.L. as you know my position and know you see i'm in the majority however the sources you generally refer to are those that present the facts that support their position and abd as stated the jury is out as to the constutional nature of arizonas action it's alright for orlys attempts at justice being called frivilous but not those that oppose sherrif joe his supporters and those of us in the LARGE MAJORITY look at it objectively
    not " god save arizona " but rather let" god help arizona save the nation" take a look at the missouri immigration laws that have prevailed and are heralded by many
    i was with a missourian yesterday that is proud of their actions and again one of the majority but we all must be wring because the ulta liberal media says so the pope

  7. Anon @ 12:24 and :40--

    If you go back and re-read my origianl post and look at all the Maricopa County posts you will see that I do sympathize with the problems of Arizonans and other residents of the Southwest. I remarked that there is a civil war being fought just south of the border and that war and it's casualties spill over the border overtaxing the resources of Maricopa County. But I think you have to be honest with yourself about who we are in this country; and what we purport to believe and uphold as ideals. We are a nation of immigrants: lega nd illegal. We say in our founding documents that God imbued us with certain inalienable rights, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Many of us claim an even older legacy of judeo-christian ethics, and if you spend any time in your law school education looking at this--you will be astounded at how Biblical and Talmudic law finds its way into modern commercial, property, contract, criminal and tort law. Now I challenge you, my thoughtful friend, go read the Old Testament on the obligation to "aliens."

    We are engaged in a highly disorganized and dysfunctional approach to the problem of immigration, my problem with the AZ effort/enactment is that it ignores federal law, it was highly political and unecessarily provocative, it added no salient features to enforcement of immigration laws, and as you point out it attempted to override federal enforcement with local enforcement. Oh, and it's racist. Why is it racist, don't kid yourself--it was directed at Hispanics, in fact I doubt that Sheriff Joe every arrested one Lithuanian in any of his highly-touted "sweeps."


  8. there are a variety of means to enter the U.S. legally and and even a means for those persecuted along different injustices to be sanctioned. tou so often speak the rule of law so it should only be enforced on those that are citizens we for the most part are desendants of immigrants mine however took pride in coming to this country learned to read and write english and cherished the moment that citizenship was lawfully bestowed upon them . you suggest it's political i agree however we probably disagree as to who is atempting to gain politically i believethe ar.legislature, the gov. and my favorite sherrif joe are attempting to protect the legall citizens of this nation whom themselves or their parents earned citizenship and i believe the opposition is largely driven and even providing duped protestors to hopefully gain future votes from those that citizenship is created for for this alterior motive
    i don't believe many lithuanians care to swim over the mexican border however i am aware of many ukranians, albaniansand those from several african nationsare that are here and and through the lawfull manner and none of them are given ballots in their country of births language i further suggest that all the special consideration given to hispanics from mexico is treating those coming from everywhere else unfairly and a ploy so as to allow illegals to blend in with legall hispanics
    locals are not overriding the fed. but acting where they refuse to
    maybe even like a militia if you will
    and if you suggest that the UN-LIEN -ABLE rights which we were bestowed by our creator include those that interfere with our wishes regardless of it's legallity then i suggest any law which interferes with my happiness be ignored
    please excuse me but get off the soap box and help stop the bleeding

    the pope

  9. BL @ 8:40 am: This is the original anonymous (the current law student).

    Wow. Where do I begin with you? I'd rather not bring religion into a political argument about immigration. However, for what it's worth, I'm well aware of the Judeo Christian foundation of our government and legal system, the very same foundation and set of values that "progressive" liberals want to erase.

    If you want to bring Christian religious beliefs into this argument, I'd have to remind you Jesus promoted obeying the laws of the land in which you live.

    Today, we horrible "xenophobes" simply want people to obey the law of the land. One thing that separates the U.S. from most Latin American and South American nations, and indeed, what has made this country the successful democracy it is, is that we are a nation of laws. The law applies to ALL. That applies to people born here, and to immigrants, both legal and illegal. We want the law to be respected and obeyed.

    As a lawyer, you of all people should understand the importance of that. You should understand that when the law becomes merely a suggestion rather than a universal mandate, we lose order, we lose stability, we lose safety.

    You have gone beyond the scope of what the bible says when you argue treating aliens kindly means allowing them aliens to do whatever and act however they want.

    BL, your argument hasn't a leg to stand on.

    There is no civil war on the Mexico / US border. It's a drug war, and what does that have to do with what to do about illegal immigration?

    You say the Arizona enactment ignores federal law? How does it ignore federal law when it is modeled after it?! It is not Arizona ignoring federal law: it is the federal government ignoring federal law.

    I did not point out that the Arizona measure overrides federal enforcement. It supplements whatever federal enforcement there may be. Arizona is not STOPPING the feds from enforcing the law.

    Saying the Arizona law is racist because it targets Hispanics is akin to saying laws against white collar crime are racist because they target white people. Are RICO laws racist because the group they originally targeted just happened to be mostly Italian Americans?! No. If most white collar crime is committed by white people, are THOSE laws racist? No. If most burglaries are committed by black people, then are laws against burglary racist?? No.

    The intent in Arizona is to enforce the law. It is not the fault of the legislatures or of law enforcement if many of the criminals are Hispanic. In other words, it ain't racist.

    What IS racist is saying that if your skin is brown, then you are above the law. What IS racist is bringing race into a discussion that isn't about race. Calling people who oppose illegal conduct "xenophobes" is racist.

    Anyway, thanks for the entertainment and mental stimulation. I can tell you tried your best to make a convincing and cogent argument. Better luck next time. :)

  10. Anon/Law Student--

    My friend, I so enjoy your insights, and arguments. I am amused that y0u think my arguments aren't "convincing and cogent," yet these very same argument are the law as the law exists--both common law and constitutional. If the latter wasn't true, AZ immigration law would not have been gutted by a federal judge who heard the arguments and granted a preliminary injunction which required a determination--that those arguments would in fact prevail on the merits.

    As to the status and source of the Mexican Drug war, you may wish to look at the history of the PRI and Mexican politics over the last 20 years to appreciate that this is an actual "civil war."

    Finally, Jesus said render onto Cesar that which is Cesar's since Cesar and the Roman invaders were the "illegal aliens," I don't really follow your larger point. I tell you judeo-christian law has always required love, charity, er - - -the Golden Rule. Arizona's effort to usurp federal immmigration law enforcement is fantastically misguided and demonstrably racist and unconstitutional.