Sunday, October 31, 2010
David Bacon: The People of the Central Valley - 2 A Photographic Look at the Diverse Communities of California's Central Valley -- Toolville and its Bad Water
Over recent years, Toolville residents have discovered dangerous concentrations of nitrates in their water supply, which is pumped from the aquifer below the homes. As in many San Joaquin Valley communities, overuse of the water table, especially by giant industrial farms, has led to a growing concentration of fertilizer and other ag chemicals in the water that remains.
Toolville's residents are all working-class people, many of them farm workers. They can use the water from their taps for washing dishes and clothes, but have to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking.
Eunice Martinez, a leader of the community's effort to gain safe drinking water, looks warily at a jar of water drawn from the tap. Her mother, Margaret, holds their pet Chihuahua at a table where they keep a case of small bottles of drinking water. Across the street from the Martinez house, Natalie and Paco Rojas play in their yard. The health and development of children especially can be harmed by Toolville's contaminated water.
In her home by the state highway, Cindy Newton-Enloe, who helped start Toolville's effort to gain safe drinking water, stores her water in big thermos containers, and then boils it for tea on her old-fashioned stove.
Valeria Alvarado is a Mixtec immigrant from Oaxaca, and lives in a trailer with her husband, son and three daughters. Her husband is a limonero, or lemon picker, but work is very slow because of the recession. The family has almost no furniture, and struggles to survive from day to day. Valeria washes her dishes in water from the tap, which is pumped from the ground, but buys her drinking water in 5-gallon bottles. She stores them in her empty living room, and outside the trailer under the porch.
The hills behind Toolville are the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas (Snowy Mountains), and most of the year they're covered in dry brown grass. At the base of the foothills runs the Friant-Kern Canal, part of the great California Water Project. Its system of dams extends throughout the San Joaquin Valley, channeling the Sierra Nevada runoff into canals, reducing the valley's former rivers into often-dry watercourses and lowering the water table. The canals provide water exclusively to growers for irrigation. Although the Friant-Kern Canal behind Toolville could supply the community's water with hardly a noticeable reduction in its flow, Toolville and water-starved colonias like it can't get access to a single drop.
As many as half a million people live in California's 220 unincorporated communities, or colonias.
Toolville's water rights movement got the help of California Rural Legal Assistance' project for Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities, supported by PolicyLink.
For more articles and images, see http://dbacon.igc.org
The Sierra Club has announced a Borderlands Campaign. "More than 600 miles of border walls and barriers have been constructed in all four southern border states, with dozens of miles still being constructed or planned. This reckless project has meant dire consequences for vast expanses of pristine wild lands, including wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, and national forests. Help stop the Border Wall and protect communities and wildlife."
At the link above, watch the video of Wild Versus Wall about the environmental effects of the current border policy. According to the Sierra Club, "U.S. policies along our southern border are proving ineffective, costly, and harmful to people and the environment. Construction of border walls has not curbed migration but has cost taxpayers an average of $4.5 million per mile. More than 600 miles of border walls and barriers have been constructed in all four southern border states, with dozens of miles still being constructed or planned."
The L.A. Times reports that "all seven Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee have signed a letter asking the Department of Homeland Security how much money it needs to deport every illegal immigrant the government encounters. The request came in an Oct. 21 letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and asks her to `detail exactly how much funding' would be needed 'to ensure that enforcement of the law occurs consistently for every illegal alien encountered and apprehended.' The Republican senators requested a response by Nov. 15."
Economist Tyler Cowen writes in the N.Y. Times that "the continuing arrival of immigrants to American shores is encouraging business activity here, thereby producing more jobs, according to a new study. Its authors argue that the easier it is to find cheap immigrant labor at home, the less likely that production will relocate offshore." The study is "Immigration, Offshoring and American Jobs" and is authored by Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano (Bocconi University, Italy), Giovanni Peri (UC Davis), and Greg C. Wright (Ph.D. candidate at UC Davis).
There remains some questions about the impact of immpgranbt workers on U.S. citizen workers. Last week, the Pew Hispanic Center released a reports that unemployment has fallen among foreign-born workers over the past year, while rising among native-born workers. Fearing that some observers will undoubtedly conclude from this that the jobs which went to foreign-born workers would have otherwise gone to native-born workers if not for the presence of immigrants in the labor market, the Immigration Policy Center quickly responded. The IPC emphasized that, in reality, immigrant and native-born workers are not interchangeable, nor do they compete with each other for some fixed number of jobs in the U.S. economy. Moreover, many immigrants are highly skilled professionals who create jobs through their inventiveness and entrepreneurship. The Pew report provides no detail about the skill level of the workers who have gained or lost jobs since last year, nor does it tell us where in the country they live.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
From United We Dream Network:
Students Continue Building DREAM Movement, Announce Next Steps
New structure, board members, and staff for nation's largest immigrant youth organization
The United We Dream (UWD) Network convened 120 immigration youth leaders from across the country to select regional leadership, welcome staff, elect board members and prepare for the final push for the DREAM Act during its third field meeting of the year. The meeting was held at Bluegrass Technical and Community College in Lexington, KY; and sponsored by the student organization “Enlace” and the Kentucky Dream Coalition. The United We Dream Network was founded in 2009, and it now represents 41 immigrant youth-led, youth-ran organizations across the country. It previously held meetings this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Raleigh, North Carolina.
“Bringing so many young organizers together is proof of the movement building capacity of the United We Dream Network,” added UWD Board Chair Cristina Jimenez. “We are expanding our reach and building the foundation for a long-term, sustainable immigrant rights movement led by undocumented youth”.
Attendees shared strategies on how to get voters out to vote for the midterm elections, mobilizing callers for the November 8-13th Week of Action, and courting Republican support for the DREAM Act. “We are ready to keep fighting for our dreams by telling people to get out and vote, and then demanding the DREAM Act during the lameduck session,” said Gaby Pacheco of the Trail of Dreams, who will be working alongside other dreamers to get voters out to the polls in Nevada.
The attendees selected a national coordinating committee (NCC) which will lead the campaign work of the network for the next year. To create this committee, member organizations were broken down in seven geographical regions to select fourteen organizations to the NCC. The members of the NCC are: Florida Youth Movement, DreamActivist Virginia, New York State Youth Leadership Council, Student Immigrant Movement (Massachusetts), Immigrant Youth Justice League (Illinois), Latino Youth Collective (Indiana), Youth Empowered in the Struggle (Wisconsin), Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance, Familias Immigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha (Texas), Orange County Dream Team (California), Padres y Jovenes Unidos (Colorado), and the Arizona Dream Act Coalition.
“Immigrant youth in different parts of the country face different realities,” said national coordinator Carlos Saavedra. “Creating regional structures will bring better communication among our 41 affiliates and ensure our voices are heard at the federal, state, and local levels”.
Member organizations also elected three new board members for UWD; they are Kevin Kang, Erin Howard, and Felipe Vargas. Kevin is part of the MinKwon Center for Community Action in New York; Erin lives in Kentucky and is a founder of the Kentucky Dream Coalition, and Felipe lives in Indiana and is part of the Latino Youth Collective and FIRME. They will serve in the board for at least one year, and up to two years.
United We Dream also announced the transition of co-founder Jose Luis Marantes into a staff position. As managing consultant, Jose Luis will guide the organizational development for UWD. Jose Luis has previously worked for immigrant-rights organizations such as Florida Immigrant Coalition, Students Working for Equal Rights, and Center for Community Change. He will be based in Orlando, Florida.
2010 Crimes and Immigration Seminar in Los Angeles
Presented by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and the Law Offices of Norton Tooby
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, November 6, 2010
UCLA School of Law
405 Hilgard Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90095
9am - 5pm
Katherine Brady. Senior Staff Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Author of Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit (2008).
Norton Tooby. Author of Tooby’s Checklists (2009), Categorical Analysis Tool Kit (2009), Tooby's Guide to Criminal Immigration Law (2008), Too by's Crimes of Moral Turpitude (2008), Tooby’s California Post-Conviction Relief (2009), Criminal Defense of Immigrants (2007), Aggravated Felonies (2006), and Safe Havens: How to Identify and Construct Non-Deportable Convictions (2005).
Structure of the Seminar:
Separate Morning Session for immigration advocates and advanced criminal defenders will focus on the following Relief from Removal topics:
• What relief from removal is available to a noncitizen despite criminal convictions?
• Who is eligible for cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents?
• Who is eligible for the INA section 212(h) waiver of inadmissibility?
• When can a client get cancellation when 212(h) is not available, and vice versa?
Separate Mor ning Session for criminal counsel will take the three most important topics and devote an hour to each:
• What information is needed to diagnose the immigration consequences as Padilla v. Kentucky requires?
• What domestic violence dispositions are immigration-safe and how can they be constructed?
• How can counsel avoid the most common and damaging immigration consequences of sentences?
Joint Afternoon Session for criminal and immigration counsel
The first two hours will be devoted to immigration-safe dispositions in the most common criminal cases:
• Safe Havens in drug cases – 1 hour and 40 minutes in depth
• Safe Havens in crimes of moral turpitude cases – 30 minutes
• The final two hours will discuss how post-conviction relief can help defendants avoid immigration consequences after Padilla .
Friday, October 29, 2010
AALDEF CONDUCTS ASIAN AMERICAN EXIT POLL, MONITORS NOV. 2 ELECTIONS
IN NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, MASSACHUSETTS, GEORGIA, AND TEXAS
Multilingual Voter Hotline: 800.966.5946
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a 36-year old New York-based national civil rights organization, announced that it will dispatch 400 attorneys, law students and community volunteers to over 50 poll sites in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Texas to document voting problems in the Nov. 2 elections. AALDEF will also conduct a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll in eight languages to get a snapshot of Asian American voting preferences.
Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director, said, “With so much at stake in the 2010 midterm elections, we want to ensure that all eligible Asian Americans are able to exercise their right to vote." She noted that in addition to congressional races, the outcome of several governors' races could affect the redistricting process as well as national policy debates in the next few years.
AALDEF will monitor over 50 poll sites for compliance with the Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act. Volunteer attorneys will observe the provision of Asian-language ballots, interpreters, signs and voting materials, which are required in certain districts; the application of voter identification requirements; and whether provisional ballots are offered to individuals whose names do not appear on voter lists. Settlements in New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston for past violations of the language assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act will also be monitored.
Glenn D. Magpantay, AALDEF Democracy Program Director said, “In the 2008 Presidential Election, Asian Americans had to overcome numerous obstacles to exercise their right to vote. AALDEF volunteers identified interpreter shortages and poll workers who made hostile and racist remarks about Asian American voters. AALDEF will guard against the disenfranchisement of new citizens and limited English proficient voters.”
MULTILINGUAL EXIT POLL
AALDEF will conduct a nonpartisan exit poll of Asian American voters in eight languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Khmer, Bengali, Punjabi, and Urdu. Voters will be asked about their candidate preferences in races for Governor, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives. Asian Americans will be asked whether they are first-time voters, the top issues influencing their vote, party enrollment, use of Asian-language voting assistance, and whether they encountered specific problems at the polls.
The AALDEF exit poll reveals vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream voter surveys. In the 2008 Presidential election, AALDEF polled 16,665 Asian American voters in 11 states--the largest poll of its kind in the nation. AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988, noting the steadily increasing numbers of new citizen and first-time voters.
MULTILINGUAL VOTER HOTLINE: 800-966-5946
Multilingual volunteers will be at poll sites to take complaints from voters about election irregularities and barriers to voting. Voters can also report Election Day problems by calling AALDEF’s toll-free Election Day Hotline at 800-966-5946 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Sam Dolnick reports in the NY Times:
Puerto Ricans ages 16 to 24 have the lowest rates of school enrollment and employment, and the highest rates of poverty among Latino New Yorkers. Puerto Rican men are more than twice as likely as their Mexican peers to be out of school and out of the labor force. Puerto Rican women are more likely to be out of school and unemployed than Dominican or Mexican women. Read more...
With record levels of deportations, persistent reports of detention abuses, consistent stories about deaths on the border, etc., I must admit that I have not been thinking about which kind of immigration enforcement measures I should be supporting, For analysis of the question "What kind of enforcement system would they want if we were starting from zero and there were no unauthorized immigrants in the country?", click here.
This op/ed ("No Affirmative Action for Conservatives") by Law Professor Tim Canova (Chapman) might be of interest. Download No_Affirmative_Action_for_Conservatives_10-28-10. It responds to a L.A. Times op/ed on the need for more conservatives in academia.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
NPR spent the past several months analyzing hundreds of pages of campaign finance reports, lobbying documents and corporate records. What they show is a quiet, behind-the-scenes effort to help draft and pass Arizona Senate Bill 1070 by an industry that stands to benefit from it: the private prison industry. The law could send hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to prison in a way never done before. And it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to private prison companies responsible for housing them.
For a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet "Characteristics of Persons Naturalizing in the United States Between 1980 and 2008", Sept. 2010, see Download Dhs fact sheet. For a Fact Sheet on the naturalization of immigrants who received "amnesty" under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, see Download Irca-natz-fs-2009.
From the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: New Protections for Abused, Abandoned, and Neglected Immigrant Youth Under Nationwide Class Action Settlement, Perez-Olano v. Napolitano
Friday, November 19, 2010
By Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 pm Pacific
CA MCLE Credit: One hour
Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law
This free webinar is designed for lawyers and advocates who represent, or are considering representing, abused, abandoned, and neglected immigrant and refugee youth in applying for lawful permanent residence.
Federal law, 8 U.S.C. sections 1101(a)(27)(J) and 1255, provides a way for certain non-citizen youth who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected to apply for lawful residence in the United States. This benefit is known as Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status.
On May 13, 2005, the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law and the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice initiated a class action challenging certain policies and practices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), that blocked youth from obtaining lawful residence as SIJs. Among the challenged practices were ICE's requiring that all youth in federal custody obtain its "specific" consent prior to seeking the protection of state juvenile courts, and CIS's declaring youth "aged-out" of SIJ eligibility if they were not still state court dependents at the time the agency managed to adjudicate their applications for permanent residence.
On October 22, 2010, the United States District Court tentatively approved a settlement of this national class action; the settlement takes effect December 13, 2010. The settlement grants abused, abandoned, and neglected immigrant youth new and important protections and benefits in their quest to obtain SIJ-based lawful residence.
This webinar will explain the settlement and explore its implications for representing abused, abandoned, and neglected youth before CIS, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and the immigration courts.
The webinar will be presented by Carlos Holguin, General Counsel, Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law. Mr. Holguin has represented immigrant and refugee youth in numerous impact cases, including Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292 (1993) (national class action on behalf of children denied release on bail pending the outcome of deportation proceedings); League of United Latin American Citizens v. Wilson, 131 F.3d 1297 (9th Cir. 1997) (state-wide class action challenging constitutionality of Proposition 187 denying health care, social services and education to suspected undocumented immigrants); and Perez-Olano v. Gonzalez, 248 F.R.D. 248 (C.D. Cal. 2008) (national class action on behalf of abused, abandoned, and neglected immigrant and refugee youth).
Deadline to Register: November 18, 2010.
This webinar is limited to 30 participants. Attorneys and paralegals affiliated with California Qualified Legal Services Programs will receive priority, with remaining slots allocated to other legal services and pro bono lawyers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Here is an interesting memo from Julie Myers who headed ICE under the Bush Administration:
All Field Office Directors
All Special Agents in Charge
Assistant Secretary, DHS
Field Guidance on Enforcement Actions or Investigative Activities At or Near Sensitive Community Locations
ICE personnel should refrain from conducting enforcement actions or investigative activities at or near sensitive community locations such as schools, places of worship, and funerals or other religious ceremonies, except in limited circumstances as set forth within this memorandum. Such restraint strikes a balance between our law enforcement responsibilities and the public's confidence in the way ICE executes its mission.
Precedent for this approach is clear. Under Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Policy HQ 807-P, Enforcement Activities at Schools, Places of Worship, or at funerals or other religious ceremonies (May 17, 1993), law enforcement personnel were directed to:
"[Ajttemp t to avoid apprehension ofpersons and to tightly control investigative operations on the premises of schools, places of worship, funerals and other religious ceremonies. "
ICE policies are in place to ensure that our personnel conduct enforcement operations in a manner that is safe and respectful of all persons. This policy was recently reinforced in a December 26, 2007 Memorandum from Marcy M. Forman, Director, Office of Investigations, entitled Enforcement Actions at Schools. This field guidance_clearly states that ICE views these actions with particular sensitivity:
"[I]t is important to emphasize that great care andforethought be applied before undertaking any investigative or enforcement type action at or near schools, other institutions of education, and venues generally where children and their families may be present. "
Policies governing ICE Office of Detention and Removal (DRO) Fugitive Operations Teams have similarly discouraged enforcement actions in these sensitive locations. Furthermore, all of our enforcement actions have been, and should continue to be, thoroughly planned, reviewed, and approved by senior field office personnel so that both the public's safety and our national security are guaranteed.
SUBJECT: Field Guidance on Enforcement Actions or Investigative Activities At or Near Sensitive Community Locations Page 2
While ICE policies and procedures do not specifically preclude enforcement actions or investigative activities at the aforementioned locations, the direction of INS HQ807-P remains in effect.
Consistent with these policies, including INS HQ807-P, there may be specific situations requiring ICE personnel to act at or near sensitive locations. Such situations would include those involving terrorism-related investigations, matters of public safety, or actions where no enforcement activity is involved, such as requesting information from school officials, retrieving records, or otherwise routine, non-enforcement activity. Any such case must be raised to the appropriate Headquarters program office prior to any action or, in exigent circumstances, as soon as practicable. Moreover, personnel are reminded to be cognizant of the impact oftheir activity, exercise good judgment and act with an appropriate level of compassion in light of the location while exercising their authority in such circumstances.
This policy should not be construed as an indication of tolerance for any violations of the law by anyone at or in charge of any of these sensitive locations. A formal ICE Policy Directive providing policy and procedures for these enforcement actions and/or investigative activities will be issued in the near future.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Among other things, the President defended his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, extolled Latinos to put pressure on the Republicans for CIR (by, for example, supporting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his campaign for re-election in Nevada), and reiterated his commitment to the DREAM Act.
Many research studies (and here and here) have concluded that local news stories, seeking to sensationalize the news, often include racial imagery in covering crime. The studies further show that people exposed to such imagery tend to become more supportive of capital punishment, tough mandatory sentencing, and anti-crime measures, all which have disproportionate impacts on communities of color. To make matters worse, these images reinforce negative attitudes about racial minorities.
In short, local news reporting on crime can inflame racial tensions in a community.
Consequently, many responsible local television news stations and newspapers have decided not to broadcast or publish pictures of crime suspects. Along those lines, the Ventura Star has explained that it ordinarily does not include the race of a criminal suspect in a news story because it often “can be more problematic than useful.” “One reason we are cautious about printing racial descriptions is that there are potentially negative ramifications of using race as a descriptor. Unlike, say, height, race is not a hard and fast descriptor, and using it without other specific details could lead to profiling that negatively effects people and doesn't really help police, we believe. . . . Sometimes a person's ethnic background is relatively easy to identify, but sometimes not.” (emphasis added). The Star goes on to discuss the difficulties in identifying a suspect as “Hispanic.”
Not all newspapers are on the same page, however. The Madera Tribune is a small newspaper based in Madera, California, a town of more than 55,000 people, 75% of them Hispanic, in the Central Valley of California. In many small Central Valley towns, tensions are high between persons of Mexican ancestry and Anglos. This is true even though, in most of the towns and cities in the Valley, Hispanics account for half, or more, of the population.
Despite the best practices in the newspaper industry, the Madera Tribune's reporting, and specifically its use of pictures of Latino crime suspects, can do nothing other than inflame racial tensions.
A recent search on the Madera Tribune website came up with 267 related Driving Under the Influence (DUI) articles. The Tribune reported last March that the City of Madera received a generous grant to fund DUI enforcement. Previous articles mentioned that Madera had received another grant for traffic enforcement, recognizing that DUIs were a major problem in Madera.
The Madera Tribune seems to have increased its coverage of DUIs, including publishing close-up pictures of suspects being handcuffed, forced against the hood sof their cars by police officers, lying in their cars or in vehicles with alcoholic beverages, and identifying them by Spanish surname. See, for example, here. One picture showed a man with a “sombrero” arrested next to a minivan. From our review, nearly every picture of a DUI suspect on the Madera Tribune’s website depicts a Latino. From reading the Tribune, one would be left to think that Anglos never commit crimes in Madera.
The Tribune’s pattern and practice of racializing its crime reporting raises the question whether the paper is seeking to, in order to sell papers, exploit racial tensions and re-affirm stereotypes of Latinos as “drunks” and criminals.
Moreover, one has to wonder why these stories and pictures are newsworthy. The “news alerts” and pictures look staged and hooky. One has to wonder what the purpose behind these stories is except to embarrass Latinos and portray them in a negative light.
By reporting and publishing these pictures of individuals arrested for DUIs on a regular basis and publishing images of arrests of Latino “criminals” (note that it appears that only the arrests, not the ultimate disposition of the cases is reported), the Madera Tribune is exacerbating racial tension in the community.
The media and journalists must consider their obligations to promote true dialogue and constructive discussion of the racial divisions among Americans. To that end, the Madera Tribune has to balance informing the public on crime versus reinforcing negative stereotypes of Latinos. (For a book on those stereotypes, see Steve Bender, Greasers and Gringos (NYU Press 2005)). Informing the communities of crime does not require a picture, offering a name (at least in some instances), or reporting on the person’s immigration status. The Tribune certainly can find different ways to report arrests, just like many responsible newspapers do.
KJ and Aida Macedo, Third Year Law Student, UC Davis School of Law
You are cordially invited to the
28th Annual Dinner of the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant
Tessa Rouverol Callejo
Bill Ong Hing
Sylvia Rosales Fike
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Wine and Cheese & Silent Auction 5:15-7:00pm
Key Note Speaker Bill Ong Hing 7:00pm
St. John's Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkeley
Parking available and wheelchair accessible
On Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began using a federal information sharing capability in all Arizona counties that uses biometrics to identify aliens, both lawfully and unlawfully present in the United States, who are booked into local law enforcement's custody for a crime.
This information sharing capability is part of Secure Communities - ICE's comprehensive strategy to improve and modernize the identification and removal of criminal aliens from the United States.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Arizona has attracted more than $3.6 million of donations to help defend SB 1070, the immigration law that is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "Timothy Mellon, an heir to a Pittsburgh steel and banking dynasty, has donated $1.5 million to a legal-defense fund established by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, according to the governor's office. Mr. Mellon, who is identified on a donor list as a Wyoming resident, is among more than 42,000 people who have contributed to the border state's legal battle for the right to enforce the law . . . ."
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
BREAKING NEWS! Arizona Voter Identification Law Unconstitutional as Preempted by National Voter Registration Act
Today, the Ninth Circuit, with retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a native of Arizona, sitting by designation on the panel of three judges, has declared Arizona Proposition 200 regarding the necessary citizenship identification for voting, invalid as preempted by federal law. Judge Sandra Ikuta wrote the majority opinion. Judge Alex Kozinski dissented. For more details, and a link to the opinion, read Ruthann Robson's post on the Constitutional Law Prof blog.
interestingly, Judge Ikuta years ago clerked in succesive years for both Justice O'Connor and Judge Kosinski.
Nina Perales of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund successfully argued the case for the plaintiffs-appellants.
Arizona loses Round 1 in the latest premption wars. Will United States v. Arizona, to be heard by the Ninth Circuit on Monday, be another loss for the state of Arizona?
Not surprisingly, Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, a hawk on immigration and strong supporter of SB 1070, vehemently criticized the Ninth Circuit ruling, even disputing that retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a former Arizona state legislator who joined the majority opinion, could legitimately sit on the three judge panel.