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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer abruptly suspends state's attorney general from illegal immigrant law defense

Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer

A sudden new twist in the ongoing rhetorical and legal struggle over Arizona's tough new law to round up illegal immigrants.

Late Friday night as the Memorial Day weekend began, Arizona's Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, in effect, suspended the state's Democratic attorney general from defending the new law in upcoming legal challenges. The measure, known as S.B. 1070, is due to take effect this summer and, among other things, allows local police under federal guidelines to check the immigration status of people they stop. (For a full list of background stories, see Related Items below.)

The governor's abrupt action against Terry Goddard, her likely Democratic opponent in this fall's gubernatorial election, came after months of disputes between the two and at the end of a long day of legal maneuvering in both Arizona and the nation's capital.

As the state's chief lawyer, Goddard would be expected to take the lead in defending Arizona against....

...challenges to the Legislature's action, which erupted after years of state frustration with the federal government's inability to secure the state border with Mexico against illegal immigrants, drugs and criminals.

However, Goddard has vocally opposed the measure, so much so that the Legislature gave the governor advance authority to hire outside legal counsel.

On Friday, Goddard met with the Obama administration's Atty. Gen. Eric Holder in Washington, then held a news conference just hours before Brewer's handpicked attorneys were to meet with Holder, an outspoken critic of the law.

Brewer said, "I believe the federal government should use its legal resources to fight illegal immigration, not the State of Arizona."

Seeing apparent collusion between the two Democrat lawyers, Brewer pulled the plug Friday night.

Her statement (full text below) said:

Due to Attorney General Goddard’s curious coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice today and his consistent opposition to Arizona’s new immigration laws, I will direct my legal team to defend me and the State of Arizona rather than the Attorney General in the lawsuits challenging Arizona’s immigration laws.

Despite widespread criticism in the media and the Obama administration, whose officials including Holder admitted they had not actually read the legislation, numerous polls have shown deep support for the measure nationally and within Arizona.

And that approval has transferred over to Brewer, who was trailing Goddard early this year in polls of a hypothetical matchup come Nov. 2. Brewer inherited the governor's office last year when Janet Napolitano resigned to accept the man-caused nomination of Homeland Security secretary from President Obama.

Brewer has sought to meet with the now-vacationing Obama during a trip to Washington next week. But the Democrat has been unable to fit the Republican governor and the border issue into his impossible schedule.

Related items:

82% of Americans oppose a boycott of Arizona over its new illegal immigrant law

In her own words: Gov. Jan Brewer responds to Obama's border troop decision

Arizona Gov. Brewer's approval surges past 50% after signing illegal immigrant law

Joe Biden update: Mexican Pres. Calderon's speech prompts deep thoughtzzz

Obama folks having real t-r-o-u-b-l-e reading Arizona's new i-l-l-e-g-a-l immigrant l-a-w

Los presidentes Calderon y Obama talk about the sensitive border issue

A California mayor wants to hang out the illegal immigrants Unwelcome sign

Support broadens among Americans for Arizona's illegal immigrant law

See for yourself: Complete text of the Arizona law and executive order

Arizona Gov. Brewer explains signing nation's toughest immigration bill

So what does the new Arizona law actually do?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Full text of Statement by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

Today the legal team I have appointed to defend the State of Arizona in the legal challenges to Arizona’s new immigration laws met with senior officials from the United States Department of Justice. The meeting was held at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice.  

The Department attorneys were advised that I believe the federal government should use its legal resources to fight illegal immigration, not the State of Arizona.

They were further advised that on behalf of the State of Arizona, I will ensure the immigration laws we passed are vigorously defended all the way to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.Arizona state Flag

For some inexplicable reason, the Department of Justice officials met with the Arizona Attorney General hours before meeting with the State of Arizona’s legal team, and then allowed the Attorney General to hold a press conference to discuss the meeting.  

This level of coordination between the Attorney General and the Obama Administration is disturbingly similar to the coordination with Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords earlier this week on President Obama’s still unclear plan to deploy up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the border.  

Due to the Attorney General’s opposition to Arizona’s immigration laws as set forth in S.B. 1070, the Legislature required Attorney General Goddard to act at the direction of the Governor in any challenge to S.B. 1070 as amended by H.B. 2162.   The Legislature also gave the Governor authority to hire outside counsel if necessary to defend the law on behalf of the State instead of using the Attorney General. 

The Legislature gave me this authority because of its lack of confidence in the Attorney General’s willingness to vigorously defend this legislation that is so critical to protecting the safety and welfare of Arizona’s citizens.  Last year, I instructed the Attorney General to change his position on behalf of the State of Arizona in the Horne v. Flores case involving a challenge to the Arizona’s English language learner laws.  He refused and the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rejected his position.

Due to Attorney General Goddard’s curious coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice today and his consistent opposition to Arizona’s new immigration laws, I will direct my legal team to defend me and the State of Arizona rather than the Attorney General in the lawsuits challenging Arizona’s immigration laws.    ####

Photo: Fox News Channel (Brewer).

 
Comments () | Archives (140)

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We, the people, have spoken loud and clear that WE WANT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION contained. The DOJ has concerns about the law, but do they have any concerns for the situation? Why attack the people of Arizona? Stop wasting time fighting the people you should be HELPING!


Help show support for Arizona, buy products from Arizona based businesses from our business directory, buy a bumper sticker to show your support, or just comment on stories related to the Arizona immigration law, http://www.we-support-arizona.com

Jan Brewer looks like a tourist from Norway who has overstayed her visa.

What does man-caused mean?

(AM responds: It was Janet Napolitano's attempt to avoid using the word terrorist, as in man-caused disaster.)

Good move that will encourage states to be proactive in cleaning up several issues -- including health care, enspite of Democrats who hold positions that might block the will of the majority. Arizona and Gov. Brewer have chosen to set the pace for the states to take up control of illegal immigration and border control because that is what the electorate in the state want them to do. Democrats seem to have no will to represent constituencies; their main drive is supporting their party. In the US, this is reprehensible and independents who expect responsiveness to constituencies are going to clean out what's left of the turn coat self serving officials at every level. Thanks to Brewer, at least Goddard is out of the way.

Thank God for Jan Brewer!!! God bless Arizona,, stay strong brothers and sisters. LA is staying strong with Arizona.

So much for the separate but equal branches of government, even at the state level, so much for the independance of the office of the AG.
Despots and tyrants in their consoilidations of power are capable of such unconstitutional acts as history records, the suspension of the office of the AG to impede or further the governors personal agenda is a chilling concept cast upon the liberties of The People.

To all of you who want a quick-fix: when us "legals" start harvesting our crops and getting paid simple minimum wage and overtime, the price of your produce is going to triple. Now add in the fact that the legal workforce would certainly unionize and get medical benefits as well, and you're talking at least a tenfold increase in prices. Sound good? Strawberries--$29.90/lb.; iceberg lettuce--$12.90/head; potatoes--$14.90/10-lb. bag; cauliflower--$12.90/lb. Not to mention the lawsuits generated by Latinos who are here legally but are detained because they "look as if..." You're just screwing yourselves, and you're too dumb to see it. (P.S.: I'm white.)

To those that approve this new immigration law.One day you are going to be at a situation not exactly the same but somehow similar , then you are going to remember and regret your behavior towards us all HUMAN BEINGS CREATED BY JEHOVAH GOD....
AN EXAMPLE: EARTH QUAKE What are you going to tell our creator...I’m sorry !! But I hated the Mexicans and all the Foreigners. May god Bless you and I hope he gives you wisdom to understand that what's going on does not have anything to do with IMMIGRATION.....SATAN IS DIVIDING YOU GUYS,, AND YOU HAVE TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THAT , than to blame someone.

P.S. Remember that when you point at someone ONE FINGER POINTS AT THAT SOMEONE,
BUT 3 ARE POINTING AT YOU !!!

With all due Respect: GEORGE JUAREZ …….

To those that approve this new immigration law.One day you are going to be at a situation not exactly the same but somehow similar , then you are going to remember and regret your behavior towards us all HUMAN BEINGS CREATED BY JEHOVAH GOD....
AN EXAMPLE: EARTH QUAKE What are you going to tell our creator...I’m sorry !! But I hated the Mexicans and all the Foreigners. May god Bless you and I hope he gives you wisdom to understand that what's going on does not have anything to do with IMMIGRATION.....SATAN IS DIVIDING YOU GUYS,, AND YOU HAVE TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THAT , than to blame someone.

P.S. Remember that when you point at someone ONE FINGER POINTS AT THAT SOMEONE,
BUT 3 ARE POINTING AT YOU !!!

With all due Respect: GEORGE JUAREZ …….

A bigot woman defending an unconstitutional bigot law. It always strikes me as odd that people who know full well that they are descended from immigrants will still use fear of so-called "illegals" to pander to a vocal xenophobic minority. They won't be happy until we're in a police state.

Questionnaire for the immigration hawks: (1) Do you buy mostly those consumer goods that are made in the USA? (2) Have you served in the U.S. military, i.e., served in the defense of your country? (3) Could you pass the civics test that is given to persons applying for U.S. citizenship? (4) Do you feel comfortable in the company of people of color? If you answer no to these questions, you don't have much credibility on immigration issues.

"Seeing apparent collusion between the two Democrat lawyers"

Not even the Repub AZ governor used the belittling 'Democrat' slur in her statement. I was raised on the LATim at breakfast every morning. It is so sad to see it fall to tabloid, right wing mouthpiece. That shift in the nation's newspapers may be a major factor in readership losses.

The illegal immigration problem is easily solved if the government would aggressively prosecute the companies that hire them.

"...
This level of coordination between the Attorney General and the Obama Administration is disturbingly similar to the coordination with Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords earlier this week on President Obama’s still unclear plan to deploy up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the border.
..."

and, given the obvious intention of the AG Jan Brewer in the coming election who should have recused if she really holds her belief, the Gov. action is long overdue.

For me after repeatedly read and re-read the new AZ law, and reading arguments of both sides, I found no word in it is objectionable. In fact, it had been in the existing laws of the US; every stated, cities, ...

Thanks God, these days we have the internet and yes Fox news channel.
Just to comapre.

The thought that the left, that means wrong, uses the chance to buy easy votes from the Latinos population in the election year is the a dangerous, desperate move.

What about the majority of law abiding population.

I will make immigration stance is the starting point to decide my vote.

Yeah, there is nothing more patriotic than law enforcement patrolling the country forcing people to show their papers!

It doesn't matter if it's Mexicans you are afraid of. Just imagine...one day you are running late for work. Blue lights flash behind you. "I'm sorry officer. Is there a problem?" "I need to see license, registration and birth certificate, please. I'm just verifying you're an American." "But officer...I'm white!" "Doesn't matter, ma'am. We are not allowed to discriminate in the enforcement of the law. If you don't have your birth certificate with you, I'm afraid I'm going to have to take you downtown. At HQ we can match your DNA profile, but we don't have the field test kits for that yet."

Arizona is the first state to go Nazi! Seig heil!

Those of you commenting in support of this law have no idea how horrific this law appears to those of us who aren't white. I was born and raised in the United States, but because I happen to be Japanese-American, once in a while people assume I am foreign. "You speak English very well," they tell me. Because this law has passed I have no idea if I visit Arizona if I get pulled over for rolling through a stop sign if the cop is going to arrest me because he "suspects" I am here illegally, because I don't have my "papers" with me. No, I don't carry around my passport or birth certificate with me at all times, I'm sorry. And what of Mexican-Americans who police just "think" are here illegally, but who aren't? What this law amounts to is EVERYONE WHO DOESN'T LOOK WHITE has to carry around proof of their status, regardless of whether they are a citizen, someone with a green card, or illegal. This is a racist, xenophobic law.

Illegal immigration has been going down for years. Furthermore most illegals contribute more in taxes and to the economy than they use in public services. WE are exploit THEM, not the other way around. Illegal immigration is a non problem, and doesn't require a draconian and racist "solution." This Arizona law is un-American and paranoid.

"Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer abruptly suspends state's attorney general from illegal immigrant law defense" Rather deceptive headline that gives the impression that the Gov is giving up. Typical Lamestream media trick.
The headline should be amended to read: "AZ Governor hies outside counsel to defend AB 1070. Arizona AG is useless and may have improper ties to the White House"

Traitors in AZ and the US. Go Brewer, you are at the forefront of protecting US citizens from the corrupt and traitors to this country.!

Frontier justice? Well, it's on the frontier... still.

Gov. Brewer, you have my full support and I approve of your decision to replace Goddard who obviously would not be fully engaged to defend SB1070.
This Attorney General and those like him are the reason this country is being over run by illegals. They are not willing to defend their country.

This Gov. will go down in history as one who wasn't afraid to lead and protect the people of AZ.

"Jan Brewer looks like a tourist from Norway who has overstayed her visa. Posted by: valley observer | May 29, 2010 at 01:00 AM "

Says a valley girl who thinks visa is something she can use to add to her Imelda Marcos sized shoe collection.

Everyone must see this video !!

This is Congressman Tom Mc Clintock's reply to the ridiculous way the
president of Mexico ranted about Arizona's adoption of the federal law
regarding illegal immigration. Sadly, many of the incumbents including
Napolitano cheered the Mexican president on as he was bashing our great
nation. Take about 5 minutes to hear Mc Clintock's reply and be amazed. If
he ever makes it to the national scene...I guarantee he has my vote!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldx8gZDwZWs

If the video does not start, Google this,. "Response to President Calderon"

Forward this to everyone you know.

About time someone had the guts/smarts to stand up to these lower level operatives that refuse to do their jobs. It must take the ladies to be tough enough to stand the heat (exception: Gov Christie). Bravo, Gov Brewer!

Agree with her or no, there is no denying this is one tough politician.

I especially love the part in her response to Obama sending troops where she says, 'And oh by the way, you deadbeat feds owe us $750 Million.' (My paraphrase)

Thank you Governor Brewer for showing the nation that you will uphold and defend our Constitution and the rule of law, unlike many of our Federal officials whom I will not name but let's just say they are arrogant and Obamanable in their actions and attitudes towards the people they sneeringly "serve".

Man, this lady ROCKS! Stay strong, Arizona - the majority of Americans support you and your legislation.

So, she's going to use state tax money to hire her own lawyers to defend the law eh? It sounds like another gift to her GOP lawyers and I suppose this will help Arizona's economic problems. Like they have a lot of extra money to defend this probable unconstitutional law. I believe the Constitution reserves the right to defend the borders of the US to the Federal Government. Also, I heard Obama say he actually did read the text of the law and found it faulted, so this articles supposition that the Obama administration didn't even read the law is false. This law is just another example of what I heard a Judge say once: "these laws are written by lawyers who couldn't pass the Bar exam so they become legislators crafting laws that don't pass muster.

Arizona continues to be one of the most backward states in the US and for sure, in the western US. When you listen to their politicians, you know why. This is a Republican LDS controlled state government that built a six lane highway to Apache Junction (hwy to nowhere) when it would take you hours just to get out of Phoenix because of two lane roads including interstate 10 and 17. Now they want to build a highway from Mesa to the Utah border?

Please people, Republican's could have done something when they were in office, but they didn't. Certainly the Bush administration and Republican's who had control of everything had plenty of time to address immigration, but they chose not to. It's not the current administration's failing. It's a situation left to be resolved. It's true to say that even the AZ police force opposed earlier versions of this law but a compromise or a softening was met. I don't support targeting people for race, religion or whatever is legal. Should a person commit a crime then certainly their citizenship status can be verified. Every country has laws addressing illegal immigrants and so do we. We just need to enforce them with proper funding and personnel, but we don't need to create a race war or lump everyone together and vilify one particular nationality.

I am glad that Jan Brewer is standing up for Arizona. I will bet that Goddard is embarrased to be removed from defending his own state.

Bad News for Goddard = He wont be governor of Arizona

Good News for Goddard = He could run for Mayor of LA....

"Jan Brewer looks like a tourist from Norway who has overstayed her visa."

But she is the Gov and is kicking rear and taking names....now go boo hoo your little progressive tears

Good for her. In California despite his campaign promise during the gubernatorial race that he would defend the will of the voters and appeal Proposition 187 in the courts, Gray Davis instead set up a kangaroo court of mediation that excluded supporters of the law and terminated the appeal. This is fact and accounts of this event were published in the San Francisco and Los Angeles Times despite the penchant now for these and others to report the law as simply overturned in the court. Propositions and many other laws go through the appeal process and without lawyers to argue both sides, the legal system is subverted. The AG in Arizona is a Democrat who supports amnesty, just like Davis was then. The American people most affected by the unwillingness of government and business and ethnic elites have been ill-served for 25 years by our "representatives". They use the specious argument that the result of their intentional inaction, millions of illegal residents and their children residing in the US, means we can't enforce our immigration laws. Reducing illegal immigration by removing incentives, welfare and employment, as well as enforcing laws already in place as the Arizona law attempts, will most certainly lead to attrition today just as it would have prevented the growth of this crisis over the past two decades.

Arizona -- racist state of old scared white people. BOYCOTT ARIZONA.

I find it funny that conservatives like to talk about the will of the majority and we the people as if they are the only ones that have any say. It was also once the will of the majority that we have legalized segregation, a lack of voting rights, and no marriage between different races. Jan Brewer is back peddling at this point, she could have followed this course of action a long time ago, Why Now? Its all political theater at this point and trying to save face in front of the voters. I hope she goes down and I for one will push for boycotting Arizona and their Anti-immigrant racist laws.

Maybe Holder gave Goddard a job offer...

I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I'm so disgusted with Obama's and Holder's pandering to the Hispanic lobby and their LIES, depicting opponents of ILLEGAL immigrants as racist bigots, that I may hold my nose and vote Republican.

yes, true, the nature of the beast is the lack of containment of a porous border no doubt. That having been given let me just say that, the first law on making law enforcement extra-dutied immigration officers, but the second law specifically targetting American Education...

just goes to show that these two laws are driven by prejudice, not jurisprudence. No matter how this tough woman governor may appear. it doesn't change the national favor, or aftertaste left in the mouths of everyone.

I love the way Arizona Attorney General Goddard is using his office for political means.

When he took the oath of an Attorney General, he took an oath to defend the State whether he agrees or disagrees with its laws; he should keep his personal views separate from his job.

This guy is no Attorney General, he's just another SLEAZY politician that should NEVER be voted into ANY office.

I think that we should start deporting white people.

Before anyone gets involved in a discussion about Arizona SB 1070, he/she should read the final version entirely. Then, study the U. S. Constitution, especially Article IV, Section 4. It basically says that the U. S. is to defend states against invasion. Then, legal folks must decide whether or not 500,000 illegals constitute an invasion.
Before any city council decides to boycott Arizona, the voters should vote whether or not to join Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, illegals, terrorists and Barach Hussein Obama's jihad against Arizona. As cities, counties and states lay off employees, keep in mind the billions that are spent supporting and incarcerating illegals. It is also worth noting that each and every day illegals kill more Americans than were killed in the Boston Massacre.

Way to go Brewer. Looks like you know how to play chess.

"Jan Brewer looks like a tourist from Norway who has overstayed her visa.

Posted by: valley observer | May 29, 2010 at 01:00 AM"

Thank you very much for your racist, race-bating comment.

Jan Brewer... your Governorship is assured while Goddard better think about spending more time at home with his family or a job at SEIU or La Raza!

To #3: You got a problem with Norweigans? Ever heard of a Norweigan terrorist? I guess not, ha? Go back to your useless existence of sucking off the public teet...

ARIZONA NEED TO STEP UP AND LET THOSE ILLEGALS TO GET BACK IN LINE AND WAIT FOR THEIR TURN. LAST, ARIZONA DOES NOT HAVE MONEY TO TAKE CARE OF YOU AND PLEASE STOP HAVING BABIES YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO RAISE THEM.

valley observer you are a racist or a misogynist or both.
Where I can donate funds to the defense.

Then Gov. Napolitano goes to Washington to demand action against the people and drugs pouring into Arizona. She comes back starry-eyed and docile. Soon, she is named Head of Homeland Security. The once angry fighter for the state now refuses to arrest people for illegal entry.

Rep. Joe Sestak runs against a friend of the adinistration and gets an job offer if he goes away.

Goddard is not really a lawyer, he is a politician that comes from a political family. But he is losing in local polls, so he decides to "coordinate" with AG Holder and comes back with that Napolitano look in his eyes. Would you trust this career politician to defend the law against his potential new boss?

All other 49 states need a Governor like Brewer. She gets it and is not inept or stupid like what's in D.C. She is so tough, it's great!

Goddard is toast. I'm voting for Gov. Brewer. No offense, but we don't want to become California East.

I thought racists remarks weren't allowed on this site. Jan Brewer looks like a tourist from Norway who has overstayed her visa. I take offense to this statement.

Posted by: valley observer | May 29, 2010 at 01:00 AM

 
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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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