Hold the phone for a second - just what IS the job of the State Attorney General if not to uphold the laws of the state? Just asking. Perhaps that's what Gov. Brewer wants to know, too:
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.
Hmmm. Sounds like there is some monkey business going on with the person who is supposed to be on the side of the state, not the party. Gov. Brewer is not taking this collusion lying down:
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.
Imagine that - the one who is trying to enforce federal law is actually going up in ratings, while those who seem to want porous borders with no enforcement are going down. Hmm. I wonder what message can POSSIBLY be taken away from THAT?
And how about Obama not meeting with Gov. Brewer while she is in town? She is going to be in town because Obama appointed her to a Special Council a while back. But he refuses to meet with her to discuss this issue about which HE has made an issue. Wowie zowie. Perhaps we should change his title to "Petulant In Chief."
You gotta give it to Governor Brewer - she is one helluva strong woman. Obama choosing not to meet with her says way more about him than it does about her. He has no qualms throwing out barbs and zingers, but when he is faced with someone who will stand up to him, he hides. What a bully he is, and what a coward. He could take some lessons - a lot of them - from Gov. Brewer, don't you think?