Reinventing Barbecue

Jan 21, 2013 By Jim Shahin

Where there's smoke, there's non-traditional barbecue. Jim Shahin writes about Asian styles in New York City, "pulled squash" in Arizona, and cauliflower, artichokes, and quail in Texas.

Arizona court enjoins the main provisions of S.B. 1070

Jul 28, 2010 By Paul Burka

The outcome of the Arizona immigration lawsuit was inevitable. The Arizona statute is preempted by federal law and by the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. From the Court's opinion: "The United States asserts that mandatory determination of immigration status for all arrestees “conflicts with federal law because it necessarily imposes substantial burdens on lawful immigrants in a way that frustrates the concern of Congress for nationally-uniform rules governing the treatment of aliens throughout the country – rules designed to ensure ‘our traditional policy of not treating aliens as a thing apart.’” (Plaintiff's’s Motion at 26, quoting Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52, 73 (1941)).)" I wrote about the Hines case in an earlier post about the Arizona lawsuit shortly after the government filed its complaint. In that post, I cited Erwin Chemerinsky, an expert in constitutional law and the dean of the law school at the University of California, Irvine, who told Yahoo! News that federal law clearly preempts the Arizona measure in his view, rendering the state law unconstitutional: Said Chemerisnky: "In Hines, the Supreme Court ruled that by its adoption of a comprehensive, integrated scheme for regulation of aliens — including its 1940 registration act — Congress has precluded state action like that taken by Pennsylvania." This was not a close case. It was over when the Department of Justice filed its lawsuit. This is another key paragraph in the opinion: If enforcement of the portions of S.B. 1070 for which the Court finds a likelihood of preemption is not enjoined, the United States is likely to suffer irreparable harm. This is so because the federal government’s ability to enforce its policies and achieve its objectives will be undermined by the state’s enforcement of statutes that interfere with federal law, even if the Court were to conclude that the state statutes have substantially the same goals as federal law. The legal battle is not over. After the injunction is lifted, the case will go to trial in Judge Bolton's court. The decision is likely to go against the state of Arizona. Governor Brewer could still insist upon appealing the case to the Ninth Circuit, though the chance of success is not great. Meanwhile, the political battle is just beginning. I wrote in that earlier post, "My belief is that the Obama Administration will win the battle but lose the war. That is, the law will be found to be unconstitutional, but the loss will be pinned on Obama and the Democrats generally." It will be interesting to see whether Leo Berman and Debbie Riddle continue to push immigration legislation in the face of an adverse court decision and a governor who doesn't support the legislation. Add Dan Patrick to the Berman/Riddle list. He issued this statement today:

The Arizona lawsuit: the wrong venue?

Jul 14, 2010 By Paul Burka

My copy of the federal government’s complaint plainly says that the lawsuit is brought in the District Court for the District of Arizona. But will it stay there? Article 3, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution reads: In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in…

U.S. v. Arizona: Who wins?

Jul 13, 2010 By Paul Burka

In its lawsuit against the state of Arizona that objects to S.B. 1070, the new Arizona immigration law, the U.S. Department of Justice [quoting from the complaint] "seeks to declare invalid and preliminarily and permanently enjoin the enforcement of S.B. 1070," because "S.B. 1070 is preempted by federal law and therefore violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution." Considering that DOJ is supposed to have some of the finest legal talent in the land, the complaint is really not a very persuasive document. Preemption is merely asserted. The government made no effort to support its assertion with references to precedent or statutes. It doesn't even bother to cite the constitutional language pertaining to immigration, nor does it refer to any specific federal statutes. The complaint says only, "In our constitutional system, the federal government has preeminent authority to regulate immigration matters. The authority derives from the U.S. Constitution and numerous acts of Congress." Is DOJ right? Does the Constitution preempt the states from taking action against illegal immigration?

Can’t be done

May 20, 2010 By Paul Burka

Over the past couple of days, the main topic on this blog has been the controversy over the Arizona immigration law. I understand why Debbie Riddle and others want to do something about illegal immigration. What I don’t understand is why they think that passing a law will achieve anything.

Bill prohibiting ethnic studies advances in Arizona

May 4, 2010 By Paul Burka

This report is from the Arizona Star (Tucson): PHOENIX – State senators approved legislation aimed at the curbing the ethnic-studies program in Tucson Unified School District. HB 2281 would make it illegal for a school district to have any courses or classes that promote the overthrow of the…