AZ governor suspends Dem AG from immigration-law defense

posted at 10:50 am on May 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The Arizona immigration-enforcement bill has created a national debate, but it may pale in comparison to the infighting in Arizona.  The Attorney General expected to defend the law is a Democrat expected to run against Governor Jan Brewer in November, and Terry Goddard’s meeting this week with Eric Holder was apparently the final straw for Brewer.  She took advantage of a clause in SB1070 and hired outside counsel to represent Arizona in the case and suspended Goddard from it:

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.

It’s hard to imagine how Goddard thinks he can benefit from opposing the law or aligning himself so closely with Holder, an outspoken critic of the law.  Arizonans overwhelmingly support the law, and they’re not likely to be budged by Holder’s scolding.  Arizona voters will also wonder why Goddard is spending his time fighting Arizona rather than getting better cooperation from the Obama administration on immigration enforcement and border security.

The legislature also gave Goddard a vote of no confidence in its opt-out for Brewer.  That adds to the baggage Goddard will have to carry into his election.  On top of that, the longer this stays a national issue, the more Arizonans will dig in their heels — and the longer resentment towards Goddard will continue.

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Comment pages: 1 2

I wonder if Brewer and Palin have been on the phone….

Fishoutofwater on May 29, 2010 at 11:04 AM

I betcha Palin has been involved from the start. It was no accident Sarah showed up in Phoeni at a Diamondbacks game with Jan two days after she signed the bill.

By the way: Where’s Mitt been?

bw222 on May 29, 2010 at 6:18 PM

This fair lady is proving to be incredibly insightful and competent.

Having been rebuffed by the incompetent Obama, for a sought meeting with his highness, makes her even bigger.

Not only will she win but she will play a big role, nationally. She comes across incredibly grown up and level-headed, something our lands needs the most in leadership today.

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Bbbbbbbut, how can this be? Jan Brewer is only a community college graduate./s

bw222 on May 29, 2010 at 6:20 PM

How the hell did one state elect both Brewer and Napoltiano?

Rocks on May 29, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Jan Brewer was never elected governor. AZ is the only stste without a Lt. Gov. If the gov. resigns, the Secretary of State becomes gov. Brewer was SOS.

bw222 on May 29, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Given the plethora of Jackass governors, perhaps other states should adopt this strategy…of course, it would require getting a solid Conservative into the SOS office first and then convincing Obama to appoint the sitting Dembulb Governor/Governess to a worthless spot in his gang Administration.

opaobie on May 29, 2010 at 7:58 PM

Having spent 23 years in Arizona, I know of Terry Goddard. Think of a skinny algore.

TwinkietheKid on May 29, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Thank you Gov. Brewer!. You have shown exceptionally good leadership and I shall reward your effort with my vote come this Nov. Keep up the good fight against these libturds.

hawkman on May 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Holder has time to meet the Dem A.G. but Obama doesn’t have time to meet the Governor. Of course there’s no partisanship involved in that! Of course it’s not business as usual!

If people don’t start looking at this and understand the Democratic Party has decided to make a stand against having borders, they’re not paying attention. I can’t believe a political party, in the United States, is doing all it can to undermine our country in this manner. Let’s face it, if you have no borders, you’re no longer a country.

Mexicans apparently believe that we stole a prosperous California from them. Well I’d hate to say it; but we could give California back to Mexico and before you could blink the whole state would look like Tiajuana.

bflat879 on May 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM

I love this woman. When she means business. No half azz aproached for her.

bflat879 on May 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM

Good example is what happened to Gaza after the Israelis pulled out.

Blake on May 29, 2010 at 9:36 PM

I love this woman. When she means business. No half a** aproached for her.

bflat879 on May 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM

She thought hard about it because she knew the crap would hit the fan and most of the hysterical opposition wouldn’t make any rational sense.

scotash on May 29, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Just an observation that the majority of the Republican males are inspired by Al-Caida and/or the Taliban….they are hiding behind the Republican Women.

The_Basseteer on May 30, 2010 at 3:48 AM

Governor Gibbons in Nevada had to resort to outside counsel, because the libertard AG Catherine Mastos, wouldn’t file over Obamacare.
She’s one term, and hopefully leaving.

docjohn52 on May 30, 2010 at 6:00 AM

Could it be he is actually against the law in principle?

A lawyer with an ethical bone in him?

Hmm…. Naaah.

archer52 on May 30, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Wow, this is really heating up.
Anyone searched for precedent on something like this? Removing the AG? I’ll search a little and get back to ya.

riverrat10k on May 31, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Wow….people from Arizona actually voted Terry Goddard into office? That borders on “Minnesota-stupid”.

(Senator Stuart Smalley… your office)

olesparkie on June 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

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