arlen specter: Page 1
Supreme Court upholds 2007 Arizona immigration enforcement law; eVerify; losing: US Chamber, DOJ, Berman, NCLR, ADL, SPLC, AILA, SEIU, LULAC - 05/26/11
In a major victory for states that want to reduce illegal immigration, the US Supreme Court has upheld Arizona's 2007 "Legal Arizona Workers Act" employer enforcement law that requires the use of eVerify and that allows Arizona to pull the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens. Note that the 2007 law and the decision have no relation to Arizona's more recent immigration law. A Los Angeles Times article is here, and links to legal documents are here. Sonia Sotomayor voted in dissent; see her name's link.
Others who filed briefs in the case and who lost today include (see each link for more on that group):
* Rep. Howard Berman
* National Council of La Raza
* Anti Defamation League
* American Immigration Lawyers Association
* PRLDEF (a former associated group of Sotomayor)
* Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (a former associated group of Barack Obama)
* Southern Poverty Law Center
* Service Employees International Union
* National Day Laborer Organizing Network(NDLON)
* National Immigrant Justice Center
* American Immigration Council
* Asian American Justice Center
* Asian American Institute
* Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
* Asian Law Caucus
* Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
* League of United Latin American Citizens
* Legal Aid Society
* Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
* National Employment Law Project
Others on the losing side were former senator Arlen Specter and Ron Mazzoli (of the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty fame).
UPDATE: Thomas Saenz of MALDEF (which doesn't appear to have been involved in the suit) weighs in. He got one thing right: just because the 2007 law was upheld doesn't mean SB 1070 will prevail. In my opinion, states should just simply copy Arizona's 2007 law for now.
In any case, here's what Saenz says (maldef.org/news/releases/az_evrfy):
"Today's regrettable decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting is a tortured product of judicial activism responding to perceived political views of the moment. The majority proclaims itself unable to find implied preemption of an Arizona law that plainly impedes a federal scheme of exclusive enforcement of longstanding immigration-related employment law, and then, with a facile shift, easily finds an implied permission for Arizona to mandate E-verify, a power that Congress denied the federal government itself. All of this is accomplished through providing talismanic significance to the word 'licensing' even though Arizona's use of the term violates any plain-language or historical understanding of the term."
"Despite this egregious outcome, today's decision provides little predictive value as to the constitutional issue of preemption with respect to Arizona's SB 1070 and similar laws recently enacted in other states. Laws that encroach on exclusive federal immigration enforcement by mandating or permitting untrained local police officers to engage in racial profiling will find little refuge in today's decision. Wise state and local lawmakers must continue to tread carefully in areas touching on immigration. As has been the case for well over 200 years, federal action remains the sole legitimate avenue to address immigration issues."
UPDATE 2: The ADL weighs in with a bit of a muted press release (adl.org/PresRele/SupremeCourt_33/6050_33.htm). They're "disappointed":
The law increases the legal risks for businesses that employ undocumented workers but fails to provide sufficient \safeguards to protect those workers against unlawful treatment. It undermines federal efforts to balance discrimination concerns with control of illegal immigration.
The Arizona law also requires state use of E-Verify – a federal pilot program that allows employers to verify the eligibility of newly-hired employees – even though the program relies on records that are prone to error. That is one reason Congress has decided to hold off on making participation in the program mandatory.
Although the Court has upheld Arizona's law, we hope other states will show greater concern for the potentially discriminatory impact such laws can have, and choose not to follow Arizona's lead.
And, I hope they do follow Arizona's lead. We'll see how that works out; I tend to think several will.
Apparently some of the questions at recent townhalls have been about illegal aliens receiving Obama healthcare. Unfortunately, if the report at  is accurate, the questions have been weak and may have actually helped the Democrats rather than revealed what they intend to do. As detailed by Obama himself, the Democrats do intend to give UHC to current illegal aliens by changing their status first.
"I didn't find fault with the 'wise Latina' comment, I find it commendable... There's nothing wrong with a little ethnic pride."
Of course, what she said wasn't so much "ethnic pride" as chauvinism or worse. Some forms of ethnic pride are certainly inoffensive. Others aren't, such as being a board member of a far-left racial power group (the PRLDEF) and being a member of another (the National Council of La Raza).
Sonia Sotomayor: affirmative action nominee for Supreme Court? Close to far-left Puerto Rico extremists? - 05/26/09
[SEE THE UPDATES]
Judge Sonia Sotomayor is Barack Obama's choice to replace David Souter on the US Supreme Court. Weak GOP talking points are here; Peter Baker and Jeff Zeleny (remember him?) have the New York Times' take here.
Was she selected only because of her outstanding grasp of legal issues? Or, was at least part of the selection due to the fact that she's a woman and a Hispanic? Were there more qualified possibilities who didn't happen to fit the politically-friendly uniform? If so, then she is indeed an affirmative action pick, despite the many attempts to claim otherwise we'll be treated to in the months to come. See the quotes at .
Expect the Democrats and their helpers to try to present any opposition to her as anti-Hispanic, just as they constantly played the race card before the election. Three examples at . Note that many MSM reporters and politicians will, either through ignorance or simple dishonesty, fail to note that most Hispanics in the U.S. are Mexican-American, and pan-Hispanic ethnic nationalism will only go so far with most.
It will be interesting to see whether some interesting quotes will come to light; here's one:
Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.
And, one thing the MSM won't look into - and the GOP won't discuss - is whether she's an extremist or not. To what extent does she agree with Luis Gutierrez and Nydia Velazquez, both of whom are former U.S. leaders of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party? Sotomayer is a former member of the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting PRLDEF; did she say or do anything interesting while a member? With Mexican-American leaders it's easy for me to tell their level of support for reconquista sentiments; I'm not familiar with Puerto Rican issues, and it's probably going to be difficult to find anyone to give the straight scoop on her position on issues like sovereignty.
UPDATE: Regarding that possible extremism, we're getting there. From this:
After launching a public campaign to force Princeton University to hire faculty and administrators of "Puerto Rican or Chicano heritage," Sotomayor finally got her way. But she wasn't finished complaining. Despite being appointed to a student advisory board that would counsel the University on the hiring of a "minority dean," Sotomayor was ultimately unsatisfied by the appointment of Luis Garcia as Associate Dean of Student Affairs in September 1974. Sotomayor had a litany of complaints ranging from the manner in which the advisory board was selected to the manner in which the candidate was selected.
See also this.
Meanwhile, this says:
her legal theses included Race in the American Classroom, and Undying Injustice: American "Exceptionalism" and Permanent Bigotry, and Deadly Obsession: American Gun Culture. In this text, the student Sotomayor explained that the Second Amendment to the Constitution did not actually afford individual citizens the right to bear arms, but only duly conferred organizations, like the military. Instead of making guns illegal, she argues that they have been illegal for individuals to own since the passing of the Bill of Rights.
However: that quote is supposedly from americannews.com, a site that appears to have only existed as a parked domain for several years. Consider the last quote a hoax or at least inflation of some kind until a source is provided. UPDATE: The last post has a "satire" tag; I don't think it was there when this was posted but my assumptions were correct. If you ever run across that site again, please ignore them.
UPDATE 2: Video of some of her questionable statements is here.
Back in 1978, she dropped out of the running for a law firm job and filed a complaint after being asked whether he heritage had "culturally deprived" her (link).
Per this, as a District judge she ordered a "$10,000 fine to someone who pleads guilty to a federal charge of sharing in more than $200,000 in kickbacks".
Latino legal activists applauded Sotomayor's appointment. "This is a historic moment," said Cesar Perales, executive director of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a New York-based civil rights group, where Sotomayor once served as a board member. "This is the most important Hispanic appointment that has been made in this country's history. It is a recognition that we are coming of age, that we can be one of nine wise people on the Supreme Court, making decisions that affect everyone in this country." ...During her years on the organization's board during the 1980s, the organization, then known as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, focused its efforts on the creation of majority-Hispanic voting districts and the defense of bilingual education programs.
There's more on the PRLDEF here, specifically relating to their campaign against Bush nominee Miguel Estrada.
UPDATE 3: From this: Three of the five majority opinions written by Judge Sotomayor for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and reviewed by the Supreme Court were reversed...
John Nichols /The Nation pushes bogus flu pandemic preparedness issue; distraction from Obama admin, Dem failures - 04/27/09
John Nichols of The Nation offers "GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness" (link). Sens. Arlen Spector and Susan Collins fought the addition of around $900 million for flu pandemic preparedness to the stimulus plan. Now, Nichols is disreputably trying to tie that into the current possible flu crisis, and he's getting some help from his friends (link).
Yet, the issue is bogus for various reasons: neither Spector nor Collins oppose spending on preparedness, they just didn't want it in a bill that was supposedly about stimulating the economy rather than just about everything the Dems and Congress in general want to spend money on. There are general spending bills and narrowly-focused bills available for such purposes. Further, even as he bashes them, Ryan Powers of ThinkProgress quotes Collins and Spectors - both more friends of the Democrats than not - as in favor of spending money on preparedness. 
"All those little porky things that the House put in, the money for the [National] Mall or the sexually transmitted diseases or the flu pandemic, they're all out."
A slightly low-ball question for a Dem would involve reading that quote, getting the Dem to condemn it, and then pointing out who said it.
There might also be fiscal year and related funding issues here: even if money for preparedness had been in the stimulus bill, how much of it would have been disbursed by now? That would be a good question to ask someone pushing this line. And, those familiar with accounting issues might want to look into whether the current funding flows for preparedness are meeting the needs of the agencies involved.
And, if flu preparedness was such a vital issue to the Democrats - David Obey is presented as an oracle when it was much more likely that no such pandemic would surface - why weren't they banging on the table night and day demanding an emergency bill? That would be a good question to ask them: why didn't you raise this issue until now, why not two weeks ago when an emergency bill could have been rushed through?
Another good question to ask is why isn't Janet Napolitano willing to greatly ramp up border security to prevent sick people - including those who are infected but not visibly sick - crossing our borders legally or illegally? Why wasn't the Obama administration closely monitoring the situation in Mexico from near the very start?
UPDATE: Collins says through her spokeswoman (link):
...Senator Collins has led hearings on pandemic flu preparedness, worked on “bioshield” legislation and funding, and helped strengthen our nation’s preparedness for a pandemic flu... Claims that she is opposed to increased funding for pandemic flu research are blatantly false and politically motivated. In fact, in December 2008, Senator Collins joined in a letter to Senate leaders requesting a $905 million increase for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund at the Department of Health and Human Services... There is no evidence that federal efforts to address the swine flu outbreak have been hampered by a lack of funds.
Melanie Morgan of Move America Forward offers "Why I stormed Sen.
Outside a number of Senators, there aren't too many who support the Senate's immigration amnesty/"guest" worker plan. This post will keep track of them, and I urge everyone to hold those below accountable whether the bill passes or not. I also urge everyone to keep calling Congress, but, even more importantly, follow the steps previously outlined to help stop amnesty.
* Of course: president Bush, Sens. John McCain and Ted Kennedy
* From "Few senators support the illegals bill" (link):
Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the Republicans who helped craft the deal, said it's the best they could do... "It will treat the 12 million undocumented immigrants in a constructive way. It is not amnesty. They'll have to pay a fine. They'll have to earn their way to citizenship," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "It's better than what we have now." ...in Georgia, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, one of the secret negotiators, was also booed [like Lindsey Graham] at that state's Republican convention... ...Meanwhile, Republicans' chief negotiator in the closed-door sessions, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, wrote a column for the Arizona Republic newspaper yesterday saying he won't support the bill if major changes are made during the floor debate... "If the consensus we reach is not accurately reflected in the final legislative language, or is seriously undercut by amendments in the Senate or House, it will lose support, including from me," he wrote... ...Seven Republicans, including the party's chairman, Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, Mr. Chambliss and Mr. Kyl, the Senate Republican Conference chairman, were at the press conference announcing the bill...
* DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff meanwhile challenged critics to offer alternative solutions instead of simply saying "this isn't good enough." (link; the obvious answer is, of course, that he should do his job)
* [Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez says] "I have the impression that perhaps for some people, the only thing that would not be amnesty is mass deportation... We don't think that's practical, we don't think that's logical, we don't think that's humane and that would hurt our economy. So it's not amnesty."
* [Sen. Lindsey Graham says (ibid)] "To my colleagues who have come on the floor to tear this bill down with no alternative, you're not doing this country a service and I will push back... If you’ve got a better idea and you can lead us to a better solution, I'm all for it. But if all you're going to do is embrace the status quo, I’m going to be your biggest critic.
* The Wall Street Journal editorial board offered "Immigration Opening" on Saturday (link), which was followed by several reader letters almost all denouncing the bill (link). Today, John Fund offers "Don't Run for the Border - America needs immigration reform, but not a law enacted in haste" (link), perhaps as an indirect acknowledgement of the bill's failings.
Last week after a deal was reached in the Senate, Jacoby held a conference call with 20 business owners Friday to explain the politics of the overhaul... [She's praised by] Randel Johnson, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce... ...Jacoby sat at a table in the Senate Chef last week surrounded by two Texas bankers, a cattle rancher and a guy who represents Rio Grande Valley orange growers, all of whom had flown in to put a last-minute press on their congressional representatives... "The most important thing is the temporary-worker program," Jacoby told them. Lawmakers "are going to go all out to cut it in half and unless business goes all out, like D-Day, they will surely win." ...She is willing to work with religious and civil rights groups, including the Roman Catholic Church and the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group, to achieve the goal... ...the leader of a Latino civil rights group tapped Jacoby on the shoulder. Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens...
* Safely outside the compound, Michael Barone phones in to say that he supports the bill, despite not having read it.
* In the basement of the compound, Captain Ed decides to be even more like Hugh Hewitt than Hugh Hewitt, saying today  that
"Conceptually, I think it could work -- but the bill doesn't quite match the concepts outlined in the announcement, either."
In a previous post , he offered this stock talking point:
Everyone agrees that the system is broken; in fact, that's about the only agreement to be found.
* In the subbasement, Dafydd ab Hugh shows how little he knows about this issue and continues to support some form of "regularization" (the same word the Mexican government uses) 
the bi-partisan Senate bill makes a point of rewarding only good behavior... ...And speaking of rewarding good behavior, and punishing the bad: those courageous conservatives (Senators Kyl, Graham, Isakson and, yes, McCain) who have worked constructively and seriously on immigration reform deserve our support, not our rage, while those politicians and media figures who have demagogued this issue in a way that only makes it worse, in no way merit our encouragement.
UPDATE 2: I knew this would come sooner or later. Instapundit says :
WHY PEOPLE WHO HATE THE IMMIGRATION BILL SHOULD BACK THE IMMIGRATION BILL: Okay, I had this thought last night as I was drifting off to sleep. But the Nyquil wore off and I still think it may make sense. Lots of people think that the immigration bill stinks, and want to punish the GOP by staying home in 2008. Fair enough. But if you plan to punish the GOP in 2008, then you might want to support the immigration bill now. Why? Because if the Democrats win the White House and Congress in 2008, you'll get a bill that you like a whole lot less! So if you plan to punish the Republicans later, you should encourage them to pass their bill now... There's got to be something wrong with this analysis, I just can't figure out what it is. Anyone? Kaus? Anyone?
UPDATE 3: Here's another Chertoff quote:
"You know, Wolf [Blitzer], first, I understand there's some people who expect anything other than capital punishment is an amnesty. The reality is the proposal here requires people who came in illegally who want to stay to pay a penalty. Like a fine. That's a punishment. That's not an amnesty."
UPDATE 6: Sen. Trent Lott says:
"Is the current situation in America with legal and illegal immigration intolerable and unacceptable? Yes. Everybody would agree. Is this bill better than the current law? Without a doubt, yes. Are we going to have another opportunity to do this better next year or the next year? The answer is no. We've got to do it. We've got to do it as good as we can. We've got to do it right now."
UPDATE 7: Sen. Mitch McConnell says he'll support the bill, and also says:
"This is a divisive issue... I don't think there's a single member of either party next year who is going to fail to be re-elected over this issue."
SPECIAL HACK UPDATE: Hacks - not all of whom specifically support the Senate bill - have started their rampage of smears against those who oppose massive illegal immigration: Linda Chavez, Michael Gerson, and Robert Novak.
SPECIAL "LIBERAL" HACK UPDATE: Eleanor Clift offers "Bush Is Right—On Immigration, Anyway". She and the preceding hacks aren't that much different. Let's count the lies:
Just as [Pete Wilson]'s anti-immigrant [lie] policies turned California into the bluest of Blue States [misleading if not wrong], the angry, racist and xenophobic rhetoric emanating from the Republican right [smear and largely false] is turning the fastest-growing voting bloc in America against the GOP... Seeing a way to rally the base and respond to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment [lie], House Republicans pushed and passed legislation that was racially divisive and punitive [lie], cracking down on those who aided illegal immigrants - even church groups [lie]. The bill sparked massive rallies across the country against the Republican Congress [some of the organizers of those rallies were Mexican political parties and those linked to the Mexican government]. Rosenberg's New Democrat Network monitored ads in 25 states picturing a Mexican immigrant side by side with an Islamist terrorist. [Chuck Schumer created a similar TV ad]
Senators and lobbyists are putting the final touches on a comprehensive immigration-reform bill that includes an easier citizenship path for illegal aliens and weaker enforcement provisions than were in the highly criticized legislation that the Senate approved last year.Those lobbyists include the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who ardently supports citizenship rights for illegals, will introduce the bill as early as next week, according to Senate sources knowledgeable about the negotiations. If the Senate Judiciary Committee can make quick work of the bill, it could be ready for floor action in April.
Mr. Kennedy drafted this year's bill with help from Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and outside lobbyists...
In particular, EWIC and the chamber have taken a leading role in drafting the section of the bill dealing with work-site enforcement, Senate staffers say. Lobbyists in both organizations have shuttled around Capitol Hill drafts of those provisions, which are supposed to impose sanctions on businesses that hire illegal aliens, according to internal e-mails obtained by The Washington Times.The ACLU is indirectly linked to the Mexican government. The NCLR funded one or more MEChA chapters (link,link) and funds a racial separatist charter school in Los Angeles. The SEIU paid one Artemio Arreola to organize immigration marches, and he also serves on an advisory council to Mexico's president. The SEIU, their locals, and various members have extensive links to last year's immigration marches.
"That's putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," one Senate lawyer said about the pro-business chamber's involvement in drafting the punishment of employers.
One of those e-mails obtained by The Times invited Democratic immigration staffers to a briefing in early January with "key stakeholders" to discuss workplace-enforcement provisions. The invitation listed six such "stakeholders," including the chamber and EWIC. The other groups attending the meeting, according to the e-mail, were the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, the National Council of La Raza and the Service Employees International Union.
Sens. Brownback and Specter were apparently shut out of helping to write this year's monstrosity, and they together with Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, and Mel Martinez only were invited to a meeting after the bill had almost been completed.
...Time for a reality check. This year’s anti-Republican wave was indiscriminate, washing away such immigration hawks as John Hostettler and Charles Taylor, but also such amnesty supporters as Mike DeWine and Lincoln Chafee. In other places, Republicans were able to withstand the wave in part because they opposed amnesty: Chris Shays was the only Republican congressman to survive in Connecticut, and Pete King kept his seat in New York...
...Even in Arizona, Sen. Jon Kyl, who voted against the open-borders bill, beat a Democratic candidate who supported it. Arizona voters also approved, by wide margins, three ballot measures cracking down on illegal immigration, plus one declaring English the state’s official language...
...A final piece of mythology concerns the Hispanic vote. Exit polling found that 30 percent of Hispanics voted for Republican House candidates, down from 38 percent in the 2002 midterms. To see the significance of this drop, it has to be put in context. The percentage of white voters who picked Republicans fell from 58 to 51 percent over the same period. Hispanics just followed the national trend...