Monday, December 24, 2007

Judge Allows Arizona Anti-Immigant Law To Go Active

Staunch Republican Judge throws out Temporary Injunctions

U.S. District Court Judge Neil Vincent Wake just ruled against both requests for temporary injunctions in the Arizona Contractors Association, Inc., et al. v lawsuits. (US District Court, Arizona. Decision #1. Decision #2.)

The New York Times

A new Arizona law considered among the nation’s toughest against employers who hire illegal immigrants will go into effect on Jan. 1 after federal judges on Friday refused to block it.

Both a United States district judge in Phoenix and a federal appeals court in San Francisco, ruling on separate lawsuits by business and civil rights groups, declined to stand in the way.

The law calls for suspending the license of an employer found to have knowingly hired an illegal worker, and revocation for a second offense.

First, Judge Neil Vincent Wake of Federal District Court in Phoenix issued a sharp defense of the rights of lawful workers and said the law would not burden businesses in the short run.

Then on Friday night, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit deferred a decision on an injunction until after a hearing by Judge Wake on Jan. 16, provided a “decision is reached with reasonable promptness.”
Judge Neil Vincent Wake was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush.

While certainly not every Judge is a right-wing ideologue, in the years immediately after 9/11 the Democratic minority was not positioned -- nor frankly, did it even try -- to prevent the Bush administration with stacking the courts. And we know from experience, the kind of horror judges who rule based on politics instead of law give us. Don't we Judge Bates, you fucking tool?

Judge Wake before he was on the bench, was a right-wing tool of the highest order. The first case of his I pulled up had him representing Paula and Alan Sears against the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on the grounds that:
Las-Vegas Review Journal

...their children, who go to school in Scottsdale, would be exposed to bad influences if casino gambling is permitted nearby.

He won, too. (At least as of that moment. Don't know how it ultimately turned out.)

The moralistic anti-gambling forces say, I should be able to force my world-view on you such that because my sweet little innocent children go to school within miles of your den of iniquity, Jesus must throw out the money-changes from the temple.

Worse -- it might lead to dancing.

Since Judge Wake has become a judge, he has suggested that gays have no constitutional right to equal protection under the law, even in prison where the State obviously has a legal obligation to make certain homophobia doesn't lead to attacks.

Not our Judge Wake, the right-wing homophobe:
Lesbian Gay Law Notes (Page 9)

Ruling on an apparently routine summary judgment motion in a pro se ex-prisoner case, U.S. District Judge Neil Vincent Wake made the startling assertion that for purposes of an Equal Protection claim, “Homosexuals are not a protected class in the Ninth Circuit.” Sotelo v. Stewart, 2005 WL 2571606 (D. Ariz., Oct. 11, 2005) (unpublished disposition). What he should have said, of course, is that “sexual orientation” has not yet been recognized as a suspect classification, but that would not, of course, deprive the court of jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983 to consider whether prison officials had a rational basis to treat a gay prisoner less well than a non-gay prisoner, an inquiry supported by Supreme Court precedent in Romer v. Evans.

Wake’s brief dismissal misses the point and is clearly erroneous in light of Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), which held at least that a state violates the 14th Amendment if it discriminates against gay people without a rational justification. In the context of a prison, had Sotelo alleged with sufficient specificity that he suffered discriminatory treatment because he was gay, the prison would have to show a penological reason for treating gay prisoners differently from others. More fundamentally, the Equal Protection Clause protects individuals, not classes.

In Romer, of course, section 1983, a jurisdictional statute, was irrelevant because the case was brought in state court and went to the U.S. Supreme Court directly from the Colorado Supreme Court on the federal constitutional question, but Romer clearly establishes the principle, binding on the 9th Circuit and its district courts, that sexual orientation discrimination is actionable under the 14th Amendment.
That's fancy legal talk for, "God Hates Fags."

Against gambling and fags.

Want to bet he's against teh sex and the abortions, the wine, women and song? And in favor of big corps?

Every case of his I found was moralistically based, or on behalf of a big corporation, white boy style. (Anti-women, anti-poor, anti-labor, anti-Indian, "Fuck you; I've got mine.")

You can see why the Bushies wanted his ass on the bench.

Part of the major damage of the Bush administration is they've corrupted much of our legal system. Even the judges who don't rule overtly politically like this asshole, aren't favorable. And then you have entire government entities attacking and ripping apart or turning over to corporate pirates the very institutions they should be protecting: the FCC, NLRB, FDA, SEC, USDA, and more.

Our legal system assumes good intent. It is not set up to protect itself against an insider attack from people in power. This is something we progressives need to fix once we take over.

Th Arizona law has undocumented workers fleeing the state in fear, and employers checking the documentation status of current workers, even though the black letter law makes clear people only have to use the system when hiring people.

Why is everyone running? Because the sheriff in Phoenix has a history of using immigration laws illegally to come after anyone he wants. A culture of lawlessness and distrust prevails against a background Republican/libertarianism "I've got mine so fuck everyone else" which pervades much of the fundamentalist (and to a lessor extent, the Mormon) portions of the West.

I can't say I blame the Ninth Circuit for failing to override Judge Wake. Had they, I have little doubt the Supreme Court would have overturned, 5-4. And again we're back to the long-term damage done to our country by the stacking of the courts.

There'll be a hearing on the case in January, where I have no doubt Judge Wake will, yet again, rule against undocumented workers and for this horrid cruel law. His current rulings make his January hearing pretty damn clear.

Arizona is cutting its own throat, economically, socially, culturally, genetically.

Stupid, stupid Republican legislators.