9th Circus: AZ’s denial of illegals driver’s licenses based in “animosity”

July 8, 2014

Brewer calls DACA program “President Obama’s lawless directive”

In a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals it has been ordered that “DREAMers allowed to work in the U.S. by virtue of one of Barack Obama’s infamous executive orders, also must be issued Arizona driver’s licenses.

The Ninth Circuit, often referred to as the Ninth Circus, is the most overturned court in the nation. The judges on the panel —- political appointees of Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama —- rendered their ruling Monday.

The court rejected arguments by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer that she was entitled to deny licenses to those in the federal government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The appeals court ordered U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell, to direct the state Department of Transportation to provide licenses to those who are in that program.

Among the completely unverifiable provisions referred to in the decision are the DACA eligibility factors —- including the claim that they were brought to the United States before the age of sixteen and were under thirty-one years old as of June 15, 2012. They must have been living in the United States when DACA was announced and have continuously resided in the United States for at least the previous five years; and they must have graduated from high school, or obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces, or be currently enrolled in school. Additionally, they must not pose any threat to public safety. Anyone who has been convicted of multiple misdemeanors, single significant misdemeanor, or any felony offense is supposedly ineligible for DACA.

Attempting to prove any of these ages, dates or status, is a fool’s errand. Names and other pertinent identifying information are routinely altered making proof of criminal offenses an enterprise with the incentives far greater than fear of discovery.

Arizona is dealing with an illegal community where forged, stolen or otherwise counterfeit documents to underwrite life in the United States is de rigueur.  Identity theft is a major criminal enterprise especially evident in border states. The intent is to provide documents to facilitate the lives of foreign nationals illegally entering the U.S.

The Ninth Circuit Court’s opinion can be read here.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s strongly worded, single page response to the ruling can be read here.


US Supreme Court lobs a major blow at ObamaCare

June 30, 2014

Today’s 5 – 4 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down ObamaCare’s employer paid contraception and abortificides —- abortion inducing drug  —– mandate is a decisive victory for religious freedom.  Barack Obama’s efforts at the socialization of American health care has suffered a major setback.

This decision is even a more significant triumph since it is the first time that the high court has ruled that for-profit businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

On June 28, 2012, Chief Justice John Roberts stunned conservatives by joining with the liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor—– as he shockingly cast the deciding vote upholding the ‘Affordable Care Act,’ which Obama viewed as his signature domestic achievement. The flagrant and massive federal overreach into American’s personal health care decisions is widely known as ObamaCare. Here is a montage of Obama’s repeated lies.*

In today’s decision, Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion. Justice Anthony Kennedy, often a swing vote, voted with the majority. The court’s four liberal justices hung tight, with Ginsburg writing the dissent.

The decision in Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., (joined by Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp.) can be read here in its entirety.

* H/T to Abraham Reisman for video 


1st Amendment victory in AZ ‘Bus Shelter Ads’ case

May 9, 2014

Freedom loving Arizonans can celebrate Thursday’s Free Speech victory in the state Court of Appeals. The decision allows firearms expert and author Alan Korwin to post bus signs for his gun training business —- TrainMeAz —- without censorship from local government bureaucrats. 

After Korwin signed a contract with CBS Outdoors to place advertisements on 50 city-owned bus shelters, the City of Phoenix objected, informing Korwin the posters which read “Guns Save Lives,” didn’t comply with a requirement that bus shelter advertising only be used for speech that “proposes a commercial transaction.” However, city officials were unable to provide Korwin with any standards that explained what type of messages would meet that vague requirement. Ultimately, the city allowed reworded ads stating, “Guns Stop Crime.”

The Court’s opinion can be read here.

Background on this important case, all of the legal documents and the timeline can be seen here on the Goldwater Institute’s website. Attorneys from the Goldwater Institute, Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation represented Korwin.

Seeing Red AZ previously covered this issue December 3, 2013.


SCOTUS approves prayer — John Kerry? Not so much

May 6, 2014

Kerry on Religion: “Not the way I think most people want to live”

In a 5-4 decision Monday, the U. S. Supreme Court upheld denominational prayers at the start of local council meetings, declaring them in line with long national traditions of our Judeo-Christian heritage.

The content of the prayers is not significant as long as they do not denigrate non-Christians or try to win converts, the court said. The decision in the case Greece v. Galloway can be read here.

A federal appeals court in New York had previously ruled that the town of Greece violated the Constitution by opening nearly every meeting over an 11-year span with prayer. Too small for a Mayor, Greece is governed by a town board consisting of a supervisor and four council members.

Senior counsel David Cortman of the Scottsdale-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the town, applauded the court for affirming “that Americans are free to pray.”

Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich held a press conference during which he praised the decision saying, “As Americans we are free to pray, we support diversity, we support freedom and we support the Constitution of the United States, where free speech will always prevail.” 

But liberal elitist John Kerry holds a distinctly different view —- not confined to prayer, but the practice of religion, itself.

The Weekly Standard reports that as he addressed the U.S. embassy staff in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Secretary of State Kerry discussed what he called the “different cross-currents of modernity” and the challenges they present on the African continent. The comments contain a veiled reference to religion, and the part that religion might be playing in some of the current conflicts in Africa:

“This is a time here in Africa where there are a number of different cross-currents of modernity that are coming together to make things even more challenging. Some people believe that people ought to be able to only do what they say they ought to do, or to believe what they say they ought to believe, or live by their interpretation of something that was written down a thousand plus….two thousand years ago. That’s not the way I think most people want to live.”

Kerry’s appalling address can be read here.


GOP Legislators win appeal on Medicaid expansion

April 23, 2014

The lawsuit filed against Arizona’s Medicaid Expansion —- an issue which caused mammoth legislative rifts last year —- has been given new life as Division One of the state Court of Appeals ruled that thirty-six Republican legislators,* two constituents whose representatives voted against the bill, and taxpayer Tom Jenney, have a constitutional right to challenge the law and the tax levy it imposes.

The Arizona court rejected Gov. Jan Brewer’s assertion that a simple majority of lawmakers have the constitutional authority to decide when a measure needs a two-thirds vote. In the court’s 11-page ruling, Appellate Judge John Gemmill wrote that ignores the actual language of the Arizona Constitution.

A petulant Brewer, who disingenuously called the tax levy an “assessment,” has promised to take the issue to the AZ Supreme Court. All new taxes are subject to a two-thirds legislative vote in the state of Arizona. Brewer pushed this tax through during a special session. The late night ‘debate’ did not allow those in opposition to  speak.

Read the opinion delivered by the three judge panel.

* Andy Biggs,  Andy Tobin; Nancy Barto; Judy  Burges; Chester Crandell; Gail Griffin; Al Melvin; Kelli Ward; Steve Yarbrough; Kimberly Yee; John Allen; Brenda Barton; Sonny Borrelli; Paul Boyer; Karen Fann; Eddie Farnsworth; Thomas Forese; David Gowan; Rick Gray; John Kavanagh; Adam Kwasman; Debbie Lesko; David Livingston; Phil Lovas; J.D. Mesnard; Darin Mitchell; Steve Montenegro; Justin Olson; Warren Peterson; Justin Pierce; Carl Seel; Steve Smith; David Stevens; Bob Thorpe; Kelly Townsend; Michelle Ugenti.


SCOTUS scores win for political free speech

April 3, 2014

Herman Cain correctly predicated a “left-wing hissy fit.” McCain doesn’t disappoint

In a major victory for the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a federal law limiting how much money a citizen may contribute to political campaigns during an election cycle. The limitation was initially imposed in 1971 and reworked several times before it was overhauled by the McCain/Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.    

Yes.  That McCain.

The Court’s five-to-four decision in McCutcheon v. FEC (read here) removes the 1971 limit on political speech.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “There is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders. Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades —- despite the profound offense such spectacles cause —- it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”

“This is especially true for elections,” he wrote. The Supreme Court in 1971 held that “the First Amendment has its fullest and most urgent application precisely to the conduct of campaigns for political office.”

Predictably, Democrat Nancy Pelosi whined, “I’m concerned about what it means for our democracy. Our founders, they sacrificed their lives, their liberty, their sacred honor for a democracy: a government of the many, not a government of the money. It’s totally ridiculous. But that is the path that this court is on.”

Once again, Pelosi is wrong.  Campaign finance laws have been an incumbent protection racket. Their survival is threatened when newcomers have the ability to become more viable candidates. Pelosi joins the other leftists who are throwing tantrums over this

And while Republicans overwhelmingly applauded the victory for free speech, it was no surprise that John McCain came out against the decision. McCain, who co-sponsored the campaign finance law that restricted corporate donations to campaigns —- largely struck down by the Citizens United ruling —- released this written statement in which he emulated his Democrat cohorts:

“I was disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision today. While I have advocated for increasing the aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates and party committees, I am concerned that today’s ruling may represent the latest step in an effort by a majority of the court to dismantle entirely the longstanding structure of campaign finance law erected to limit the undue influence of special interests on American politics. I predict that as a result of recent court decisions, there will be scandals involving corrupt public officials and unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions that will force the system to be reformed once again.”

There’s no way to improve on this comment on Best of Cain:

“Look on the bright side, Democrats. When you lose in November, you’ll have a brand new, ready-made, excuse. It’s not your disastrous, unpopular, policies and your atrocious President that are causing your failure.  It’s evil Republican money.  It won’t be true, but you can put it on a t-shirt and sell it to the sheep. It’ll be a new way to raise all that money you despise!”

Bingo!


AG Tom Horne: AZ prevails in voter citizenship legal battle

March 20, 2014

Media cover-up of serious voter fraud

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has announced that Arizona has won a significant victory in the legal battle to require voters to provide evidence of U.S. citizenship as mandated by Arizona law.

Arizona joined Kansas in a federal lawsuit against the Federal Election Assistance Commission, which had denied requests by both states to vary the federal election registration form to include proof of citizenship. The court ruled Wednesday that the Election Assistance Commission exceeded its authority in denying those requests, and ordered the Commission to help Arizona and Kansas enforce their voter identification laws.

Attorney General Tom Horne personally argued this case before the United States Supreme Court (Transcript here). The language of that Supreme Court case dictated Wednesday’s result in the District Court. 

 “There’s been a media cover-up of the seriousness of voter fraud in Arizona. In an earlier trial, a Federal District Judge in Arizona found that voter fraud is a serious problem in Arizona. This decision is an important victory for the people of Arizona against the Obama Administration, assuring that only Arizona residents and not illegals, vote in Arizona elections,” Attorney General Horne said.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita ruled that the commission has no legal authority to deny requests from Kansas and Arizona to add state-specific instructions to a national voter registration form. Melgren ordered the commission to immediately modify a national voter registration form to add special instructions for Arizona and Kansas residents about their states’ proof-of-citizenship requirements.

Both states require new voters to provide a birth certificate, passport or other documentation to prove their U.S. citizenship to election officials. The federal registration form requires only that prospective voters sign a statement declaring they are citizens.

This ruing has paved the way for all states to enact much needed proof-of-citizenship requirements, which protect ballot integrity.

Read the background on this fight against voter fraud

Prop. 200, theArizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act,” passed in 2004 by a vote of 1,041,741 – 830,467.

Seeing Red AZ has addressed this serious problem previously:

Illegals voting in AZ? Never happens. Move along  Nov. 20, 2013

AZ AG Horne argues Voting Rights Act to SCOTUS  March 18. 2013

U.S. Supreme Court to hear AZ Voter ID case  Oct. 23, 2012

Voter fraud exposé? Don’t look to AZ República Aug. 25, 2012

AZ AG Horne argues in favor of voter’s proof of citizenship   June 22, 2011

AZ AG Tom Horne: Protecting ballot integrity  June 8, 2011


McCain, Flake approve Obama’s federal judges

March 1, 2014

Not many Arizonans are aware there is a dire emergency due to a dearth of judges in the state’s federal courts. Fortunately for us, the Senate Judiciary Committee is taking steps to rectify the problem by approving six candidates nominated by Barack Obama to fill judicial vacancies at the U.S. District Court for Arizona.

These lifetime appointments* are intensely political and usually accompanied by partisan wrangling at the highest levels.

But according to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), typical spirited partisan debate took a backseat thanks to the bipartisan efforts of Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.

“I expect that this diverse group of judicial nominees will be confirmed now that they have been reported out of Committee and have the support of their home state Senators,” Democrat Leahy complimented.  “The progress we made today in the committee to move these nominations forward would not have occurred without the support of Senator McCain and Senator Flake. I thank them for their support today and I hope the Senate quickly confirms these nominees who are urgently needed in the state of Arizona.”

Such actions are nothing new for McCain and his junior senator. Previously, McCain and then-Sen. Jon Kyl endorsed and voted for a rash of extreme liberals to the courts as well as to other key posts.

The six latest candidates on the Democrat-heavy list nominated Feb. 27, for the U.S. District Court for Arizona are Steven Paul Logan, John Joseph Tuchi, Diane J. Humetewa, Rosemary Marquez, Douglas L. Rayes and James Alan Soto.  (Notice can be read here.)

The nominees will require confirmation by the full senate.

*Once a judge meets age and service requirements he or she may retire and will then earn his or her final salary for the remainder of his or her life, plus cost of living increases

More here: 28 U.S.C. § 371 : US Code – Section 371: Retirement on salary; retirement in senior status.


Brnovich’s campaign ads violate code of conduct

February 5, 2014

Mark Brnovich is a candidate for Attorney General, recruited by McCain allies to challenge a conservative incumbent. Brnovich’s wife, Susan, is a Maricopa County Superior Court judge, appointed by Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2009.  Although liberal Napolitano reserved her appointments for kindred spirits, Judge Brnovich’s problem has to do with ethical violations rather than her associations. Susan M. Skibba Brnovich has appeared in her husband’s political commercials (one such video is linked here), in which she is identified as a former prosecutor. That’s true. However as a judge, she is prohibited from such activities. She’s been on the bench long enough to have at least a passing knowledge of the Canons of Ethics. Her husband Mark, a candidate for the state’s top law enforcement post, who purports himself to be a devoted family man, should be more principled than to have encouraged his wife to engage in such a violation. In turn, the judge surely should have known better.

The Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct is very clear in citing which political activities judges are permitted to engage in (Page 35).

CANON 4

A  JUDGE OR CANDIDATE FOR JUDICIAL OFFICE SHALL NOT ENGAGE IN POLITICAL OR CAMPAIGN ACTIVITY THAT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY, OR IMPARTIALITY OF THE JUDICIARY.

RULE 4.1. Political and Campaign Activities of Judges and Judicial Candidates in General

(A) A judge or a judicial candidate shall not do any of the following:

(1) act as a leader in, or hold an office in, a political organization;

(2) make speeches on behalf of a political organization or another candidate for public office;

(3) publicly endorse or oppose another candidate for any public office;

(4) solicit funds for or pay an assessment to a political organization or candidate, make contributions to any candidate or political organization in excess of the amounts permitted by law, or make total contributions in excess of fifty percent of the cumulative total permitted by law. See, e.g., A.R.S. § 16-905.

(5) actively take part in any political campaign other than his or her own campaign for election, reelection or retention in office;

(6) personally solicit or accept campaign contributions other than through a campaign committee authorized by Rule 4.4;

(7) use or permit the use of campaign contributions for the private benefit of the judge, the candidate, or others, except as provided by law;

(8) use court staff, facilities, or other court resources in a campaign for judicial office;

(9) make any statement that would reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any court; or

(10) in connection with cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises, or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of judicial office.

Comment 7 (page 36) is specific regarding a family member’s political activity or campaign for public office:

7. Although members of the families of judges and judicial candidates are free to engage in their own political activity, including running for public office, there is no “family exception” to the prohibition in paragraph (A)(3) against a judge or candidate publicly endorsing candidates for public office. A judge or judicial candidate must not become involved in, or publicly associated with, a family member’s political activity or campaign for public office. To avoid public misunderstanding, judges and judicial candidates should take and should urge members of their families to take reasonable steps to avoid any implication that the judge or judicial candidate endorses any family member’s candidacy or other political activity.

It hasn’t escaped the notice of political watchers that Brnovich’s first quarter filings show his donations far below what would be expected from one recruited by establishment elites. It was filed in the late hours of the Jan. 31, deadline, no doubt hoping it might escape notice. He dropped $2,000 of the weak total into his own campaign coffers, and nearly $10,000 was donated by his in-laws, the Skibba family. In actual donations from supporters, many state legislative district candidates have far exceeded Brnovich’s statewide fundraising.


AZ “Guns Save Lives” censorship case heard today

December 3, 2013

This morning, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, at 9:30 a.m., the Arizona Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear the case Korwin v. Cotton — a three-year legal battle more often referred to as the ‘Bus Shelter Ads case.’ The First Amendment free speech aspect of this legal matter has brought together two usually divergent groups, the Goldwater Institute and the ACLU/AZ, which filed an Amicus Curiae brief.

Alan Korwin is a widely read author and recognized expert on America’s gun laws. Debbie Cotton is the director of the Phoenix Public Transit Department who claimed the ads didn’t promote a commercial transaction as required by city policy

This decision could have wide-ranging implications for free speech in Arizona, as well as whether advertisers should be limited in what issues they are able to address on city property.

In this FOX 10 News report Korwin explains how his bus bench signs that read “Guns Save Lives,” advertising his company’s website TrainMeAz.com were taken down at 50 Valley sites by the City of Phoenix. Ultimately, the city allowed altered ads stating “Guns Stop Crime.”

Background on this important case, all of the legal documents and the timeline can be seen here on the Goldwater Institute’s website.

The Appellate Court’s Case Information is available here.


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