Skip to comments.Dever confident after court session
Posted on 04/26/2012 10:31:18 AM PDT by SandRat
After hearing oral arguments Wednesday in the nations highest court over Arizonas embattled immigration law, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said he believes the justices will at least allow some of Senate Bill 1070 to be approved.
While he was impressed by Arizonas Republican Gov. Jan Brewers special team of lawyers, Dever said it appeared to him the U.S. Solicitor General was not as prepared.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama was quoted by The Associated Press as telling Solicitor General Donald Verrilli it appeared he was having problems in explaining his views.
The AP noted, she said, You can see its not selling very well.
To Dever, who sat in what he described as a surprisingly small courtroom, said the quote to him implies Verrilli was having difficulty explaining the federal governments position.
However, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne told the Herald/Review Wednesday afternoon Chief Justice John Roberts, an appointee of Republican President George H.W. Bush, remarked both sides presented their cases well.
The state law, which has been challenged in an Arizona federal court, as well as the U.S. Ninth District Court in San Francisco, delayed the law from taking effect, pushing it to the nations high court.
The AP noted one of Roberts comments was, It seems to me that the federal government just doesnt want to know whos here illegally and whos not.
Dever spoke with the Herald/Review from a taxicab on the way to a number of media interviews in Washington, D.C., after the oral arguments concluded. He said his personal reading of the justices, based on their questions and expressions, leads him to believe the court will vote in favor of allowing Arizonas law to take effect, although the sheriff said he isnt sure if all the portions will be approved. Horne said he too believes Arizona will fare well when the decision is made, probably in June.
I think it looks good for upholding, he said, based on his listening to the high courts recorded comments.
Eight of the justices will be the final arbitrators of the issue, as Justice Elena Kagan, a former Obama-appointed Solicitor General, recused herself from the case. She was also appointed by the president to the high court.
Being a spectator listening to the oral arguments before the eight justices, the sheriff said more than one of them tried to give life lines to Verrilli but he didnt grab any.
Some of the justices appeared to be attempting to move him to a safer area in which to make the governments case, Dever said.
If a favorable decision for Arizona is made, the sheriff said the ruling will benefit other states which have passed similar laws but who are also facing federal challenges.
Being in charge of a border law enforcement agency, Dever said for years the issue of illegal activities flowing north from Mexico and the inability of the federal government to control the problems has harmfully impacted residents of Cochise County and it has moved further into the nation.
Horne said some of Arizonas language is similar to federal words and all the state is doing is providing additional assistance to the U.S. government.
The federal government contends Arizonas law is impinging on its sole constitutional right to control immigration issues. Dever said it appeared not all the justices were buying that rationale.
Saying the questions pitched by the justices was like watching batters at an all-star baseball game, the sheriff said the attorneys for both sides of the issue hit some points, but he believes Verrilli struck out more times.
The day before in Washington, D.C, arguments over the immigration bill were presented by former Democratic Arizona U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini and former Republican State Sen. Russell Pearce, both of whom testified before a Senate committee.
According to news reports, DeConcini apologized for what the state did in passing the bill, while Pearce, who was recalled last year in a special election and was the main author of the law, defended the states actions.
The ACLU and a number of other civil right groups filed briefs with the Supreme Court against Arizonas law.
Some states supported Arizona and others did not.
In the run up to the high court arguments, a few foreign nations, such as Mexico, were against SB 1070. Dever said he believes the justices were seeking important comments from both sides, to help them in their decision making process.
According to one of his attorneys Dever, through the Legacy Foundation in Phoenix, raised $1 million to fight the perceived federal intrusion although the justices questions are critical in the process, much of the work before and after the formal oral arguments is done by their staff.
Some of the questions were very pointed, the sheriff said.
Although he has no idea how the final vote will turn out, Dever said he left the court thinking at the end of the oral arguments the justices seem to be three leaning in favor of allowing the law to take effect, three opposing and two who seem not ready to make the decision.
Those in favor of Arizona appear to be Roberts, Antonio Scalia and Samuel Alito, while opposing the state seem to be Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, Dever said.
The unknowns are Anthony Kennedy, who seems to be a major swing vote in many decisions which turn out 5-4 and Clarence Thomas, who seldom asks questions during oral arguments.
Scalia and Kennedy were appointed by President Ronald Reagan; Alito and Thomas by the senior Bush; and, Ginsburg and Breyer by President Bill Clinton.
It was the first time Dever ever attended a U.S. Supreme Court session.
Horne said one of the issues he found interesting is the federal government attacking Arizona under the guise SB 1070 is similar to the federal statues.
However, he added the chief justice noted the federal government has bank robbery statutes and so do states and there is no conflict.
The sheriff believes the federal agencies are not looking at the bigger picture, one of additional assistance.
For years Cochise County Sheriff deputies have apprehended illegal immigrants and have turned them over to the federal government, Dever said.
And, we still do, the sheriff said.
For Horne an issue some who oppose SB 1070 raise is it allegedly is racial profiling.
But the oral arguments indicate it is not true and both sides agreed Wednesday it is not an issue, he said.
They said racial profiling is not part of Arizonas law, Horne said.
For Dever the next couple of months, waiting for the justices decision will be slow.
Exactly how the final ruling will read is unknown but he said whatever it is will begin a new page in American legal history.
It will set the tone on immigration for at least the next 50 years if not longer for the precedence it will establish, Dever said
http://www.svherald.com/content/news/2012/04/26/261022 url of source.
It's the route to tyranny when the laws are selectively enforced.
Replete with MeChA
Can you imagine any other country allowing an invading army to demonstrate against any resistance to their invasion?
The author may want to note that Thomas was appointed by Bush (41) but that Alito was appointed by Bush (43), and next time not leave out the Chief who was appointed by Bush (43).
Just a credibility tip.
Otherwise not a bad article.
Also, you can count on Scalia and Thomas backing the whole law- and perhaps Alito, but the decision will split the baby.
You can be sure of that. Kennedy never misses an opportunity to make his personally nuanced opinion the law of the land.