Friday, April 30, 2010

Folks are paying attention!

The Faculty Lounge--one of the leading legal blogs in the country just posted a nice entry on our efforts. Kudos to everyone that is part of this effort to provide counter-narratives, and thank you to all of our recent comments. They are much appreciated and continue to inspire and empower us. Remember the old Latino/a rally call--stand up and say--"Presente."

Peace,

E

Here is a link to the Lounge site and below is their entry:

http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2010/04/law-profs-against-arizona-sb-1070.html

Breathing While Brown: Law Profs Against Arizona SB 1070

Thanks to Professor Ediberto Roman of Florida International Univ. School of Law, and Nuestras Voces Latinas, for organizing the law prof response to Arizona's shameful move to criminalize breathing while brown. The petition below (full text after the jump) calls for the repeal of SB 1070, and for federal action to protect the public against gross civil rights violations. It will be delivered to key members of the Obama Administration, congressional leaders, and the press. To add your name to the list of supporters, contact Prof. Roman directly at romane@fiu.edu.
Immigration and Constitutional Law Experts Against SB 1070
The undersigned law professors, immigration experts, and interested organizations write this petition requesting the Governor and the Legislature of the State of Arizona to repeal SB 1070, or in the alternative, calling upon Congress to conduct hearings on Arizona’s ultra vires act of authorizing local police to enforce federal immigration laws without an express delegation from Congress. The petitioners also urge President Obama to direct the Justice Department Civil Rights Division to mobilize quickly to educate the public how to report civil rights violations associated with SB 1070.
With the passage of SB 1070, the state of Arizona has ignored legal precedent striking down similar state encroachments on federal supremacy relating to immigration. Moreover, courts have held similar encroachments to be violative of Due Process and Equal Protection.

SB 1070 is also unwise public policy that will likely result in repugnant police action such as racial profiling. The law also violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the United States Constitution. It turns the presumption of innocence on its ear and will inevitably lead to wrongful and exceedingly long incarcerations. Specifically, SB 1070 allows local law enforcement to incarcerate individuals until the local authorities are contacted by the U.S. government. Under the Act, whatever a law enforcement has "reasonable suspicion" that the person "is an alien who is unlawfully present int he United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. The person's immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States Code section 1373 (c)." Presumably, under SB 1070, an accused undocumented person can either file a write of Habeas Corpus in federal court or wait for the federal government to verify his or her status.
Despite contemporary disdain for stereotyping and stigma, this law will empower state police officers to request documentation from people to ascertain whether they are undocumented, which will likely be based solely on the appearance of these presumed illegals or the language they speak. Reminiscent of the shameful raids during one of this country’s darkest hours—Operation Wetback of the 1950s—the efforts by local authorities in Arizona may very well lead to the wrongful incarceration and even deportations of far too many United States citizens and legal residents. Through this act, local authorities will be empowered to presume individuals—most likely Hispanic members of its community— illegal. Such efforts must not be tolerated. SB 1070 will also likely cause undocumented and other members of the immigrant community to be vulnerable to crime, as they will not report crimes to law enforcement if they think that will put them in jeopardy. Not only is this law unconstitutional and unwise public policy, it will cost local and federal taxpayers millions in terms of enforcement, in efforts at verifying status of detained individuals, and through the countless law suits likely resulting from wrongful arrests and false imprisonment. Arizona's act is not only violative of domestic constitutional norms but also the rights to equality and non-discrimination enshrined in binding international human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, that the United States has signed and ratified.
Therefore, the undersigned respectfully request the state of Arizona to rescind its unconstitutional and unwise law, or in the alternative, we urge President Obama and the federal government to step in and protect the civil and human rights of the people of this republic.
The Ox Bow Incident
By
Rodolfo F. Acuña
Reading the posts in the Huffingtonpost.com I was surprised at the poor grasp of history of many of the wannabe bloggers. One wrote, “In the last five minutes I've seen about half a dozen references to Nazi Germany, which tells me that those who keep using these references have no frame of reference about what happened in Nazi Germany, and have nothing constructive to add to the argument, whether their argument be pro or con.” It continued, “Is this bad law? To be sure. Does it warrant comparisons with Nazi Germany? Absolutely not.” The point was that genocide had not been committed—(yet).
As a historian, I recall the famous statement attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller in 1946 about the inactivity of German intellectuals in the rise to power of the Nazis and their targeting chosen groups.
THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
THEN THEY CAME for me and by that time no one was left to speak up.
At what point in history should people have collectively spoken out?
Let's not be hypocritical. Arizonians are targeting Mexican-looking people. To the credit of a large number of people, there has been a moral outrage. SB 1070, signed into law this week, among other things, requires all law enforcement officers in Arizona to act on “reasonable” suspicion that an individual is in the country illegally—a law that the Sheriff of Pima County has sternly criticized.
Two days later, the legislature passed,
HB 2281 (bill attacking ethnic/raza studies) states that any course,
class, instruction, or material may not be primarily designed for
pupils of a particular ethnic group as determined by the State
Superintendent of Instruction. State aid will be withheld from any
school district or charter school that does not comply.
It was signed by the Arizona governor. This act sets the stage to attack the Tucson Public Schools highly successful La Raza Studies program and to outlaw books which the censors deem critical of the United States. This follows on the heels of the Texas Board of Education whitewashing of history.
Everyone should see The Ox Bow incident (1943), especially the following scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eezMiIuNNn8. When does a society become a lynch mob? Does this warrant the analogy to Nazi-like actions? I would say that Nazism took time to whip itself up and did not begin with the mass genocide of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals etc.
Between 1848-1928, god fearing Americans lynched at least 597 Mexicans. This does not count Mexicans killed by Texas Rangers and other so-called citizens.
I write about these injustices to prevent making the same—I hate to use the word—mistakes as the past. The Arizona law is beyond mean spirited. It is reflective of a dark mood that many American people are going through—these so called Minute Men want blood--they are no ready—nor do they want—to listen to reason.
THEN THEY CAME for me, and people DID speak up.

The Tucson Federal SB1070 Litigation Complaint: Escobar v. Brewer

The complaint which has been filed in the Tucson federal court in the Arizona immigration litigation, Escobar v. Brewer, is now available (http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/files/pdf/escobar_sb1070_suit.pdf) .

Anatomy of a Boycott

The national office of LULAC voted to join the inter/national boycott against Arizona, as well as to join lawsuits against the State of Arizona. In communicating the boycott, LULAC detailed the following list of companies in their instructions to boycott, seeking wide dissemination:

List of Companies to Boycott:

Air Evac (airline)

Allied Waste Industries

Amkor Technology

Apollo Group

Arizona Public Service

Arizona Republic

ASARCO

Auralog

Avnet

Banner Health Systems

Bashas' Supermarkets

BEST WESTERN

CSK (CHECKER/KRAGEN) AUSTO PARTS

COLD STONE CREAMERY

CyraCom International

Cactus Candy Company

Database Systems Corp.

DIAL CORPORATION

Discount Tire Company

eFunds Corporation

Elixir Interactive

Fender Musical Insstruments

First Solar

Freeport-McMoRan

FRY'S FOOD AND DRUG, A DIVISION OF KROGER

Fulton Homes

Food City

Giant Industries

GO DADDY

Grand Canyon Airlines

Harkins Theatres

Honeywell Aerospace

Insight Enterprises

Inter-Tel

icrossing

JDA Software Group

Jobing.com

Knight Transportation

KPX

MAIN STREET RESTAURANT GROUP (TGI FRIDAYS)

Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation

Meritage Homes

Mesa Airlines

Microchip Technology

Mobile Mini

Motorsports Authentics

ON Semiconductor

Peter Piper Pizza

PETSMART

PING GOLF

Pinnacle West Capital Corporation

PinnacleOne

P.F. CHANG'S CHINA BISTRO

Poore Brothers

Republic Services

RSC Equipment Rental

RotorWay International

Rural/Metro

Salt River Project

Sierra Pacific Airlines

SHAMROCK FOODS

Sunstate Equipment Co.

SuperShuttle International Inc.

Swift Air

Swift Transportation

TACO TIME

Taser International

Tilted Kilt

Troon Golf

U-HAUL

US AIRWAYS

USF Bestway

U.S. Machineries LC

Unisource Energy

Viad Corporation

Volance Language Services

Westcor

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Suns Basketball

Arizona Cardinals


Related to the burgeoning boycott, a friend of mine, a lawyer and the former mayor of El Paso, Raymond Caballero, now living in Portland and my fellow commissioner on the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs, allowed me to reprint his powerful letter to one of these businesses expressing his sentiments:


Dear Friends at US Air

Over the years I have flown on your planes, both US Air and America West, as I used to be from El Paso. I travel to and from El Paso and other locations several times a year. I regret to tell you that, unless I have no other alternative, I will no longer fly on US Air at least until the anti-Latino Arizona immigration legislation is repealed. We in the Latino community recognize that legislation for what it is, a slap in the face of the entire Latino community. There is no other way to interpret it. Senator John McCain’s daughter Meghan aptly describes the new law as "essentially a license to pull someone over for being Hispanic."


The statute involved is not the act of a lunatic fringe; it is the official and deliberate action of the Arizona legislature and governor. They have been attempting to do this for some time and have now finally succeeded knowing fully how the Latino community would interpret the action.


So, you are an Arizona company. As an individual, I am not returning soon to Arizona, a place I love and would visit once or twice a year and pass through on others.


I’m sorry about this, but it is the price we all pay for hateful acts against a good community.


rcc

Raymond C. Caballero


Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Rule of Law and Arizona Part Two: Litigation in the Desert

Today opponents of SB 1070 initiated complex litigation on two fronts. First, veteran Tucson police officer Martin Escobar filed an action in Tucson federal court alleging that the new immigration statute is unconstitutional and will undermine the ability of police officers to patrol Latina/o neighborhoods. In addition, the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders brought a lawsuit in Phoenix federal court. The clergy allege that the Arizona legislation is preempted by federal law and violates due process rights in the way that the statute authorizes the detention of suspected undocumented persons. (Jonathan J. Cooper and Paul Davenport, The Washington Post, April 29, 2010). It is unclear whether the Tucson or Phoenix location is likely to be more favorable for the plaintiffs. Tucson, however, may be perceived as a more liberal environment. For instance, the Sheriff of Pima County,which includes Tucson, has said that he will not enforce the new legislation.

Collateral Attacks: Amnesty International and Undocumented Immigration in and Through Mexico

Timing is everything in politics and policy.  That might be something to consider now in the midst of the organization of international efforts to force Arizona to reconsider its unfortunate migration enforcement legislation, SB 1070.  It is curious that just as the international furor increases over Arizona's recent legislation targeting undocumented migrants, Amnesty International issued a report that condemned Mexico for serious violations of the rights of undocumented migrants  in Mexico or passing through Mexico to reach the United States. Amnesty International, Report:  Invisible Victims: Migrants on the Move in Mexico, AMR 41/014/2010, published April 28, 2010. The Report is also available in Spanish as: VÍCTIMAS INVISIBLES MIGRANTES EN MOVIMIENTO EN MÉXICO


Migrants on the move in Mexico
© Amnesty International
In January, police stopped a freight train carrying over 100 
migrants in Chiapas State
In January, police stopped a freight train carrying over 100 migrants in Chiapas State
© Amnesty International (Photo: Ricardo Ramírez Arriola)

Most migrants travelling through Mexico are Central Americans 
headed for the US border for work
Most migrants traveling through Mexico are Central Americans headed for the US border for work
© Amnesty International (Photo: Ricardo Ramírez Arriola)

Main routes taken by Central American migrants travelling through 
Mexico 2001-2005
Main routes taken by Central American migrants travelling through Mexico 2001-2005
© Amnesty International

Amnesty International Widespread abuse of migrants in Mexico is 'human rights crisis', 28 April 2010.  This web site story urges that "The Mexican authorities must act to halt the continuing abuse of migrants who are preyed on by criminal gangs while public officials turn a blind eye or even play an active part in kidnappings, rapes and murders, Amnesty International said in a new report released on Tuesday."  Id.  The Report is notable for its documentation of violence perpetrated by both elements of the state and private individuals. 
Kidnappings of migrants, mainly for ransom, reached new heights in 2009, with the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reporting that nearly 10,000 were abducted over six months and almost half of interviewed victims saying that public officials were involved in their kidnapping. An estimated six out of 10 migrant women and girls experience sexual violence, allegedly prompting some people smugglers to demand that women receive contraceptive injections ahead of the journey, to avoid them falling pregnant as a result of rape. 
Id.  The Report recommendation included a number of generally framed reforms to address the situation:
  • Legislative reforms to ensure access to justice
  • Establish a federal task force to coordinate and implement measures
  • Compile and publish data on abuses against migrants and the steps taken to bring those responsible to account, including public officials.
Amnesty International Widespread abuse of migrants in Mexico is 'human rights crisis', 28 April 2010.   These recommendation would also serve as a useful  foundation for approaching reform efforts in Arizona within the U.S. federal system.

For good or ill, this report received wide coverage in the English language media, and was prominently featured by the BBC.  It is not clear whether this reporting diverts attention from Arizona's efforts.

Migrants in Mexico are facing a "major human rights crisis" as the authorities fail to tackle widespread abuses, Amnesty International has warned.  The human rights group said officials ignored or even played a part in the rape, kidnap, and murder of migrants, often carried out by criminal gangs. Tens of thousands of Central American migrants pass through Mexico every year to try to reach the US and find work. . . .   The majority of migrants are from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Mexico migrants face human rights crisis, says Amnesty, BBC NewsOnline, April 28, 2010.

It would be lamentable if Amnesty's efforts draws attention away from the debate on Arizona's legislative approaches, approaches which are rightly subject to intense interrogation.  On the other hand, Amnesty reminds us all of the obligations of all states, and of the importance of human rights and human dignity concerns.  These do not end or change character beyond the territorial frontiers of the United States.    As Amnesty well put:
En virtud del derecho internacional, los gobiernos tienen la obligación de utilizar su poder para garantizar que los derechos humanos se respetan, se protegen y se hacen realidad.1Esto incluye no sólo garantizar que sus funcionarios cumplen las normas internacionales, sino también actuar con la “diligencia debida” para abordar los abusos cometidos por personas o grupos particulares (agentes no estatales). Los indicadores de falta de diligencia debida incluyen: falta de castigo o prevención de los abusos; falta de intervención por parte de las autoridades; ausencia de prohibición legal u otras medidas para erradicar los abusos; falta de reparación o indemnización a las víctimas.

under international law, governments have an obligation to use their power to ensure that human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. this includes not only ensuring that their own officials comply with human rights standards, but also acting with “due diligence” to address abuses committed by private individuals or groups (non-state actors). Indicators of the lack of due diligence include: failure to punish or prevent the abuses; failure by officials to intervene; the absence of legal prohibition or other measures to eradicate the abuses; and the failure to provide reparation or compensation to victims. This applies in equal measure to all states.

Still, the timing of the report was curious.  And its power to distract the conversation in the United States ought not to be underestimated.  Still, while efforts to induce Arizona to reconsider its legislative approaches ought not to be sidetracked by these attacks on collateral actors adversely affecting the human rights of migrants, it is worth remembering that Arizona is one small part of a global system of migration in which it will be difficult for any state, or for the political cultures of any reason, to claim the high moral ground.  

The SS and SB 1070

Arizona’s highly inflammatory SB 1070 is creating a firestorm of responses from inter alia civil rights and immigrant rights activists, lawyers, including political representatives from the same state all wisely opposing the statute. While no one is disputing protecting geographical borders is important, Arizona “forgets” it is inside a nation that values civil rights and the rule of law. As many assert SB 1070 in contrast will directly expedite the racial profiling of many Latinos that appear or are perceived in unlawful status. Nonetheless many residents of non-Mexican descent support the legislation and the governor’s approval rating as she perceives it is increasing.

With the ink of SB 1070 barely dry forthcoming legal challenges, economic boycotts and further collateral burdens do not bode well for a state claiming economic distress. States are tethered to federal law and in this instance, SB 1070 conflicts not only with the supremacy clause but also stands to violate the fourth amendment and most likely will trigger disparate and unequal treatment claims. Violations of civil rights violations moreover will also follow and inspire new interpretations of prevailing legal standards. Consequently, to promulgate a law that offends the prevailing legal templates at base level forewarns of costly, and expensive litigation in a state that recently stated it could not afford to keep its highway rest stops open.

Aside from the broad girth of challenges emerging thus far, a host of yet unknown but forthcoming negative externalities however also underscore the questionable legal standing of SB 1070. Specifically, Arizona’s simplistic approach to the complexities of immigration law caused me to recall my time with MALDEF, in San Antonio, shortly after the passage of the Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”). From that time one externality of the past that is ignored in the present illustrates that SB 1070 also promises to burden non-Latino “trespassers.”

To the present IRCA obligates all potential employees to produce various documents demonstrating work eligibility. Following its adoption IRCA spawned forth employers’ confusion over the type of documentation required and inspired a culture where demands for proof of “legality” not only accelerated but also became a norm absent standards. It was in sum wild times for the practicing bar with dubious and harmful practices injuring not only the undocumented but spanned its reach to citizens and others in the nation. For example until challenged highway patrol officers demanded proof of immigration status from drivers stopping at Texas rest stops.

Not uncommonly other disbelieving “interpretations” of IRCA’s purported intent emerged but one incident in particular left an imprint. Although a few miles from the Texas-Mexico border, BP agents upon spotting a pick-up truck immediately flew into action. Get out the smelling salts because what drew their attention wasn’t a driving “infraction” but rather the rancher driving the truck and accompanied by his wife also had three of their Chicano workers with them. After stopping them and to the horror of the husband, wife and employees, the agents surrounded their vehicle with guns blazing. The agents then demanded proof of the legal status of the workers, the disbelieving husband and the wife. It happened that all five were citizens or in lawful status.

Accordingly and herein lies yet another externality for avid supporters of SB 1070 who naively believe they will escape its purported intent and reach. Reaching beyond the racial profiling and simplistic interpretation of the agents in targeting the ranchers’ group were the victims’ reactions upon facing guns coupled with the “request” for “documentation.” Specifically years ago the wife had fled Nazi Germany to escape the odious ideology of the SS and the heinous violence of the times. Surrounded by agents with guns to check documentation of her “lawful presence” caused her to “return” to Nazi Germany. She was in sum beyond incredulous that in the U.S. she was ultimately experiencing what she had long ago fled.

Immigration law is riddled with innumerable complexities and federal attempts to “fix” our broken system have been ongoing for decades. SB 1070’s shortsighted approach ignores the innumerable reasons why the undocumented flee to the U.S and for reference purposes a few examples are thereby included. Specifically until employers are sanctioned appropriately or recognize they must pay living wages, or until NAFTA stops hurting the Indigenous and small farmers in Mexico, thereby forcing them to work as the nation’s farmworkers, or until sectoral labor demands are met by U.S. workers who refuse to work in areas the undocumented are found, or until slave trafficking is terminated or until the nation recognizes the labor of the undocumented is urgently needed—then and only then— will answers to our broken immigration system begin to surface.

Feel free to add to the above but also trust further unknown externalities will also reveal at great cost and sacrifice the harm of SB 1070.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nuestras Voces encourages readers to follow....

the immigration profs blog that has for years tracked immigration reform as well as anti-immigrant attacks. This blogger is a huge fan and has posted here interesting posts from that site. Looking forward to more powerful and informative posts from Dean Johnson and his fellow bloggers.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/

New Immigration Legislation Places Arizona Political Structure Under Pressure

As the national uproar over SB 1070 grows, the Arizona political structure begins to show signs of stress. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, whose jusrisdiction includes Tucson, has announced that the new immigration "law" will necessarily involve racial profiling and he will not enforce it. (ABC15 Staff, Arizona Sheriff Won't Enforce New Immigration Law, ABC15.com, April 28, 2010). In addition, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, who is required to defend the legislation on behalf of the State of Arizona, has said that the statute is a "tragic mistake" and that he "would probably recuse himself" from the matter. (John Schwartz and Randal C. Archibold, A Law Facing a Tough Road Through the Courts, New York Times, April 27, 2010).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An interesting post from a fellow Blogger...

Is Arizona's New Immigration Law Preempted?


I've been meaning to post something on Arizona's new immigration law, but haven't had the time until now. The constitutional challenge to the law will likely be that it is preempted by existing federal immigration law, and therefore violates the Supremacy Clause of Article VI, but the constitutional question is far from clear.

The new Arizona law aims to assist in enforcement of federal laws against illegal immigration. So this is not a statute that only incidentally affects federal immigration policy. Quite the contrary: its stated purpose is to cooperatively assist the federal government in protecting the nation's borders, identifying illegal aliens, apprehending them, and delivering them to federal authorities. The bill was deliberately written to be preemption-proof by tracking federal definitions and placing state law enforcement officials in the service of enforcing federal law.

If so, how can the law be preempted by federal law? The answer is that the federal government might well believe that Arizona's attempt at helping it enforce its immigration laws is counterproductive and therefore actually conflicts with federal enforcement policy. In this case, the fact that Arizona is tracking federal definitions of who is an illegal alien might make things worse for the law's constitutionality, not better. First, Arizona will not be able to justify the law on the grounds that it has only incidental effects on federal immigration policy; Second, it will be more difficult for Arizona to argue that the scope of its new law is not already occupied by the federal scheme and that the law does not interfere with federal law's balancing of the relative costs and benefits of adopting particular enforcement policies.

The leading Supreme Court case on preemption of state immigration law, De Canas v. Bica, is now thirty five years old and predates recent federal immigration reforms, so it is anybody's guess about what the current Supreme Court would think about the issue. De Canas upheld a California law which made it a crime to knowingly hire an illegal aliens; the decision has lots of language that gives states plenty of room to pass immigration regulations consistent with federal law. On the other hand, DeCanas assumed that the law in question did not significantly interfere with federal immigration policy, or at least, there was no evidence in the record that it did.

There is a much stronger argument that the new Arizona law, while purporting to be helpful, actually sticks a thumb in the eye of the federal government by engaging in draconian measures. The Arizona legislature appears to be saying, in effect: "since you won't police the borders, we will, and if you don't like it, pass some new legislation." If this is the point of the new Arizona law, then the law isn't really an attempt at cooperation but an attempt at provocation and one-upmanship, and the chances that it is preempted increase.

Of course, what a given federal court will do in this situation is difficult to predict, because federal courts can construe the Arizona law and existing federal law to make them seem harmonious if it wants to uphold the legislation, or in serious conflict if the court wants to hold that the new law is preempted. The law of preemption gives courts considerable discretion, and much depends on what the bill seems to symbolize and how it is actually enforced in practice.

Thus, opponents of the new law would be well advised to assemble a factual record demonstrating how enforcement of the new law interferes with federal policy or makes it more difficult, for example, by alienating Latino communities and other local organizations in Arizona, thereby making them more reluctant to provide information or cooperation in ways that assist enforcement. Evidence of overreaching by state law enforcement officials would also tend to show that what purports to be a cooperative measure is not actually cooperative at all.

By Jack Balkin

Some Republicans Back Away From New Arizona Immigration Legislation

As the call for a boycott of Arizona goes viral on the internet, some conservatives are quickly distancing themselves from the new harsh immigration legislation. Today South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham called the new "law" unconstitutional. Similarly, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush criticized the new legislation and said that immigration issues should be handled at the federal level. Likewise, Florida U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio expressed "concerns" about the statute. (Stephanie Condon, Lindsey Graham: I think Arizona Immigration Law is Unconstitutional, CBS News, April 27, 2010; Jonathan Martin, Jeb Bush Speaks Out Against Arizona Law, Politico, April 27, 2010; Brandon Larrabee, Rubio on Immigration Law: "I do Have Concerns," The Florida Times Union, April 27, 2010.)

Jon Stewart covers the new anti-Latino Law

Here is a link to the Daily Show episode that covers Arizona's attacks on Latinos and Latinas. The first eight minutes cover the Arionza law:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/mon-april-26-2010-lisa-p--jackson

Please support our Arizona Petition...

Good people,

Please take a moment to read the petition draft by members of this group and express support by commenting on the post with your name and title. Our goal is to send this petition to political leaders and media outlets in the hope of promoting change.

Arizona Petition
The undersigned law professors and interested individuals write this petition requesting the Governor and the Legislature of the State of Arizona to repeal SB 1070, in the alternative, call upon Congress to conduct hearings on Arizona’s ultra virus act of authorizing local police to enforce federal immigration laws without an express delegation from Congress. The petitioners also urge President Obama to direct the Justice Department Civil Rights Division to mobilize quickly to educate the public how to report civil rights violations associated with SB 1070.

With the passage of SB 1070, the state of Arizona has ignored legal precedent striking down similar state encroachments on federal supremacy relating to immigration. Moreover, courts have held similar encroachments to be violative of Due Process and Equal Protection. Astonishingly, this new law was passed despite ongoing litigation in the state challenging previous Arizona efforts to regulate immigration.

SB 1070 is also unwise public policy that will likely result in repugnant police action such as racial profiling. The law also violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. It turns the presumption of innocence on its ear and will invariably lead to wrongful and exceedingly long incarcerations. Specifically, SB 1070 allows local law enforcement to incarcerate individuals until the local authorities are contacted by the U.S. government. Under the Act, whenever a law enforcement officer has "reasonable suspicion" that the person "is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person.” The person's immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States code section 1373(c). Presumably, under SB 1070, an accused illegal can either file a writ of Habeas Corpus in federal court or wait for the federal government to verify his or her status.

Despite contemporary disdain for stereotyping and stigma, this law will empower state police officers to request documentation from people to ascertain whether they are undocumented, which will likely be based solely on the appearance of these presumed illegals or the language they speak. Reminiscent of the shameful raids during one of this country’s darkest hours—Operation Wetback of the 1940s—the efforts by local authorities in Arizona may very well lead to the wrongful incarceration and even deportations of far too many United States citizens and legal residents. Through this act, local authorities will be empowered to presume individuals—most likely Hispanic members of its community— illegal. Such efforts must not be tolerated. SB 1070 will also likely cause undocumented and other members of the immigrant community to be vulnerable to crime, as they will not report crimes to law enforcement if they think that will put them in jeopardy. Not only is this law unconstitutional and unwise public policy, it will cost local and federal taxpayers millions in terms of enforcement, in efforts at verifying status of detained individuals, and through the countless law suits likely resulting from wrongful arrests and false imprisonment.

Therefore, the undersigned respectfully request the state of Arizona to rescind its unconstitutional and unwise law, or in the alternative, we urge President Obama and the federal government to step in and protect the civil and human rights of this republic.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Economic Crisis and Latino Education

I was having dinner with a college friend, Marisol, who is a faculty member at one of the arts and sciences colleges in the California university system. We were remembering our stories from our undergraduate years in New York. It’s interesting how time seems to lessen the pain of those years. While we ate our appetizers, at a restaurant overlooking Biscayne Bay with a panoramic view of the downtown Miami skyline, we joked about how many times our meal cards had a zero balance, and the nice elderly Latina lady from Panama who worked in the cafeteria would let us eat any way. She was so proud that two young Latinas, one from Puerto Rico and the other from the Dominican were attending such a fine university that the fact that we were too poor to eat in the student cafeteria, did not phase her at all.

During our main course, Marisol and I laughed at how we never had enough money to buy all the assigned textbooks for our classes. So we approached the lack of funds for textbooks in a tripartite process. First, we bought what we could. Second, we asked our professors if we could “borrow for a few days” their extra copy of the textbooks. No one ever mentioned that “a few days” was always for the entire semester. Third, we read the copies that the professors had placed on reserve. We were always careful not to write in the reserved copies, primarily out of respect for our professors who were considerate enough to place textbook copies on reserve, as if they knew two young Latinas one from San Juan via the streets of El Barrio in Spanish Harlem, and the other from Puerto Plata via the streets of Flatbush Brooklyn could not afford to purchase all the requisite textbooks because our scholarships only covered tuition, room, and board. Our families were supposed to pay for textbooks. I guess our moms never got a copy of the financial aid distribution letters.


During desert, Marisol and I stopped laughing. Nostalgia had run its course. Almost simultaneously, we began to talk about something that has been troubling both of us. Although the Latino population is increasing exponentially in the United States, Latino students are not getting into the higher education pipeline. And, although Latino faculty has increased we also noticed that Latino faculty members born, raised and educated in Latin America tend to be from privileged backgrounds because the majority of the people in Latin America are poor. Therefore, if one has the money to go to college in Latin America, you are almost certainly from a well-to-do family. It is only in the United States that Latinos have the upward mobility to go from poverty-to-working-class-to-university-to-middle-class-to-upper-middle-class-to-very-well-off-to-wealthy. At least, that’s the way it has been in the past. There seems to be a growing class divide within the U.S. Latino community circulating around the concept of education, the access to education and the benefits of education.


Marisol shared that California’s economic collapse will have a devastating impact on education in the Latino community because California has been the state that has produced the highest number of educated Latinos. I had no idea. For some reason, I thought New York had produced the highest number of educated Latinos. If Marisol is correct, then California’s economic collapse will prove disastrous for all Latinos, not just those in California because in times of economic turmoil, when state legislatures tighten their collective belts, programs for minorities especially education opportunity programs are one of the most expendable programs. For example, during the dot com bubble and subsequent crash, the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, ended affirmative action in admissions to the California university system, including the University of California, the state’s flagship university and one of the most distinguished universities in the world. The California university system had to come up with a different way to diversify its student body. It did. But the long-term effects have included a dramatic drop in the number of Latino and African American students. In 2006, marking the ten-year anniversary of the passage of Proposition 209, “The Nation” magazine noted that the incoming University of California class had only 100 African Americans out of 4,802 new students. Latinos were not mentioned in the report at all. I guess we were statistically “insignificant,” which is to say that the number of Latino students that matriculated into the California university system in 2006 was so small that in terms of statistical regression analysis (the number of Latino students is so far away from the median or mean of Caucasian students in the California university system), that the number of Latino students is “irrelevant.” It is as if there were no Latino students that matriculated into the California university system in 2006.

Access to education is a major problem for the Latino community. We are running way behind the “norm.” The less education our community, in particular our children receives the greater the economic, political and class divide. As we become the largest minority in the United States, our children must be adequately educated to effectively participate in every fabric of American society from Wall Street to Main Street to the legislature to the courts to the ivy halls to medical schools to Hollywood to the White House. We cannot afford to leave any child behind.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

GOP Continues Assault on Latinos: BOYCOTT Arizona!


A few years ago the Midwestern People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference (MWPOC) hosted its first retreat in Sedona, Arizona. It was beautiful. In addition, at around the same time, I visited the north rim of the Grand Canyon, with my entire family. Amazing!

Today, I call on everyone to BOYCOTT Arizona. I will not spend a dime in Arizona until their new anti-Latino law is repealed.

Let me explain why. It is very simple. I read the new anti-Latino law that GOP Governor Jan Brewer just signed. As an attorney and law professor who graduated law school in 1986, I would never feel free from the possibility of extended incarceration in Arizona without keeping my passport on my person 24/7. I also have a family. I would never permit anyone of my family members to go to Arizona because without their passport they cannot be assured they will not be detained.

They can keep you incarcerated until they hear back from the U.S. government. Under the Act, whenever a law enforcement officer has "reasonable suspicion" that the person "is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. The person's immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States code section 1373(c)." No state official may interfere with this procedure. So, as I read the Act you either file a writ of Habeas Corpus in federal court or wait for the federal government to verify your status.

I would just as soon go visit Europe, where I can forget my passport in the hotel without facing extended detention.

So, Arizonans, there is zero chance I will ever spend a dime in your state until you repeal the law that require my family and I to have our "papers" in order to avoid detention. This is a rational reaction to your ridiculous new anti-Latino law. I urge all Latinos ( all 50 million) to BOYCOTT Arizona. I also urge all other people of color to similarly BOYCOTT Arizona. Further I call on all Libertarians and others who claim to love freedom to also BOYCOTT Arizona. A threat to anyone's freedom is a threat to everyone's freedom. Or, perhaps you should consider the plight of
Pastor Martin Niemöller.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Rule of Law and Arizona

In the wake of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's signing of the most draconian immigration legislation in the country, a coalition of attorneys and others is emerging to challenge the new "law." Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said "we must now go to court as occurred in the 1950s and 1960s in the civil rights battles." Alia Beard Rau, Arizona Governor Signs Immigration Law; Foes Promise Fight, Arizona Republic, April 23, 2010. Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will join in the effort to strike the new legislation down. The involvement of MALDEF and the ACLU is significant since they have recent experience with this type of litigation and have successfully challenged the City of Farmers Branch, Texas' efforts to regulate immigration as unconstitutional.

Next justice could be an alumna of UT-Austin

As the White House continues to scrub the list of potential Supreme Court nominees, punditry has focused on the issue of pedigree diversity, that is, the case for a nominee outside the usual coterie of elite East Coast law schools and universities. “Pressure mounts,” reads a recent blog headline, “to avoid the Ivy League.” The president is urged by Fox News commentator Bill Kristol to stand up against Ivy League law schools, which “have done a lot of damage.” Down with Harvard! Stop Yale before it kills again!

The apparent assumption is that someone who has been educated in an environment closer to the real world will bring new perspectives and refreshing common sense to a court both intellectually cloistered and Northeastern in sensibilities. Front-runner Diane Wood, a judge on the appellate court in Chicago and a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (undergraduate and law school), fits this bill; advocates of pedigree affirmative action urge a bump for that reason.

At the level of pure self-interest, I will cop to mixed feelings in this matter. As a law teacher at UT, and also a graduate of both the Harvard Law School and a large state university in Southern California, I have alumni sympathies that run the gamut. More to the point, however, there is precious little to the notion that the experience gained from interactions with colleagues and teachers at the flagship public university in Texas is different in significant ways from what goes on up north.

Students at all our nation's fine law schools come from a wide swath of educated American society. Aspiring lawyers with fancy undergraduate credentials sit cheek to jowl (as we say in these parts) with working-class young people whose life experience is significantly different. Happily, professional schools have become more eclectic in attitude and background over the decades. To be sure, the educational setting in which law students begin their journey toward their chosen profession matters to their professional outlook, their social sympathies, perhaps also to their political ideologies. And, truth be told, we professors influence these future lawyers by inculcating values and promoting our own ideas about justice, professional responsibility and the rule of law. Fortunately for the younger version of Judge Wood and for the Diane Wood of today, a good law school is a big tent, a place of many perspectives and points of view. There is not an Ivy League way of training lawyers; there is not a wholly different way in the heartland or on the West Coast.

What Diane Wood and her classmates surely received from UT is just what other Ivy Leaguer front-runners received — a first-class preparation for the hard work of lawyering in a complex, diverse society. To be bothered about where one went to college or, worse yet, to urge a thumb on the scale for “mere” Texans because presumably those East Coast intellectuals need some plain talk from plain folks is to engage in just the sort of prejudice that years of attention to equal treatment and scrutiny of individual talents, not group membership, was meant to avoid.

That all said, diversity in the Supreme Court matters. A Supreme Court of the United States will, one hopes, reflect the diverse experience of a complex nation. We might expect President Barack Obama to consider able lawyers who come from elsewhere than the federal court of appeals; and, yes, we might want to see someone from out west. Yet we would do well to discount pedigree diversity and instead focus on the ways in which the professional experience and demonstrable actions of these wonderfully talented candidates help enrich the court's perspectives and worldview. That Harvard can produce jurists of uncommon ability with a common touch is a testament to the democratization and diversity of modern legal education. But, then again, the University of Texas can do the same, and that is good news for our own Diane Wood who, if appointed, will be running with the big dogs.

Rodriguez teaches constitutional law and administrative law at the University of Texas School of Law. He also is a fellow in law and public policy at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

By DANIEL B. RODRIGUEZ

Arizona should kill immigration bill...

Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) -- Every movement needs heroes. The fight against discrimination in the state of Arizona just got nine.

Sometime before noon Tuesday, nine activists entwined their bodies in a thick steel chain, locking themselves to the doors of the Arizona Capitol in protest against the recently passed Senate Bill 1070, a bill that would open the door to racial profiling in the Grand Canyon state and force all law enforcement officers with "reasonable suspicion" to inquire about the immigration status of those they stop.

The bill awaits the signature or veto of Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican facing an election challenge, who is likely to sign it despite widespread opposition here from everyone from police chiefs and civil libertarians to religious leaders and businessmen. (On Sunday, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, weighed in, comparing the proposed law to "German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques.")

In a statement, the nine activists said they chained themselves to the doors "because nothing else has worked. ... Our purpose is to expose Arizona's apartheid legislation, and to uphold our dignity and human rights."

If the use of the word apartheid seems extreme to the uninitiated, all I can say is that you have to know this bill, and this state, to understand that it is, unfortunately, all too correct. Brewer should veto this dangerous, abhorrent and costly measure.

Jones: Arizona had to take charge on immigration

The new legislation, which was written by state Sen. Russell Pearce, resembles the dictates of an authoritarian government. It would presume all those stopped by police to be immigrants unlawfully present in the United States unless they are carrying one of several forms of federal or state ID. Even citizens could be held if they do not have their papers on them.

Those here illegally would be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Aliens here legally, who are not in possession of their registration documents, could be fined $500 and jailed for six months.

Police agencies that do not enforce federal immigration law "to less than the full extent permitted," according to the bill, could be sued by any legal Arizona resident and fined anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 a day.

Although the new law would apply to all residents, in determining "reasonable suspicion" the legislation allows police to take into consideration any two of the following: race, color or national origin. Considering the state's proximity to Mexico, and the fact that nearly one-third of Arizona's population is Hispanic, mass racial profiling will be the inevitable consequence if the governor fails to veto the measure.


RELATED TOPICS
Immigration Policy
Arizona
Racial Profiling
Illegal Drugs
As the legislation has inched toward becoming law, the outcry against it has become more and more vocal, drawing both the fringes and concerned citizens into a carnival of the enraged and the desperate. The debate has become polarized, with proponents of the legislation calling opponents "open borders anarchists," and critics referring to the other side's partisans as "racists" or "Nazis."

On Monday, as the state Senate debated the measure, prayer vigils, hunger strikers and protesters comparing the bill to police state-style roundups competed with Second Amendment enthusiasts toting assault rifles and pistols, all for the attention of the media.

For the most part, the pro-firearms people didn't interact with the SB 1070 protesters (gun laws in Arizona allow residents legally to carry their firearms either openly or concealed), but one enraged gun-wearer began shouting, blaming the demonstrators for the death of Rob Krentz, the southern Arizona rancher slain recently, some believe by a drug runner or human smuggler from Mexico.

The man was mostly ignored by the anti-SB 1070 crowd. They were intent on a mock funeral of political "courage," complete with coffins, weeping women and a minister with the United Church of Christ, outfitted in a dog collar.

But on Tuesday, the chaos was more desperate. Hundreds swarmed the Capitol for a rally urging Brewer to veto the legislation, while the bill's supporters stayed away. Then the nine affixed themselves to the Capitol, which dates back to Arizona's days as a territory.

The Capitol Police had to squeeze through the crush of reporters and activists who had crowded near the spectacle, refusing to disperse. The nine, seated, remained quiet. The bolt cutters came out, chains were cut, and the demonstrators were arrested. Later, they were transported to the Fourth Avenue Jail and charged with disorderly conduct.

But before they were bused away, something small happened -- not that odd, really, but strangely moving.

From inside a room where they had been sequestered to await their lawyers, the nine activists, all Hispanics and 20-somethings, began singing "We Shall Overcome," the anthem of the civil rights movement.

As I listened along with other reporters, bystanders, tourists and groups of schoolchildren there to inspect the Capitol, I felt something like hope tinged with defiance, even as SB 1070 sits poised to rend Arizona's social fabric, bringing forth a new order that is odious -- and un-American.

Nine brave young men and women just stood in the way of that injustice, in an outcry they hope their nation hears.

By Stephen Lemons, Special to CNN

Monday, April 19, 2010

Success and Possibility Knows No Gender, Race, Class or Language

First Lady Michelle Obama landed in Mexico City last week and received a welcome that is analogous to rockstar status. Thousands of people lined the streets in Mexico City wherever she traveled. Young women cried and waved the Mexican flag high above their heads as they jumped up and down to get a glimpse of the First Lady. Her message as she traveled from Ayiti, after the devastating earthquake that has resulted in approximately 250,000 deaths, and approximately 1 million homeless, to Mexico City is for young people in our society, especially the young women in developing countries that “success and possibility knows no gender, race, class or language.” First Lady Obama’s thoughts regarding her committment to assist the young people in our society, and the shared values with the people of Mexico are available here.


Jose Jaime Enriquez Reynoso, a law student from Universidad Iberoamericana, introduced First Lady Obama with an inspiring speech of his own. He stated in his solemn, yet commanding voice that, “to understand society you must look at the young people in that society... The young people are scarce natural resources whose potential has yet to be tapped... Education without knowledge is like hearing without listening... To be informed the young must be educated....” Reynoso’s full speech is available here.


The American media was quick to note that Mexico “embraced” First Lady Obama. As if there had been some doubt as to the type of welcome she would receive. First Lady Michelle Obama's first official stop when she arrived in Mexico was at the the residence of President Felipe Calderon, to meet privately with First Lady Margarita Zavala. A woman with whom First Lady Obama gladly admits that she shares many values. They are both smart, passionate, and committed women. They are also mothers, wives, and as First Ladies they believe that they bear a special responsibility to the young people in society.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to Mexico has gone very well. The friendship and shared values between the two First Ladies as well as the mutual respect between President Calderon and President Obama has led the White House to announce that the second state dinner of President Barack Obama’s administration will be in honor of Mexico, on May 19th.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The GOP and the Tea Party Continue Attacks on Latinos

On February 11, 2010, I blogged here on the Tea Party hostility to Latinos. As you can see from the photo at right things have gone from bad to worse since that blog entry, as the Tea Party is now actively campaigning against Latinos and organizing rallies against any kind of immigration reform. In fact: "The rallies will include some well-known Tea Party and anti-immigration speakers, including former Rep. Tom Tancredo, the outspoken founder and co-chairman of border security, anti-immigration PAC Team America; J.D. Hayworth, John McCain’s Republican opponent for U.S. senate; Arizona’s controversial sheriff, Joe Arpaio; and ALIPAC President William Gheen."

Further, the GOP is coddling this group of hateful extremists now more than ever. I am calling again on GOP leaders to denounce the extremist parts of this "movement," to issue statements against signs like the one at right, and to state in no uncertain terms that this kind of hate-mongering is not acceptable and is inconsistent with GOP values. After all since my initial post, members of the Tea Party have spat upon congressmen (including John Lewis), posted threats of violence against Latinos on Tea Party web sites, and now are following thru on Tancredo's anti-Latino rant that triggered my initial post.

Instead of denouncing violence and hatred GOP leaders are fomenting an environment conducive to violence and hatred. If we do not stand up to the GOP's embrace of thuggery we should expect that sooner or later these hateful elements will become dangerously violent. When that happens innocent people of color--including Latinos--will get hurt. Statements like "reload" from presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Sarah Palin are tantamount to encouraging violence against people of color. The GOP must renounce this kind of hate, not pour fuel on the fire.

Latinos are fighting back. There is a new web site up that specifically calls on so-called GOP leaders to forsake the extremists that they are now coddling. If they fail to heed calls like this the GOP cannot hope to regain the majority. Frankly, when I see a sign like the one above and I hear what Palin says in response to this kind of nonsense it motivates me to give more money to the Democrats--who I often have spoken against.

We need to stand up to hatred before these people turn more violent. Tell the GOP to get some spine, here: http://www.facebook.com/cuentame?v=app_10531514314



Let me be clear. I do not object to the fact that the Tea Party is 99% white and is relatively conservative on the political spectrum, as shown in a recent NY Times Poll. My objection is that it condones hate and violence. Just look at the video above.

Friday, April 16, 2010

How would you define the true value of Diversity....

Hi all (and especially my fellow bloggers here),

In a effort to provoke conversation and perhaps debate, I would like to invite all readers and bloggers of this site to comment on the following question: what is the value this society places on diversity?

Diversity, it sees to me, has evolved in these promising times as a value few would contest. Indeed, I am confident we are all familiar with institution after institution addressing their respective commitments to this core value. And of course, recent political events, such as the election of President Obama suggests that the antipathy of the average American towards Africa-Americans may have changed dramatically. Yet, we witnessed just a few days ago the leader of the Republican party in rare moment of brutal honesty suggest that despite the diversity value, some in this society are scrutinized more than others. I would suggest Michael Steele seemed to admit to a belief that we are not all equals in this society.

Despite Steele's rare moment of honesty or foolishness, we have all noticed the leaders of institution after institution speak of diversity and not themselves represent diversity or have their inner circle represent diversity. In other words, I wonder whether diversity represents a dialectic--two opposing visions that either undermine or define each other. Is diversity truly an effort that many, especially most American law schools, aspire to achieve? Or is speaking of diversity merely a means to effectively engage in legitimizing the myth of diversity -- a rhetoric that glosses over and undermines true diversity; hence the reality or
paradox of diversity. What I mean by the above is whether diversity has evolved to effectively a Red Herring that allows all to easily embrace the term, but in practice rarely make significant strides in achieving-- the paradox between tokenism vs inclusion.

Just some things I have been thinking about lately when witnessing institution after institution speaking of diversity...

Ediberto Roman

Latinas/os and the Politics of the U.S. Census

By now, everyone knows the Census is taking place. This exercise, undertaken every decade, helps to determine the allocation of federal funding and political representation over the next 10 years. Therefore, the stakes are extremely high—or so goes the conventional wisdom.



Defying this wisdom, some immigrant rights activists are calling upon Latinas/os to boycott this year’s Census. This call argues that the Census promises resources that ultimately fail to materialize. It is an exercise that amounts to a hoax because it promises much but fails to deliver most of it. It breeds complacency where outrage should mushroom.



Meanwhile, mainstream Latina/o groups are conducting a multimedia campaign to convince young Latinas/os to participate actively in the Census. Relying on technologies like texting, this campaign argues that the Census does indeed provide an opportunity to fight for the right to live with dignity in our own communities. The benefits, pro-Census commentators argue, outweigh any other concern.



All of this brouhaha overlooks the fact that this year’s Census reshuffles the “Hispanic” category in ever-more mystifying ways. Rather than considering Hispanic (or Latina/o) to be a racial category, this year’s Census asks Latinas/os to identify racially either as white, black, white, American-Indian or Asian/Pacific Islander. Thus, this year’s Census considers Chinese, Filipino and Korean to be racial categories but noT Hispanic or Latina/o. Can anyone figure this one out?



Of course, you may recall that ten years ago the big controversy was the multi-racial and bi-racial questions … questions now gone. In addition, you may recall that Latina/o demographics also was a big question last time – as was the controversy over the counting of same-sex couples and their families. After all, if the idea is to be counted so that everyone gets a fair share of the pie, then why not count seriously, right? But this category confusion illustrates yet again the continuing incoherence of “race” or “ethnicity” as meaningful sociolegal concepts, and thereby also raises a very serious question regarding the debate whether to the boycott or not: Given this extreme and volatile category confusion, can the Census really even begin to establish an accurate and reliable portrait of the nation? When the questions are so incoherent, can the results be any better? Is this a case of trash in, trash out?



What do you think? Is the Census worth it? What is your experience – and what about all that nonsense regarding identities and categories...where do you stand?



http://www.cbs8.com/Global/story.asp?S=12152687



http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/03/multimedia-campaign-urges-latino-youth-to-participate-in-the-us-census.html


Frank Valdes

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Justice Steven's Retirement: Will it bring a second Latina to the Supreme Court?


With Justice Stevens' retirement, President Obama has the opportunity to appoint another member of the Supreme Court. Conventional wisdom identifies as leading contenders U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Dianne Wood of the Seventh Circuit, and Judge Merrick Garland, of the D.C. Circuit. However, both SLATE Magazine and the Sacramento Bee list Ninth Circuit Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw as a potential replacement as well. Judge Wardlaw, of Mexican American and Irish Scottish ancestry, was the first Latina appointed to a federal appeals court. She was appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in 1995 and then again by Clinton to the Court of Appeals in 1998. According to SLATE, "[s]he sailed through both her confirmations with bipartisan support. (Sen. Dianne Feinstein is one of her backers.)" Judge Wardlaw was a front runner last year when Justice Souter retired. A graduate of UCLA both for undergrad and law school, she would add non Ivy League diversity to the highest court. HuffPo reports that at least one conservative pundit has urged President Obama to "avoid the Ivy League." SLATE further reports that Judge Wardlaw is best known as the author "the 9th Circuit opinion, which the Supreme Court largely concurred on appeal, which found a violation of the Fourth Amendment in an Arizona school's strip-search of a 13-year-old girl wrongly suspected of hiding prescription-strength ibuprofen in her underwear. Wardlaw wrote that 'a reasonable school official, seeking to protect the students in his charge, does not subject a 13-year-old girl to a traumatic search to 'protect' her from the danger of Advil.' "Judge Wardlaw is also notable for participating in 2007 in the first ever all Latino/a judge panel of the Circuit Courts of Appeals. The three 9th Circuit judges are pictured in the photograph above. (Left to right) Judge Arthur L. Alarcón, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, and Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, comprised the federal Judiciary’s first all-Hispanic appellate panel.