“Arizona is taking the concept of states being the laboratories of democracy very seriously on multiple fronts.”

The National Law Journal’s Marcia Coyle has a very interesting story on why so many upcoming Supreme Court cases originated in Arizona:

The three cases include challenges to Arizona's immigration requirements for employers, a state school choice program and the state's clean elections law. Also looming on the horizon is the Obama administration's challenge to the state's controversial law that gives police broad powers to stop those they suspect are in the country illegally....

"I think there are two explanations, and one is dominant," [Goldwater Institute Constitutional Litigation Director Clint] Bolick suggested for the influx of Arizona cases. "Arizona is taking the concept of states being the laboratories of democracy very seriously on multiple fronts.

"We have a legislature that is risk-taking and innovative. For conservatives in particular, the realm of the possible is greater in Arizona today than any other place." And, he added, when the Obama Administration is taking legal positions counter to conservative-libertarian beliefs, someone has to step forward to articulate those beliefs. "I think we're doing that in all sorts of ways."

Read the rest here.

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  • ||

    Dr. Frankenstein also had a laboratory.

    And the results were just as attractive.

  • LarryA||

    But his neighbors only had The Right to Keep and Bear Farm Implements. AZ has Constitutional Carry.

  • Rhywun||

    You know who else had laboratories.

  • ||

    The Huns?

  • Lefty4Life||

    Dexter?

  • Adonisus||

    Lex Luthor?

  • SIV ||

    Ilsa?

  • LarryA||

    Now we know where all the folks who moved east because they were pissed off at CaliGov ended up.

  • Jeffersonian||

    ...the state's controversial law that gives police broad powers to stop those they suspect are in the country illegally...

    This is false. The law didn't give any cop any more power to stop anyone.

  • ||

    I caught that too. But it does require cops to check immigration status, and created a way for people to sue if a cop does not. I'm curious how that works. Does it mean cops lose immunity for simply not enforcing a law? Do they really want to go down that road?

  • Shannon Love||

    The law says:

    A person who is a legal resident of this state may bring an action in superior court to challenge any official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state that adopts or implements a policy or practice that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws including 8 United States Code sections 1373 and 1644, to less than the full extent permitted by federal law

    This is fairly standard boiler plate and used when the authors want to provide an external mechanism by which non-government actors can sue to compel a government entity to enforce a law. It is inserted into laws when their is doubt about individual jurisdictions willingness to obey the law.

    This is a widely used mechanism and heavily supported by leftists in the case of civil rights law, consumer protection law labor law, environmental law etc. Many leftwing organizations devolve most of their revenue from such lawsuits.

    When you hear that the Sierra Club et al has sued some little town somewhere over an environmental matter, where did you think their legal authority to do that came from?

  • ||

    This is fairly standard boiler plate and used when the authors want to provide an external mechanism by which non-government actors can sue to compel a government entity to enforce a law.

    Can you cite other examples of this boilerplate?

  • Shannon Love||

    Try the the dKosopedia for an explanation of the concepts use in US Civil Rights law.

    How many examples did you want?

  • ||

    How about at least one example where someone is explicitly empowered to sue a government agent or agency for not enforcing a criminal statute.

  • ||

    Any response to a University of Arizona law professor's comment on the uniqueness of this "boilerplate"?

    That kind of explicit permission to sue the government for not enforcing the law is almost unheard of, according to Mark Miller, a professor at the University of Arizona Law School. "This kind of ... private right of action for an executive decision," -- that is, a law enforcement policy adopted by the government -- "is to my knowledge completely unknown, and to my mind, stunning," Miller told TPMmuckraker.
  • David||

    Oh yeah, those are some very libertarian experiments going on down in Arizona.

  • ||

    They keep saying that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.

  • cynical||

    Given that they're treating their legal system as a laboratory for social experiments, I'm not sure they know what "conservative" means either.

  • Shannon Love||

    Depends on how much you think the rule of law is an essential part of libertarianism.

  • David||

    Wow, Shannon, you've shown me the light. Now to round up all those horrible marijuana-smoking scofflaws!

  • Shannon Love||

    If you are going to have specific laws they should be enforced. If not, they should be abolished.

    Nothing is more dangerous to liberty than an accumulation of laws that government has the option of enforcing on a case by case basis at its sole discretion. It grants the state a powerful tool to selectively imprison its enemies while ignoring the infractions of its friends.

    Having laws on the books that widely flaunted leads to an overall contempt for the rule of law.

  • hmm||

    It wasn't so long ago that Arizona was arguing before SCOTUS for throwing the 4th out the window and searching whatever the fuck they wanted. Oh how quickly we forget.

    Color me skeptical.

  • Wind Rider||

    And all this makes Arpaio not a dick, how, exactly?

  • Id||

    I'd say that the country is following Cali's "experimental" lead more than Az's right now.

  • Shannon Love||

    Also looming on the horizon is the Obama administration's challenge to the state's controversial law that gives police broad powers to stop those they suspect are in the country illegally[emp added]

    Point of fact. The law does not grant such powers. It says:

    For any lawful contact stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.

    The law simply requires that law enforcement check immigration status if a suspicion exist that the they might be an illegal. It explicitly says that presentation of any valid tribal, state or federal identification is considered to eliminate all suspicion.

    (I would add by way of comparison that the Federal immigration authorities can stop and detain anyone, anywhere on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant and that they do not have to accept any form of ID as proof.)

    One can argue whether the Arizona law is wise or even constitutional but nothing in law allows state law enforcement to stop "stop those they suspect are in the country illegally."

    You would think that a legal writer would catch something like this. This type of mistake suggest that Marcia Coyle doesn't really have much real information about or insight into the legal matter at hand.

  • duder||

    I live in AZ, and the Phoenix politicians are full of BS. At the same time the AZ state legislature has been shouting 'state's rights!' to the feds, they have been busy passing heavy handed legislation to limit individual municipalities' ability to make decisions for themselves.

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