Chicago Politics in Arizona, 2 Stories

Posted on May 30, 2010




NOTE: President Obama has turned down Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s request to meet while she’s in Washington next week .READ

Arizona Gov Removes State’s Ag for meeting with Obama Dept of Justice


Gov. Jan Brewer has pushed aside the state’s attorney general in Arizona’s defense of its new law clamping down on illegal immigrants, accusing him of conspiring with the Obama administration as it considers whether to sue the state.

Brewer issued a statement late Friday night saying her legal team will defend the state against lawsuits challenging the measure. She invoked a provision in the law to have private attorneys represent the state. They already are representing her in some of the legal challenges to the law that name her as a defendant.

But Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard says Brewer can’t kick him off the case. Goddard’s top aide, Tim Nelson, said Saturday that Brewer can’t invoke the provision because it hasn’t taken effect yet and that there are constitutional questions.

“We have real concerns about the constitutionality of that,” Nelson said. “It’s an open question.”

Brewer’s decision came after Justice Department officials met with Goddard — a Democrat who will likely challenge Brewer, a Republican, in her re-election bid — before meeting with her legal team.

“For some inexplicable reason, the Department of Justice officials met with the Arizona attorney general hours before meeting with the state of Arizona’s legal team, and then allowed the attorney general to hold a press conference to discuss the meeting,” she said in the statement.

“This level of coordination between the attorney general and the Obama administration is disturbingly similar to the coordination with Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford earlier this week on President Obama’s still unclear plan to deploy up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the border,” she said