Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Doesn't Russell Pearce Already Have Seat For Tomorrow's Oral Argument?; Attorney Lineup For Tomorrow

Much was made yesterday of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer declining to give up one of her seats for the U.S. Supreme Court oral argument tomorrow on Arizona's SB1070 immigration enforcement law to recalled Senate President Russell Pearce.  However, the Arizona Star article gives one reason to believe that Pearce should already have a ticket to eye.

Towards the end of the article by Howard Fischer (Capitol Media Services), it is noted that Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said he will be in the Supreme Court arguments because he filed a friend of the court (amicus) brief, and the Court allocated tickets to his attorneys.  Pearce also filed an amicus brief, one that makes  some good legal points.

Either his attorneys (Judicial Watch in Washington and Geoffrey S. Kercsmar in Scottsdale) did not get the same courtesy as Dever's attorneys, the attorneys received seats but decided not to share with their client, or their client thought maybe he could bum a ticket with Brewer and save his tickets for others.  (Or, it was a political or publicity - or, both - stunt.)


By the way, the attorneys arguing the case tomorrow will be a replay of the even-higher profile three-day oral argument on the healthcare insurance reform law from last month.  Paul Clement will be arguing on behalf of Arizona and U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli will argue for the United States.  The latter was much panned for his oral argument defending so-called "Obamacare".


I have reviewed many of the briefs and amicus briefs in this case (links found here on the awesome SCOTUSblog), and helped strategize and research for one of them.  I think it is going to be a very close decision, but if I had to predict an outcome before tomorrow's oral arguments, I would guess that a slight majority is going to find that Congress has not slammed the door tightly enough on laws like Arizona's. Unless they find that the law causes such blatant discrimination that it cannot stand, they will uphold it.  However, I do think that they will end up being convinced that the degree of racial profiling should sink it.  I expect creative reasoning in the majority opinion, and several concurring and dissenting opinions.

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