Monday, July 9, 2012

Gov. Jan Brewer Slips Quietly Into Supreme Court One Week After It Gave Her "Victory", Heartburn, Seeks To Limit Same-Sex Partners' Health Insurance

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was not quiet about the Supreme Court and its decisions on Arizona's SB1070 anti-illegal immigration law or the Affordable Care Act.  However, just one week later, Brewer and the Arizona Attorney General's office quietly filed papers asking the highest court in the land to allow her law barring same-sex partners of state employees from sharing the latter's health insurance.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals repeatedly (first, a three judge panel and most recently a larger panel) refused to lift an injunction preventing the 2009 law from going into effect.  Brewer and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne filed the petition for a writ of certiorari - asking the Supreme Court to take the case - on July 2.  No press release, no Facebook post, no Tweet, no public comment, has been noted by either Brewer or Horne on the subject.

The news of the filing is apparently coming out today because Lambda Legal, the organization representing nine gay and lesbian state employees who brought the suit challenging the law, is drawing reporters' attention to it.

And, the only evidence Arizona's Politics could find this morning that supports the headlines that suggest that it was Brewer's call - and not the AG's - is that when the initial appellate decision came down last September, the Governor's spokesman, Matthew Benson, stated that the Governor was considering whether and how to proceed.  (Plus, it would be highly unusual for the AG to proceed on such a high-profile matter with the Governor's name on it, without her being on board.)

Here is the 9th Circuit's unanimous opinion, written by Arizona-based Judge Mary Schroeder.

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