Russell Pearce: No "Absolute Legislative Immunity" for Him, Court Says
Though Reza was taken to the Fourth Avenue Jail and booked, the county attorney never prosecuted the case. (Hmmm, wonder why?) Reza had been at the Capitol that day to meet with state Senator Steve Gallardo. He had done nothing to be thrown up against a glass wall, as he was, and arrested.
Civil rights attorney Stephen Montoya filed suit on Reza's behalf in June of last year, accusing Pearce and the Arizona Department of Public Safety officers who nabbed Reza of violating the activist's rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
In January, Pearce's attorneys at the Rose Law Group, the go-to law firm for wingnuts, filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that, "Senate President Pearce is entitled to absolute legislative immunity for the actions alleged in Mr. Reza's Complaint."
Judge Martone, however, did not agree, stating in his April 23 order that, "Absolute legislative immunity is by definition for legislative acts," and does not cover "actions taken by legislators `in their administrative or executive capacities.'"
(You can read the entire order for yourself, here.)
"I guess this means Russell Pearce is not above the law," Montoya told me when I asked him about the order. "And he's going to have to answer for what he did."
So the 12-point loser loses again. Here's hoping Reza, with Montoya's assistance, makes Pearce pay out the nose.