Russell Pearce Thrown Under the Bus by SB 1070 Attorney John Bouma: The Transcript

Russ, even the guy who defends your law thinks you're a bigot
See also: SB 1070 Slugfest: Will Judge Susan Bolton Block 1070's "Papers Please" Section?
See also: SB 1070 Oral Arguments on "Papers Please" Section Scheduled for August 21
See also: ACLU Seeks New Injunction on "Papers Please" Portion of SB 1070
See also: SB 1070, SCOTUS, Friendly House, and a Ray of Hope
See also: Russell Pearce's Falsehoods, Inaccuracies and Inventions on Channel 12's Sunday Square-Off

I just read through the transcript of this Tuesday's oral arguments before Judge Susan R. Bolton on Senate Bill 1070's section 2(b), the "papers please" portion of the law. This, in the federal lawsuit Valle del Sol v. Whiting.

My favorite part is when Governor Jan Brewer's attorney John Bouma, chairman of the powerful law firm Snell & Wilmer, throws the law's primary pimp, disgraced, recalled former state Senate President Russell Pearce under the proverbial bus.

The passage is quite delicious, and though I reported on the hearing in a previous blog, the transcript gives me the benefit of the exact wording of an ironic exchange between Bouma and Bolton.

Bouma concedes that "there's no question Russell Pearce was pushing [1070]," but he contends that there's no reason it would not have become law "with or without Russell Pearce."

Snell & Wilmer's chief bottle washer even claims there was "support for this statute" from "Hispanics in the legislature."

Really? Other than far right state Representative Steve Montenegro, who hails originally from El Salvador and who's carried water for Pearce even post-recall, I can't think of one Hispanic legislator who backed 1070.

(Though I can think of one who walked on the vote, but I digress.)

In any case, that's when Bouma kvetches mightily about what the plaintiffs are alleging.

"And to think that the suggestion that Arizona is full -- the legislature and the Governor and that are full of a bunch of people who are racially motivated," he exclaimed, "when all you have to do is walk out there and walk around the offices and see that all their staff -- or at least a significant part of their staff -- is of Hispanic background is -- you know, the fact that they would even suggest that is just offensive."

A weird argument -- that a state's rulers are not Mexican-bashing bigots because some of the people who work for them are Latinos.

At one point, Bolton asks Bouma about a slew of racist e-mails sent out by Pearce before, during and after the 1070 debate.

"Well," says the judge, "there are some offensive things in some of the e-mails that were attached to the Plaintiffs' motion that certainly suggested some discriminatory animus."

You can almost hear the rusty gears in Bouma's cranium creak, as he attempts a save.

"I would agree that there were some awful e-mails -- there was some awful thoughts in there," he acknowledged. "You know, you can't deal with people in that respect."

Then he added:

"But to suggest that the people who are interested in solving the problem of illegal immigration were all of that same mind or that the officers, all these professionals -- I
hope you'll take the time to read the statements by the professional officers."

The plaintiffs did not suggest that just because someone voted for 1070, they're a bigot. Yet, SB 1070 was primarily motivated by a fear of Hispanics whipped up by Pearce and his allies.

In in his written response to the plaintiffs' motion for an injunction, Bouma attempted to defend some of Pearce's outrageous lies about Hispanics.

But in front of the judge, he practically pulled a Peter and denied ol' Russ three times.

Pearce was not in attendance, I should add. Which I'm sure made that exchange less cringe-worthy for Bouma.

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I think Bouma meant the "Hispanic's" in the legislature - just like the "Teacher's" that support Pearce. 

jester.jackson 3 Like

Isn't if fun when the chickens come home to roost? Thanks Lemons for not giving up on this and Arizona all these years.  The Phoenix New Times is like Pitbulls when it comes to getting at the facts.

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