Arizona Under Fire: What you need to know about the Sheriff Joe Recall Effort

I don’t normally stick my nose into local or district races, mostly because it conflicts with my philosophy of letting the people choose their own. damn. representatives. That being said, I do believe that the people have a right to know who they’re signing petitions against and voting for–especially when the Big Progressive Steamroller of Doom© is calling the shots.

Strategically bagging elections is sort of a thing with the left. What we saw in 2008, and again in 2012, is not a new thing. The plan they’re working with now is a plan decades in the making, and the GOP has a long way to go if we expect to even attempt to catch up with the progressive freak parade. This plan–known as The Colorado Model (go read this article RIGHT NOW)–is fairly simple, and being deployed with panache all over the country:

Eric O’Keefe, chairman of the conservative Sam Adams Alliance in Chicago, says there are seven “capacities” that are required to drive a successful political strategy and keep it on offense: [1] the capacity to generate intellectual ammunition, [2] to pursue investigations, [3] to mobilize for elections, [4] to fight media bias, [5] to pursue strategic litigation, [6] to train new leaders, and [7] to sustain a presence in the new media. Colorado liberals have now created institutions that possess all seven capacities. By working together, they generate political noise and attract press coverage. Explains Caldara, “Build an echo chamber and the media laps it up.”

Sound familiar? It should. It’s what shellacked you in the face in 2012. It’s also what’s currently threatening the political career of Maricopa County, Arizona’s embattled Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The recall effort against Sheriff Joe Arpaio is rolling along under the banner of “Respect Arizona,” a political recall committee registered with the Maricopa County Elections Office. Their only goal is to successfully recall Joe Arpaio and replace him with someone more attractive to the progressive palate. They’ve been up and running since about three weeks after Sheriff Arpaio was reelected with 53% of the vote. Arpaio was and remains the face of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 immigration bill, which is obviously convenient for the recall effort, considering significant portions of the bill were struck down by the Supreme Court last summer. At any rate, Respect Arizona is applying the Colorado Model to their recall effort and relying on emotional plays and token endorsements to whip up the base and create a progressive echo chamber that the GOP in Arizona is not prepared or equipped to deal with.

They succeeded in Colorado. They tried and failed in Wisconsin with the Walker recall effort. Now, Arizona is in the crosshairs, and the left is well on their way to ousting a duly elected sheriff with no current basis for the recall. They want one more bite at the apple, and they’re well on their way to getting it: as of Friday, April 5, the recall effort has over 120,000 paid petitioners on the ground, and have less than 100,000 signatures to go before the May 30th recall petition deadline.

The recall effort against Joe Arpaio is just one part of a national strategy to overwhelm the system. The left is building a template to apply on a national level, and we’re not prepared to handle it. LaborUnionReport over at RedState called it over a year ago:

On the Right, after nearly three years of being engaged in the battle to save America from tax and spend collectivists, there is still a large knowledge vacuum in the nature of the battle, the groups and strategies involved, as well as the tactics used. America is nearing the end of a century-old ideological war waged by Marxists of varying degree—an ideological war that will determine the future of America. Until such time as the Right understands that fact and begins to work together, any “victories” at the ballot box will be fleeting and, in the long run, futile.

This battle isn’t just about Sheriff Joe, or Governor Walker, or whoever the left chooses as its next target. Whether or not you support these politicians, it’s important for you to understand what’s happening: these are a series of ideological attacks waged by progressives who do not like the outcomes of elections. They know they have a better chance of winning in the courts or on the rebound, and given the chance, they’ll give it everything they’ve got.

Red Warning Flag: the UN Arms Trade Treaty

On Tuesday, the United States agreed to passage of the UN Arms Trade Treaty:

The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the first treaty on the global arms trade, which seeks to regulate the $70 billion business in conventional arms and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers.

The official U.N. tally showed 154 votes in favor, 3 against and 23 abstentions, though diplomats and U.N. officials said the actual vote was 155-3-22 due to Angola being recorded as having abstained and not voting yes.

The fact that this passed by such a large margin is no surprise. Only one country on the planet has a Second Amendment. The problem with this treaty isn’t its purpose–no one thinks protecting women and children is a bad idea. The problem lies in its overbroad, vague, and ambiguous treatment of the actual execution of the provisions of the treaty.

US Secretary of State John Kerry on the treaty:

“Nothing in this treaty could ever infringe on the rights of American citizens under our domestic law or the Constitution, including the Second Amendment,” he added, referring to the U.S. constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to bear arms.

This, of course, is the first signal that something is wrong. The Obama Administration already has the Secretary of State trotting around proclaiming that nothing could ever be infringed ever by this vague and ambiguous treaty! Furthermore, Kerry has said that this treaty is “implemental,” which tells me that not only does the Administration believe this treaty is feasible for implementation in the US, but that they’re going to launch a big push to make sure it happens.

Today, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent the President a quick note urging him to not sign the treaty. In the letter (which you should read,) General Abbott points out that the treaty:

– Fails to recognize the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms or the right to defend one’s family, person, and property;

– Empowers a new UN bureaucracy focused on firearms restrictions that will be run by international bureaucrats who are not accountable to the people of the United States;

– Employs vague and sweeping language that could be used for any number of future restrictions on Second Amendment rights; and

– Places no defined limits on the UN’s power to interfere with Second Amendment rights.

Sounds great!

The insidious part of this thing isn’t that it purports to regulate all arms and weapons, but that it purports to regulate small arms and light weapons. This is the Second Amendment problem the Obama Administration is already so keen on glossing over. This treaty vests new power in the United Nations, which under this treaty has the power to impose arms restrictions drafted and overseen by international bureaucrats who are not accountable to the American people.

There’s been a lot of buzz on Twitter and on the list servs about enforcement of the treaty’s provisions, and most seem keen to blow the whole thing off as another exercise in international idiocy. It’s true that there’s no compulsory enforcement mechanism, but this doesn’t render the treaty null and void as a matter of law. The treaty is broad, vague, and ambiguous, but under General Abbott’s interpretation (which I trust both as a professional and as a citizen), it could require all of the signatory states to assist the UN in creating some sort of registry. The thing is, if signed and ratified, the treaty has the force of law in the signatory state–so while the treaty itself doesn’t compel the states to do anything, a state who signs and ratifies now has the foundation they need to take action in compliance with the treaty’s requirements.

So really, the whole thing depends on the state. How ours will behave remains to be seen–it’s an evil version of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

Keep an eye on this. Call your senator. As of right now, Barack Obama doesn’t have the 2/3 majority vote he needs to ram this thing through the Senate, and it’s your job to make sure things stay that way.

General Abbott is ready to lead the charge against the UN Arms Trade Treaty. Let’s make sure he doesn’t have to.

When it comes to gay marriage, what’s the standard? (Hint: nobody knows)

The whole thing very nearly derailed as a result of the conundrum presented by a fertile lesbian octogenarian.

No, really. And they say lawyers don’t know how to have a good time. Jest we much!

That being said, the oral arguments on Hollingsworth v. Perry provided plenty of meat for your next great Facebook debate, so let’s talk about them.

Standing arguments are not for the fainthearted. If you believe that the standing issue in Hollingsworth v. Perry is an easy call, you are either a 1L, or you do not understand what it means to have standing. The Court has never granted standing to the proponents of a ballot measure. Justice Ginsburg made a fantastic point right off the bat by pointing out that once an initiative has passed, the proponents no longer have a proprietary interest–it becomes law for them, just as it is for everyone else. On the flip side, however, Justice Kennedy raised concerns about allowing standing only to those with an established fiduciary interest to the state; by making this the standard, wouldn’t we be limiting recourse on initiatives to the whims of potentially hostile state officials?

Hell if we know!

Listen. The takeaway from the standing arguments is this: we don’t know. I don’t know. The parties don’t know. Roberts told everyone to move on, which tells me the Supremes either don’t know, or already know what they’re going to do and just enjoy playing with their food before they eat it. What I can promise you is that, unless this case crashes and burns on an issue of standing, you won’t be thinking about standing in the face of a ruling on the merits of this sexy, sexy issue.

The merits arguments happened; I’ll let you read them. Purpose of marriage vs. some weird equal protection standard that I’m still trying to reconcile with my Chemerinsky treatise. The petitioners ran with the procreation-and-family-stability argument, which counsel bolstered wonderfully in his rebuttal by finally remembering Loving v. Virginia’s “similarly situated to a legitimate purpose” standard. Respondents’ argument does not address this standard, because their position is partially founded on the idea that procreation is no longer part of the foundation of the marital institution.

The significant takeaway from the merits arguments is, at least in my opinion, that the respondent was incapable of explaining exactly when it became unconstitutional to exclude gays and lesbians from marriage. This should bother anyone who cares enough about fundamental legal standards to make it past my decision to address the standing issues first. The respondent’s argument on the actual constitutionality (you know, the standard) hinged on the idea that societal evolution has led us to understand more about sexual orientation, and tried to use a suspect standard to describe a self-created class of individuals. This is no standard at all, because it depends fully on the idea that the Constitution is not only a living document, but a document that only achieves full relevancy when society accidentally decides it does. Liberals love this, but it’s hard to create law based on such an argument.

At this point, an “overall takeaway” is pretty much irrelevant. The Supremes will deliberate this case until June, and in the mean time, we’ll all change our avatars and slap duct tape over our mouths and pound out in the wee hours of the morning impassioned defenses of our respective positions. Justice Roberts was right to point out–and is already being raked across the coals for doing so–that the thrust of this case is the label California chooses to slap on state-recognized same-sex relationships. If I have to tell you one thing to watch for in the opinion, it’s this–did the Court acknowledge the fundamental change of what it means to be married, or did they decide the merits based on a new or existing equal protection standard? So much of the controversy surrounding these cases centers on the potential redefinition of marriage–how will this affect the Church? How will this affect the separation of church and state?–and it’s important that we as conservatives keep these questions alive. No matter what the Court decides, I can guarantee you that this is not the final front in the progressive assault on religious tradition.

However, I also believe that it is entirely possible for the Court to come to a conclusion that grants marriage equality without infringing upon the freedom of religion. Their decision does not have to redefine what it means to be married in order to allow for freedom of contract between consenting adults. (Careful, Amy…your libertarian is showing.) I think doing so would set irreparable precedent, and open the door to the myriad legal nightmares that have already begun to creep their way into the courthouse.

From now until June, all I can do is encourage you to focus on the constitutional standard, and to not take the emotional bait the left is so continually successful in offering. Don’t get lazy and accept the premise that no standard can exist until society is ready for it. To do so would be to accept a far more disastrous precedent than could ever be set by a decision in favor of marriage equality.

This:

So...many...questions. So many.

So…many…questions. So many.

I think I can.

8 days to go, and what a mess

That moment when you take a bathroom break, accidentally look in the mirror (because no examinee willingly looks in a mirror at this point,) and discover that you’ve got hot pink highlighter smudged on one cheek, there’s a pen stuck in your rat’s nest of a sloppy bun, and that terrified girl staring back?–that’s YOU!

I’m not impressed.barexsatan

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that preparing for the bar exam isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. What an insult. I hate my life right now. It sucks. I have nothing good to say about anything. I’d rather suffer through an entire year of nothing but 1L-style lectures on torts and products liability (and y’all know how I feel about free money under the Total Dumbass Doctrine) than redo these two months.

8 days. I can do this…but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Also, while we’re here, what in the hell is a Harlem Shake? The internet appears to have moved on without me.

On March 1, I burn the books

This:

gingerselfie

That would be me, one hearsay exception away from thrusting a hot pink highlighter through my face. Also, Instagram should change “Lo-Fi” to “Instant Ginger,” because seriously. Look at me.

So. Bar study. I’ve had the “Oh God, why” moment. I’ve had the meltdown. I’m now rolling along in a cautiously optimistic state of pure denial. Apparently I’m right on track. I’m also 100% pure mess. Dedicating every waking moment (not spent taking selfies and sanity-blogging) to Every Law Ever Written and Also Texas Exceptions takes a toll.

But, it’s worth it. I’ve got the “Doctor.” It’s time for “Counselor.”

Today I gave myself a gift

I took a whole hour (WHOLE HOUR) to eat lunch and take stock of…things.

And by “take stock of…things,” I mean, “laugh hysterically at this amazing picture”:

cantor

That’s really it, isn’t it? The inauguration. The weird inaugural poem that made everyone uncomfortable. The bar exam. My tax bill. The guy who got inaugurated thinking it’s okay for my tax bill to go up as much as it did. THE BAR EXAM. Eric Cantor’s facial expression is my everything. He’s my spirit politician.

Back to the BarBri Bankruptcy Boondoggle. Alliteration is discouraged on the Texas essays, or so I hear.

Also, hello to new friends and readers. I hope I’m not a disappointing read.

EDIT: I reserve the right to go back in and correct my bar brain-perpetuated typos. “Pregnant brain” ain’t got nothin’ on this hot southern mess. I found a t-shirt in the fridge yesterday.