In the aftermath of Monday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash to block, at least temporarily, key provisions of Georgia’s new immigration law, Attorney General Sam Olens tried to look on the bright side.
“[E]ven after this ruling, 21 of the 23 sections of HB 87 will go into effect as planned. My office plans to appeal the court’s finding that Sections 7 and 8 of the law are preempted,” Olens said in a quickly issued news release.
Last night, former DeKalb County judge Keegan Federal, one of the attorneys seeking to block HB 87, used his blog to dismiss any attempt by Olens or other state officials to claim victory. From Federal’s Law:
We only challenged two of provisions. The other 21 weren’t argued, and Judge Thrash certainly didn’t “uphold” them. We won total victory on those sections of the statute we sought to invalidate at this phase…..
It is true that a “substantive” provision dealing with E-Verify was not overturned by the judge — and that was because we did not attack that provision since an identical provision in the Indiana law was very recently approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Accordingly, we did not brief that section of the law, nor did the Defendants, and, again, it wasn’t “upheld” by the Judge; it simply wasn’t a part of the case. Saying that this provision was “upheld by the Court” is pure sophistry, intentional mischaracterization of the judge’s ruling, intellectually dishonest, and grossly misleading to the public…..
To be fair, Olens didn’t use the word “upheld,” but expressed pleasure at the fact that Thrash rejected claims that the Georgia law violated the right to travel and to equal protection.
In addition, my AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon points out that plaintiffs did in fact ask Thrash to “declare that HB 87 is unconstitutional in its entirety” — that’s language from the lawsuit. But we’ll let Federal continue:
There should be no appeal by the State to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Appeals Court will give Judge Thrash’s injunction the same treatment that the Ninth Circuit gave to the Arizona federal judge’s opinion:
But the attorney general is going to appeal anyway.
It’s in keeping with a pattern of misleading the public that has gone on for a long time now.
Spin it. Spin it. Spin it.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is denying that he’s reducing his New Hampshire effort. From CNN:
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s New Hampshire state director, his only staffer in the state, as well as a Cain campaign regional director have both resigned.
Matt Murphy is the former state director and Jim Zeiler is the former regional director. Both defections raise the question of whether or not the Cain campaign is facing some trouble.
Ellen Carmichael, a spokeswoman for the businessman and former radio host, confirmed … the story that was first reported in the New Hampshire Union Leader. She smacks back any notion that this spells trouble for the campaign.
“We have hired a new New Hampshire director already, who we will announce in the coming days,” Carmichael said.
Democratic Gov. John Lynch of New Hampshire on Monday vetoed a bill to require voters to produce a photo ID at the ballot, declaring that it would “create a real risk” of depriving some of the right to vote. From the Union Leader newspaper:
“Voter turnout in New Hampshire is among the highest in the nation, election after election. There is no voter fraud problem in New Hampshire. We already have strong elections laws that are effective in regulating our elections,” Lynch said.
The House and Senate can override Lynch’s veto, if leaders can garner two-thirds majorities. A session to deal with vetoes is expected in the fall.
The situation remains unclear, but South Carolina’s presidential primary – the first in the South next year – apparently won’t devolve into a less influential caucus contest. From The State newspaper:
State law allows the S.C. Election Commission to run the 2012 S.C. Republican presidential primary even if Gov. Nikki Haley vetoes sections of the state budget intended to ensure the agency oversees that vote, according to an opinion issued Monday by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson.
Haley has threatened to veto sections of the budget that allow the Election Commission to use $680,000 in its savings to help pay the primary’s estimated $1.5 million cost. Republican Haley repeatedly has said taxpayers should not pay for the primary….
S.C. GOP chairman Chad Connelly said last week that, without the state’s electronic voting machines, paid poll workers and other oversight, the party legally might not be able to host the primary, expected to be held in February or March….
Republican Wilson’s advisory ruling, which does not carry the force of law, says a 2007 state law that allowed the Election Commission to run the 2008 presidential primaries still applies.
Speaking to the Macon Rotary Club, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss didn’t sound to keen moving U.S. forces out of their current crucible in Afghanistan. From the Macon Telegraph:
Troop withdrawals by President Barack Obama also threaten Afghanistan and will place fragile gains at risk, he said. Afghanistan has seen progress in some areas, but an entire generation was left uneducated. That country also has a “very corrupt government” and is interlinked with Pakistan, which has a spy service that spies on Americans. But America can’t cut its ties with Pakistan, Chambliss said.
“The Chinese are foaming at the bit to come in behind us,” he said.
AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at whether Birmingham, Ala., is indeed the cradle of the Civil Rights movement.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider