Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Craig McDermott from Random Musings covered yesterday's wildly frustrating Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on SB1308 and SB1309, anti-14th Amendment bills that even the bill's sponsor Ron Gould admits would have no real effect unless the federal government acts, and it sounds like a delightful day of pseudo-legislating:
Before a packed meeting room, the Judiciary Committee of the Arizona Senate listened to well over two hours of testimony regarding SB1308 and SB1309, the anti-14th Amendment/birthright citizenship bills proposed by Sen. Ron Gould, the committee's chair.
Anybody who watched the proceedings, in person or over the internet, was treated to a mindnumbing showcase of constitutional law knowledge and ignorance.
The lead actor in that part of Monday's political theater was one John Eastman, a law school dean from California. Dr. Eastman's biography boasts of his clerkship for US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He also regularly weighs in on things like torture, school vouchers, expansive Presidential power, and more, always supporting the "conservative" position. In short, he was an out-of-town ringer brought in by Gould and Pearce for just this event.
Eastman droned on for well over 90 minutes, basically arguing that everyone of the "interpretations" of the 14th Amendment over the last 140+ years was wrong and that his "interpretation" was the correct one.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema served as the main counterpoint to Eastman's misinformation, drawing on her own intelligence and legal knowledge to successfully refute Eastman's arguments. Republican Senator Adam Driggs, a lawyer too, also pushed back against Eastman.
I'm not recounting the discussion in it entirety because it was too long and technical for me to follow closely, but friend of mine who works in the justice system was watching, described Eastman's arguments as erroneous (OK, a different word was used, but in the interests of keeping this post family-friendly... :) ).