Law and Disorder Radio – Legal Challenges to Arizona’s SB 1070 – Philip Weiss on the Future of Israel/Palestine – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

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International Agent Orange Day 2012: 51 Years of the Effects of US Spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam







 A Challenge to a Brutal Anti-Latino Law

Sheriff Joe Arpaio recently went on trial in Arizona for discriminating against Latinos and for usurping federal authority with roundups of undocumented immigrants. In a related action, a coalition of groups is asking a federal court to block enforcement of Section 2(B) of SB 1070, the Arizona law that compels all law enforcement agencies in that state to enforce the Arpaio model.

In June the Supreme Court rejected the premise of SB 1070 on grounds that making foreign policy – of which immigration law is a part – is the federal government’s domain. However, the Court upheld the law’s “show me your papers” section that requires officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, arrest or detain on another basis if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally.

The motion to block Section 2(B) “involves additional claims, evidence, and irreparable injuries beyond what the Supreme Court had before it.” The challenge explains harms so obvious and unconstitutional that the judge does not need extensive proof of the section’s impact to enjoin it. The Legislature “explicitly intended Section 2(B) to codify the practices” of Arpaio, the motion says, even after his powers had been restricted by earlier investigations into and challenges to his racial profiling. The practices include prolonged stops and detentions of Latinos to check their status or for other immigration-related purposes.

The plaintiffs are also asking the court to enjoin another Arizona law, which turns alleged violations of a federal anti-harboring law into a state crime. Courts have enjoined similar laws in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina since, like Arizona’s, they were clearly pre-empted by federal law.


Lena Graber:

  • The law enforcement officers in Joe Arpaio’s district have been really outspoken about their intention to stop Latinos and fight immigration.
  • The issues around racial profiling are really huge. I think it’s worth separating out the different lawsuits that are going on.
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio runs this incredibly punitive jail where they barely feed people enough, it’s a 120 degrees, and he’s been sued literally thousands of times for the conditions of his jail.
  • That’s been going on since he was elected in the early nineties.
  • In the last several years he’s really gotten on this tough-on-immigration, let’s do sweeps through Latino neighborhoods thing.
  • The ACLU and other civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against him for racial discrimination, violation of equal protection, and violation of civil rights.
  • They filed that in 2007; about six months later the Department of Justice initiated a civil rights investigation into Joe Arpaio and his operations in Arizona.
  • In the meantime the state of Arizona passed SB 1070.
  • There are both civil rights groups and non-profits filing one lawsuit and the federal government filing a parallel one.
  • The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled on the Arizona law, not on Joe Arpaio, where they struck down most of the law and upheld “show me your papers.”
  • The federal government did not argue that the law was unconstitutional because of racial discrimination.
  • Litigation tends to affect the way law enforcement operate pretty dramatically.
  • Joe Arpaio has been elected five times.
  • The federal government has been very slow to chastise Joe Arpaio.
  • The Department of Homeland Security formed their largest 287g agreement with Sheriff Joe for his deputies to be trained to enforce federal immigration law. At that point the violations really started to go through the roof.

Guest – Lena Graber, a Soros Criminal Justice Fellow at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, who focuses on detention and deportation and state and local enforcement. Lena Graber’s work seeks to reduce the government’s abuse of immigration detainers–a tool used to maintain custody of potentially deportable individuals in local jails or prisons nationwide. Lena previously worked at the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C.

 Mondoweiss: Israel Trip and the Future of Palestine

We welcome back returning guest Philip Weiss, the founder and co-editor of, a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East. Philip has recently returned from a trip to Israel and was struck by the ongoing apartheid against Palestinians. During his trip, he traveled on an Israelis-only road. He saw the massive barrier in the West Bank. He toured many Israeli settlements, such as Ma’ale Adumim, the first settlement to be declared a city. Interestingly Philip also saw some of the fundraising entourage of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney while in Jerusalem.  We talk with him about his trip and the future of the Palestinian state.

Philip Weiss:

The last few times I’ve come back I’ve felt a real sense of bleakness.

When you’re there and you see just how much force is arrayed on one side and the status quo is of complete inequality.

The sense of martial law is overwhelming. Spiritually, it’s awful.

When you’re over there you see there is very little left in terms of contiguous territory in the West Bank to create a viable state.

You see the settlements all around you, giant swimming pools next to villages with walls around them, to separate themselves from Palestine, villages in occupied land.

Jeff Halper says the two-state solution is dead.

Area C is ours, they say.

I saw one ad on my commute here today that read “It’s Not Islamophobia to Blame Islam for Terrorism.”

This is extremism, it’s intolerance, it’s racism.

It’s statements that we would not accept, that have become off limits in American discourse in almost any other context.

One thing I saw there was the separation, the complete separation of two societies.

You really get a sense of ethnic purity at work.

The denial of that humanity is so profound and offensive.

I’ve been struck by the famous Arab hospitality in that region.

The sense of sovereignty and domination is profound.

It’s hard sometimes to meet people’s eyes, because you know that you’re an author of their humiliation and this human being with a lot of dignity has suddenly become humiliated before your eyes and it’s upsetting.

John Brown said the idea that all people are created equal is the exact same idea as do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

It’s kinda scary to think that a bunch of Americans, to send a signal to Obama, would have to go raise a million dollars at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and have Romney talk about Iran and he’s with Netanyahu on Iran. These were powerful political signals being sent while I was there.

I think Romney is behaving in an irresponsible manner. It seems like he’s being used in this situation. Within the Israeli security establishment there is some sense it does not want this attack.

They don’t care about Iran, they care about cleansing the West Bank of Palestinians.

If there is a war with Iran it’s a perfect opportunity and a crisis to push more Palestinians out of Area C into the cities.

I’m for BDS. Every time I go there I’m upset by what I see. The question is that whether the South African connection is kicking in.

I get a lot of criticism from Jews for exposing my people to danger.

Jeff Halper studies the occupation and knows it in a granular way.

Guest – Philip Weiss founder of Mondoweiss, longtime journalist, regular contributor to The Nation and a fellow at the Nation Institute. Philip is the author of two books: a political novel, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, and American Taboo, an investigative account of a 1976 murder in the Peace Corps in the Kingdom of Tonga.  Weiss is one of the editors of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.