Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Governor Brewer Draws The Line

I can say without hesitation that not all of Arizona's Republican delegation has gone into the Twilight Zone. Yet I didn't think I'd be saying that about Governor Jan Brewer until she wielded the veto stamp on SB1467, which would have allowed guns on college campuses; and HB2177, the so-called "Birther Bill," which would have forced presidential candidates to prove their citizenship before getting on the Arizona ballot -- a thinly-disguised swipe at President Obama.

Governor Brewer's actions are surely going to put her in the doghouse with her conservative buddies, but given that she signed SB1070, I think she has more than enough right-wing street cred to endure. If that isn't enough, let's consider the reasoning behind her veto statements.

On the gun bill, she writes:

"Today I vetoed Senate Bill 1467 because it is so poorly written. Bills impacting our Second Amendment rights have to be crystal clear so that gun owners don't become lawbreakers by accident. Two examples of this lack of clarity in the bill are: (1) the failure to define the key phrase "public right-of-way" where weapons can be carried, and (2) the inclusion of K-12 schools where federal and state laws generally prohibit weapons on K-12 school grounds.

"First, Senate Bill 1467 would prohibit educational institutions from banning weapons on a "public-right-of-way." However, legislators inexplicably decided not to define "public right-of-way" in the bill. There are four differing definitions currently found in Arizona statues but none apply to this bill. What is really puzzling is that this error was pointed-out during the legislative process. One proponent of the bill stated that a court will have to be the final arbiter in deciding what constitutes a "public right-of-way." We don't need the courts to write our gun laws. That is the job of the legislature."

With SB1070 and Arizona's employer sanctions law already getting the court treatment, you can't blame Gov. Brewer for wanting to avoid just a little bit of litigation fatigue. And with conservatives consistently complaining about "activist judges" making laws, why give them a gift? Unless, of course, you are thinking that's exactly the plan, to give conservatives more reasons to hate on judges.

As for HB2177, you can nearly see Governor Brewer rolling her eyes in the veto letter:

"I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their 'early baptismal or circumcision certificates' among other records to the Arizona Secretary of State. This is a bridge too far."
She adds, for an extra swipe...
"This measure creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona."
I can hear the critics of the governor's veto saying, "What? You afraid of a little more paperwork?"

Anybody setting odds on who'll be the first to call for the governor's impeachment?

Hey, this is Arizona. It can happen.

No comments: