Before we plunge into the main theme of this blog, we must call attention to Congressman Anthony Weiner’s two-minute outraged diatribe against the cowardly House Republicans who voted against extending health care funding to the 9/11 recovery and rescue workers who have experienced health conditions since responding to that horrific emergency. It was refreshing to hear one of our Representatives vent outrage and contempt about his cowardly colleagues who were unwilling to be forthright about their negative votes. Instead, he claimed that they were hiding behind each other and saying they were going to vote “no” because of “procedural issues,” not because they wanted to deny needed health care for those who had bravely gone in to the stinking, smoldering caldron to save lives and put out the fire. I have rarely seen such footage of such rage.
Weiner represents NY’s Ninth Congressional District in Queens that runs from Forest Hills and slices down to the ocean. This is a district that would contain many, many of the first responders--the firemen and women, the police, and the hundreds of heroic volunteers. No wonder this splendid man was outraged. The soul of the man was in pain. You can see it in his face. [Here]
Thank you, Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Another person we would like to thank is Judge Susan Bolton. Judge Bolton is the federal judge who blocked the most serious and controversial sections of the Arizona law that targeted illegal immigrants. The law was scheduled to go into effect last Thursday and Bolton’s ruling came just in time. Of course, the appeal process will take the complex law up the ladder to other courts in the federal hierarchy but for the moment there is some breathing room.
Who is this Judge Susan Bolton who was at the center of the news last week and had the courage to say no? Bolton was born in Philadelphia in 1951. She attended the University of Iowa and its law school. After law school, she went to Arizona to clerk for Arizona State Appeals Judge Laurence Wren for two years. She then went into private practice and worked privately from 1977 to 1989, when she was appointed to the Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County by the then-governor, Rose Mofford, the first female governor of Arizona--a Democrat. Bolton served on that court from 1989-2000 when Senator Kyl--a Republican-- recommended that she be chosen for a federal judgeship. In the waning months of his administration, Clinton nominated her to the district judgeship in Arizona. (I wonder how Kyl feels about his recommendation now.)
When one reads even the little that has been written about Susan Bolton, certain words reappear: impeccable, thoughtful, serious, no-nonsense. A friend of hers from the Arizona Superior Court, Judge Bethany Hicks, described her as “a private person who is thoughtful, independent, deliberate and intellectual.”
Judge Bolton lived up to all these words in her rulings last week. The judge stuck to present law and rendered unto the feds what is federal precedent and perogative and unto Arizona its legal rights. For example, Bolton let stand Arizona’s ban on picking up day laborers from the curbside under its Arizona traffic regulations, but she restrained police officers from being mandated to check for federal immigration papers of persons they had stopped for other offenses.
We’ll be watching as this onerous and controversial law makes its way through the federal appeals process. As Arizona Governor Brewer said about the Bolton decision, “It’s just a bump along the road.” Nevertheless, isn’t it nice to know that we still have public servants, like Weiner and Bolton?
Thank you both...