FROM Jim Nintzel
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Trial As Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio became famous for holding detainees in tents under the blazing Arizona sun and for making inmates wear pink underwear. But it's his focus on immigration enforcement – what he calls "crime suppression" and the plaintiffs call "racial profiling" -- that's led to a class action lawsuit scheduled to open tomorrow in a federal courtroom in Phoenix. Will it hurt him or help him in this year's campaign for a sixth term? Will it move Washington any closer to immigration reform?
America's 'Toughest Sheriff' and Federal Immigration Law Sheriff Joe Arpaio became famous for holding detainees in tents under the blazing Arizona sun and for making inmates wear pink underwear. But it's his focus on enforcing immigration law by racially profiling Latinos that's led to a class action lawsuit scheduled to open tomorrow in a federal courtroom in Phoenix. The Maricopa County Sheriff is the darling of immigration hard-liners and the target of the Obama Administration, which has filed a separate civil rights action. But the case also illustrates the chaos caused by 26 years of inaction by Congress and successive administrations in Washington. We hear what Arpaio symbolizes for both sides of a polarized nation and the potential legal consequences for immigration reform.
Supreme Court's Immigration Ruling Leaves Legal Questions On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, we hear about today's US Supreme Court decision on Arizona's tough immigration law. Thrown out were state laws against undocumented workers looking for work or holding jobs. Retained is a provision that police must ask anyone arrested for some other crime to "show their papers" if there is "probable cause" that they might be non-citizens.
Saturday's Shooting Rampage in Tucson Twenty-two year-old Jared Laughner was arraigned today in Phoenix, telling a federal judge he understood charges of murder and attempted murder. They stem, of course, from Saturday's deadly shootout in Tuscon. When proceedings resume in two weeks, they'll be handled by another federal judge who's not from Arizona. Doctors say it's good news that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords ' condition has not changed since a bullet passed through her brain. She has been able to respond to simple commands.
Congresswoman Giffords' Condition Is Stable Since Saturday, Gabrielle Giffords has been in a Tucson hospital for treatment of wounds from a bullet that passed through her brain. The Democratic Congresswoman has been able to follow simple commands like wiggling her toes or showing a specific finger. Neurosurgeon Michael Lemole says she's been giving CAT scans daily. Gifford's husband, astronaut Mark Kelly thanked well-wishers for their "unbelievable outpouring of support." Jim Nintzel, senior writer for the Tucson Weekly , has covered Giffords since she entered politics in the year 2000.
Election Results: Did Insurgents Upend the Establishment? Every state has its own political dynamic, but yesterday's primaries in Arizona, Alaska and Florida were billed "as a test to see whether the political establishment of either party could hold its own in this summer of America's discontent." That's according to Carl Cannon, executive editor of PoliticsDaily.com . We hear from Cannon, journalists and other political observers.
More Mudslinging on the Road to November Every state has its own political dynamic, but yesterday's primaries in Arizona, Alaska and Florida were billed "as a test to see whether the political establishment of either party could hold its own in this summer of America's discontent." That's according to Carl Cannon, executive editor of PoliticsDaily.com . The campaigns were nasty enough that some losers are saying they'll have a hard time endorsing their victorious rivals. We look at what the future might hold for John McCain, Sarah Palin, Lisa Murkowski and Charlie Crist. Are any new political stars rising? Did Tea Party conservatives help challengers on the Republican side? Come November, will they be assets or liabilities?
Arizona, the Latest Battleground over Illegal Immigration Success in closing the border in Texas and California has pushed more illegal crossings to Arizona, creating high anxiety in the southern part of that state. Arizona officials claim there's a lack of federal protection, and the new law requires local police to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. The law won't go into effect until this summer, but already court challenges are being planned.
Arizona Sets Off Another Immigration Dust Up Efforts to close the border in Texas and California have pushed more illegal crossings to Arizona, creating high anxiety in the southern part of that state. After years of frustration, Arizona has enacted a tough new law that requires local police to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. The law won't go into effect until this summer, but it's already ignited political fireworks from Washington to Mexico City. Two presidents and countless other officials are for and against the measure, but nobody expects any action from Congress in an election year. Today court challenges are being announced based on civil rights and the federal supremacy clause of the Constitution. With more than 10 million undocumented workers in the US already and more on the way, questions are being raised that have no easy answers.
California Leads the Call for a Boycott of Arizona In 1992, Arizona's then-Governor Evan Mecham cancelled Martin Luther King Day and made insensitive comments about minorities and women. The result was an organized decline in tourism and cancellation of numerous conventions and concerts. An upcoming Super Bowl was moved to another state. Now, Arizona's new immigration law has led to calls for similar retribution. The law requires Arizona police to determine if people are in the US illegally and demand that suspects show their papers. Councilwoman Janice Hahn wants the City of Los Angeles to “refrain from conducting business with the state of Arizona.” We speak with Hahn and others.
US Senate Elections and the 'Soul' of the Republican Party As a State Senator, Charlie Crist was so tough on crime he was known as "Chain Gang Charlie." But as the Republican Governor of Florida the one-time "conservative's conservative" won the support of Democrats and Independents. Now, as he runs for the US Senate , he's up against the harsh fact that only Republicans vote in Florida's GOP primary. Crist and Arizona Senator John McCain aren't the only so-called "Moderates" under attack from within the GOP. Establishment candidates, even incumbents, who are anything but liberal face right-wing challenges in primaries all over the country. Total repeal of healthcare reform is a litmus test for campaign contributions -- even if that alienates Independents who are often determine who wins in November. Are true believers trying to "purify" the GOP? Could this be a better year than expected for Democrats?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.