It's so simple, supporters tell us. Just read SB1070 and you'll understand it doesn't allow racial profiling, it mirrors federal law, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Yet John Bouma, Brewer's lawyer arguing the case in front of Judge Susan Bolton, is having problems answering simple questions.
[H]ow long can an officer detain a person before determining immigration status?
Governor Brewer's Attorney John Bouma could not give an answer.
Unless Bouma can come up with a simple answer to the contrary, that means someone can be detained indefinitely -- even a U.S. citizen -- if she/he can't provide proof of legal status.
Judge Bolton also raised the question: would undetermined detention time violate constitutional laws that restrict unreasonable detentions?
Immigration Attorney John Messing said the fact Governor Brewer's legal team could not answer this question blows a big hole in their defense case.
"Because the constitution says you can't hold people without making an initial appearance within 24 hours that's the way Arizona structured its criminal code. If Governor Brewer's attorney's lose this initial salvo I think certain momentum will be built into the case that at the district court level could be disastrous for their side," said Messing.
I've read the law over and over, slowly and thoroughly. Though I don't have legal training, I'm a very careful reader, and I can't say for sure what it means. Constitutional scholars say we won't know what all the provisions mean unless and until they're tested in court.
Jan Brewer's lawyer doesn't understand exactly what the law means.
I'm convinced, the people who say, "It's simple, just read the law," are the same ones who say, "Just read your Bible and you'll know what God wants you to do."
In both cases, what they're saying is, "I've been told what The Bible/SB1070 means, and I've been spoon fed phrases by those same people that prove it. Who could ask for anything more?"