One of the most outrageous examples of out-of-control judges is the case called Flores v. Arizona, now pending in federal court in Tucson. Originally filed in 1992, plaintiff lawyers claim to represent an estimated 160,000 children of illegal immigrants attending Arizona public schools.
The case seeks to force Arizona taxpayers to pay for bringing these children, euphemistically called English Language Learners, up to grade level. The lawyers are trying to accomplish this by turning a state legislative issue into a federal judicial command.
In 2000, a judge appointed by former President Jimmy Carter ruled that the inability of illegal alien children to speak English well enough to succeed in school meant that Arizona was violating the federal Equal Education Opportunity Act of 1974. This EEOA requires "appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation."
A decade ago, in a case that involved Alabama's policy about foreign-language driver's license exams, liberals attempted to induce activist judges to insert the word "language" into the 1964 Civil Rights Act's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of "national origin." The lawyers did persuade a district court and the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to legislate from the bench and do that.
However, in the 2001 case of Alexander v. Sandoval, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed, rejecting the claim that someone can sue for accommodation for his foreign language based on the Civil Rights Act. In our era of supremacist judges who so often believe that they can "evolve" new meanings into the Constitution and into statutes, and impose their own policy preferences, this was a welcome case of judicial restraint.
Nevertheless, hope springs eternal in the creative minds of lawyers who seek out supremacist judges. They are spurred on when deep pockets are available, and they find the deepest pockets when they can raid the American taxpayers.
So, back to Flores v. Arizona, where the Judge Alfredo C. Marquez had ruled against the taxpayers. But because the statute sets no standards for "appropriate action," the judge wisely said in 1999 that he would not substitute the court's "educational values and theories for the educational and political decisions reserved to state or local school authorities."
The judge ordered the state to prepare a cost study so the legislature could act. The Legislature then passed three bills providing funds to address the problem of English Language Learners, but Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, vetoed all three.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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