By Phyllis Schlafly
One of the most outrageous examples of out-of-control judges
is the case called Flores vs. 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
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.
The original judge retired, and the Flores case was handed
over to Judge Ramer C. Collins, who was appointed by former
President Bill Clinton. In December 2005, Collins imposed
fines of $500,000 a day, escalating to $2 million a day, for
every day that the legislature fails to authorize funding
acceptable to the governor.
Napolitano wants the Arizona Legislature to appropriate
nearly $1,200 per child. That could total $192 million, and
she wants it without accountability for how it is to be
Since Jan. 25, millions of dollars in court-ordered fines
have been accumulating. If this continues to the end of the
legislative session, the fines will total more than $77
With the judge on her side, the governor has no incentive to
sign any bill passed by the legislature until she gets what
she wants. Napolitano is the same person who, when she was
Arizona's attorney general, had the responsibility to defend
If there is any issue that should be clearly and exclusively
a function of the legislature elected by the people it is
the matter of raising taxes and spending the people's money.
Unfortunately, there are many supremacist judges who think
they (in this case, a judge and a governor) can order the
legislature to raise taxes and tell them how to spend
Flores v. Arizona makes it clear that our battle to reform
the imperial judiciary is not finished just because two
Bush-appointed justices have been seated on the U.S. Supreme
Court. Hundreds of Clinton-appointed, Carter-appointed, and
even Lyndon Johnson-appointed federal judges are continuing
their judicial mischief in cases that will probably never
reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Millions of non-English-speaking immigrants have come to
America over several centuries. When their children went
immediately into schools where only English was spoken, they
learned English rapidly and taught it to their parents.
Immersion in English in public schools was the way this
happened, and nobody ever thought of rewarding the
immigrants or the schools with special appropriations. The
immersion system worked just fine until liberal busybodies,
with too much tax money at their disposal, decided to
experiment on vulnerable immigrant children with unworkable,
expensive projects such as the now discredited and misnamed
Nobody seems to know why some Arizona children haven't
learned English in the last five years. Can it be that the
schools are allowing them to use Spanish in the classroom
instead of the proven immersion method?
Phyllis Schlafly is the President and Founder of the Eagle
Find this story at: http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/phyllisschlafly/2006/02/20/187186.html