Recently, in an interview with 92.3 KTAR’s Jay Lawrence, former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods — who is currently one of Gov. Jan Brewer’s (R-AZ) campaign co-chairs — admitted that he does not support Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070. Not only does Woods not support it, he also believes that it is unconstitutional for many of the same reasons the federal government posited when it sued Brewer a couple months ago:
WOODS: I’m in the minority on [SB-]1070 in that I did not and do not support it and the reason that I do not support it is primarily is that I do think it’s unconstitutional — for just that reason. I think it’s the federal government’s role and I don’t think we can have — I just think it’s unconstitutional — states are not going to be allowed to come in and have their own immigration policy. It won’t work. [...]
If they [Supreme Court] strike down the employer sanctions law — so we’ll know that first — then I think 1070 will go down as well. I ultimately think 1070 will be found unconstitutional right down the line. [...]
It appears both the federal government and Woods agree that SB-1070 is federally preempted, as the lawsuit against the Arizona governor claims. However, despite agreeing with the federal government on the merits of its case, Woods thinks the law suit is wrong and believes that the state of Arizona should file a countersuit. “I do blame them [the government] for not stepping up and doing what we need at the Arizona border and I think that Arizona has to look very seriously at turning around and suing the federal government ourselves.”
Woods insists that despite the fact that he opposes the law responsible for Brewer’s rise to fame and the top of the gubernatorial ticket, he still thinks Brewer is “very courageous” and a “good governor.” He is proud to work on her campaign and reasons that Brewer was probably just “laying down the gauntlet” to force the federal government to act.
However, there may have been more cynical motivations involved. Six months ago, prior to signing SB-1070, Brewer had an approval rating “well below” 50 percent and faced two dozen challengers in the Republican primary. Polls estimated that her current Democrat opponent, current Attorney General Terry Goddard (D-AZ), even had a slight lead. After signing SB-1070, Brewer went from a politician with little name recognition to a political superstar. She effortlessly won the GOP primary and is currently leading Goddard by a 3-2 margin. Jim Haynes, president of the Behavior Research Center, which regularly polls in Arizona on political issues, told the Los Angeles Times “She came back from the dead because the Legislature handed her 1070 to sign.”
Woods also laid out his opposition to denying citizenship for American-born children of undocumented immigrants — the next legislative project of state Sen. Russell Pearce (R-AZ), sponsor of SB-1070:
LAWRENCE: The 14th amendment, the fact that we have anchor babies in the state, is that ever going to change? Is that a political move? Is that just posturing? Is it total folly?
WOODS: Well I think so. That’s not going to change. You’d have to change the Constitution. I believe if Arizona passed such a bill — that I will guarantee you will get struck down immediately and then you’ll have to go up to the Supreme Court and hope that they’ll change their minds on it. And I don’t think that will happen.
Brewer has already indicated her support of Pearce’s bill, stating, “They [undocumented immigrants] can take their children back with them.” Woods, however, would prefer to see Arizona move beyond the immigration debate: “I would hope that we could start focusing on things that are less divisive and more inclusive.”