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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The cases before a Tucson judge on Wednesday seemed fairly routine: Two men charged with drug offenses asking him to grant them bail.
What stood out, however, was that the two men had a right to a bail hearing in the first place.
Last month, a federal appeals court threw out a 2006 Arizona law denying bail to immigrants in the country illegally.
That cleared the way for the proceedings in Tucson and elsewhere.
Miguel Angel Valenzuela and Juan Angel-Carmona Pineda were arrested on Nov. 13, the same day the Supreme Court let stand the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to halt enforcement of the law.
Pineda was accused of transporting more than 100 pounds of marijuana. Valenzuela faces charges relating to the alleged possession of a pound of pot.
The judge noted the new rules imposed by the courts as he granted the two men bail, even though he set it so high that they will likely be unable to come up with the money.
"Essentially we have the 9th Circuit decision still standing and the way I view it, it's binding on me," Judge José Luis Castillo said.
Castillo set Valenzuela's bail at $50,000, cash only, and Carmona Pineda's was set at $75,000, also cash only.
Defense attorneys and immigrant advocates who say the law is unconstitutional contend many immigrants who wound up in jail without bond had committed offenses such as using a fake identity to work or carrying small amounts of drugs.
Proposition 100 was passed amid a series of immigration crackdowns in Arizona. It denied bail to immigrants in the country illegally who have been charged with felonies such as shoplifting, aggravated identity theft, sexual assault and murder.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has said it protects the public from serious offenders who would not likely show up for court again if let loose.
His spokesman, Jerry Cobb, said the state will continue to defend the law and will file an appeal with the Supreme Court, asking justices to hear the case and make a ruling on the law.
"The nightmare scenario is that the drug cartel sends somebody into the U.S. to commit a hit on somebody and they murder somebody," Cobb said. "And the cartel comes and bails them out because that's nothing, that's chump change for a drug cartel."
Maricopa County Deputy Public Defender Mikel Steinfeld said it's hard to keep track of how many immigrants were held without bond since the law passed because there are several organizations that provide public defense and some immigrants hire private attorneys. He and a colleague estimated that as many as 300 prisoners, possibly more, were affected in Maricopa County.
"I think we're both optimistic that our clients who happen to be illegal immigrants will be treated on a more equitable level with the remainder of clients," Steinfeld said.
In Pima County, defense attorneys say local judges stopped enforcing the law when the appeals court put it on hold a month ago.
Lawyer Margo Cowan, who represented the two men in court in Tucson, has handled the bulk of no-bail cases and says in many instances, judges didn't enforce the rule in the first place because it was too difficult to prove that a defendant was actually residing in the country illegally.
"In Pima County, these judges tend to be very fair and unbiased and evaluate the case for what it is," Cowan said.
But there were exceptions. Judge Castillo noted that until recently, judges in Pima County Justice Court had not been on the same page about whether the no-bail rule was enforceable.
In Maricopa County, judges have been directed to stop enforcing the rule. Cobb estimates that upward of 450 defendants will now clog the courts calendar with hearings seeking bail.
‘Dance is my first and best language,” Jessica Lang tells me, with a smile I can hear through the phone. Lang is a tour de force in the dance world; after being a freelance choreographer for 15 years she founded her own dance company in 2011 and has been devoting herself to the development of Jessica Lang Dance. “I was producing a lot as a freelance choreographer, but I didn’t feel like I was living up to my potential. Now I feel like I am building something that is very important and valued.”
PHOENIX (AP) — A lawyer representing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a racial profiling case says legal ethics compel his firm to step aside.
The Town of Gilbert wants to hear your story!
HONOLULU (AP) — A teacher has been suspended from a Hawaii public school after she was arrested on a warrant for allegedly having sex with a student in Arizona.
Honolulu police and U.S. Marshals arrested 45-year-old Deborah Hoshiyama early Tuesday at a Waikiki condominium. She's also known as Deborah Nicholson.
The Marshals Service says she's wanted on a Maricopa County warrant issued in October. She's accused of having a sexual relationship with a student in 2008 while a teacher in Avondale, Arizona.
Principal Jeff Vilardi says she began working as a special-education teacher at the Voyager Public Charter School in Honolulu school Nov. 7. She's suspended with pay.
She couldn't be reached for comment in police custody. An extradition hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge will hold a hearing on two lawyers' request to stop representing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office in a racial profiling case.
She was a normal-looking young woman. Her baseball cap and glasses shielded most of her face. She sat in a row of chairs. There were people on her left and right. With a book in one hand and a bag in the other, she looked familiar. I could not place her but I had seen her before. Something was familiar. Maybe it was her logo on her bag. I walked around to get a different angle on her facial features. My heartbeat was beginning to pick up. Should I approach her or not? What if I make a fool of myself? What if it is her, and I miss the opportunity to meet her?
PHOENIX -- Hundreds of immigrants in this country illegally who are locked away on state charges will now be entitled to seek bail -- at least in Maricopa County if not elsewhere in Arizona.
Hundreds of immigrants in this country illegally who are locked away on state charges will now be entitled to seek bail — at least in Maricopa County if not elsewhere in Arizona.
Few artists in the annals of popular music define a generation. Even fewer enjoy adoration decades following the recording of their signature songs. Felix Cavaliere is in the rare position of being one of those lucky few.
PHOENIX (AP) — A federal appeals court has scheduled a January hearing on an appeal of a judge's ruling in favor of Arizona's programs for students learning English.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled the hearing for Jan. 12 in San Francisco, where the appellate court is based.
U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins ruled March 29, 2013 that the state had improved teaching of English-learning students and no longer violated a federal law requiring states to overcome language barriers in schools.
The case was originally filed in federal court in Tucson on behalf of Nogales children and parents.
Collins and a now-retired judge previously ordered increased spending for students learning English. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that the state was entitled to a fresh review.
KC and the Sunshine Band first danced into the spotlight years ago and remain popular today. Harry Wayne Casey — KC for short — developed a unique fusion of R&B and funk percussive songs, offering a string of hits like “Get Down Tonight,” “Shake Your Booty,” “That’s The Way I Like It” and “I’m Your Boogie Man.”
PHOENIX (AP) — Several major education groups say they're interesting in learning more about Diane Douglas' positions on education issues, including more about her views regarding the new school standards known as Common Core.
Douglas is a Republican who was elected state superintendent of public instruction, defeating Democrat David Garcia in last week's general election.
Garcia conceded Monday, the same day that Douglas issued a statement saying her victory is a mandate to end Common Core.
Douglas is former Peoria school board member who ran a low-key campaign in which she largely avoided public events in favor of tea-party gatherings and interviews on conservative talk radio shows.
Arizona School Boards Association President Tim Ogle said his group is going to try to arrange a meeting with Douglas. "I think the purpose of a conversation like that is to become familiar with her beliefs because we're really not very familiar and to give her the opportunity to converse with us about her hopes and fears for the Department of Education," Ogle said.
As superintendent, Douglas will oversee the state Department of Education and be a member of the state Board of Education. That board, along with the Arizona Legislature, sets education policy for the state's K-12 public school system. It adopted Common Core in 2010.
Some Arizona lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to pass legislation to either repeal the standards or change them during the last legislative session.
Ogle said his group wants to know whether Douglas has an alternative to Common Core. "If Mrs. Douglas has another strategy, then we're anxious to know what it is," he said.
Andrew Morrill, president of the Arizona Education Association, said educators didn't learn much about Douglas during the campaign aside from her opposition to Common Core.
"She was very clear on that issue, and yet there are questions even about her thoughts on our academic standards," the union president said. "I think a lot of folks are waiting to hear the answer. There are a million public-school students, and they are creating the urgency."
PHOENIX -- Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union want the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the fight over whether Arizona can deny bail to people in this country illegally, at least for the time being.
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union want the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the fight over whether Arizona can deny bail to people in this country illegally, at least for the time being.
PHOENIX -- Immigrants in this country illegally awaiting trial on criminal charges won't be getting out of jail, at least not yet.
Phoenix Veterans Day Parade
WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House lunch aiming for cooperation boiled into a fresh dispute with newly empowered Republicans over immigration reform Friday, with GOP leaders warning President Barack Obama to his face not to take unilateral action. The president stood unflinchingly by his plan to act.
Republicans attending the postelection lunch at Obama's invitation said they asked him for more time to work on legislation, but the president said his patience was running out. He underscored his intent to act on his own by the end of the year if they don't approve legislation to ease deportations before then and send it to him to sign.
The Republicans' approach, three days after they resoundingly won control of the Senate in midterm elections, "seemed to fall on deaf ears," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said in a telephone interview. "The president instead of being contrite or saying in effect to America, 'I hear you,' as a result of the referendum on his policies that drove this last election, he seems unmoved and even defiant."
"I don't know why he would want to sabotage his last two years as president by doing something this provocative," said Cornyn. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this week said the president's stance was "like waving a red flag in front of a bull."
Obama press secretary Josh Earnest said there was no reason that executive action on immigration should kill opportunities for the president and Republicans to find common ground.
"I could stand up here and say Republicans to vote once again for the 50th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that that's playing with fire or waving a red flag in front of a bull. I'm not really sure what that means," Earnest said.
The White House said lawmakers went home from the meeting with a parting gift — a six-pack of beer brewed at the White House. The White House also said Obama laid out three areas where he and Congress could work together before the end of the year — emergency funding to combat the Ebola outbreak, approval of a federal budget and quick action on spending to fight the Islamic State militant group.
House Speaker John Boehner's office said he told Obama he was ready to work with the president on a new authorization for military force against the IS group if the president worked to build bipartisan support. The White House announced soon after lunch ended that the U.S. was sending as many as 1,500 more troops to Iraq to serve as advisers, trainers and security personnel as part of the mission. Obama is also asking Congress for more than $5 billion to help fund the fight.
Friday's two-hour meeting was tense at times, according to a senior House Republican aide. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, about to lose his grip on the upper chamber, barely said a word, the aide said. The aide said at one point as House Speaker John Boehner was making an argument on immigration, Obama responded that his patience was running out and Vice President Joe Biden interrupted to ask how long Republicans needed. Obama angrily cut Biden off, the aide said.
The aide was not authorized to describe the back-and-forth publicly by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Publicly Obama's tone was more upbeat as he opened the gathering. He pledged to work on ending long-running partisan gridlock and to be open to Republican ideas. The president said the lunch was a chance to "explore where we can make progress" after Americans showed in the midterm elections that they wanted to see more accomplished in Washington.
"They'd like to see more cooperation," Obama said, sitting at the middle of 13 lawmakers in the Old Family Dining Room set with the Truman china. "And I think all of us have the responsibility, me in particular, to try to make that happen."
Reporters were ushered out before any lawmaker spoke or the lunch of sea bass was served. Republican descriptions of the meeting were provided after they returned to Capitol Hill.
For the record, Boehner's office said he suggested that the president should back a Republican jobs bill as a starting place for bipartisan action.
Obama said at the start he was interested in "hearing and sharing ideas" for compromise on measures to boost the economy, then mentioned his personal priorities of college affordability and investment in road and building projects. He also touted improved monthly job growth numbers out Friday as evidence his economic policies are working, saying, "We're doing something right here."
Briefings on Ebola and the Islamic State from Pentagon officials dominated much of the meeting, and the immigration debate was said to have lasted about half an hour. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said Republicans told Obama that any executive order, particularly on immigration but any issue, would be a "toxic decision."
"He still hasn't come to grips with the reality of the election and the consequences of the election," Barrasso said. "His tone and tenor didn't seem to reflect that of somebody whose policies were just significantly rejected all across the country just three days ago."
Nov. 1, surrounded by her family, Brittany Maynard fulfilled her desire for a physician-assisted death. The world has watched her story and many, of course, have weighed in, some in support, others wishing she would have found another way.
A long-delayed preliminary hearing for former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper on Los Angeles County charges that he drugged and raped two women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub has been pushed back to Dec. 5.
TUCSON -- Gov. Jan Brewer asked the Arizona Supreme Court Thursday to quash efforts by a minority of state legislators to effectively kill the expansion of the state's Medicaid program.
The Arizona Supreme Court is set to take up Gov. Jan Brewer's appeal of a decision allowing a lawsuit challenging her Medicaid expansion plan to proceed.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court is set to take up Gov. Jan Brewer's appeal of a decision allowing a lawsuit challenging her Medicaid expansion plan to proceed.
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) -- A man charged in the disappearance and death of an Arizona girl wants to represent himself in the case.