“No one’s looking to have the state waste time and money on something that’s clearly unconstitutional, but its sponsors are apparently going to leave us with no choice,” said Dan Pochoda, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.
Lawsuits are nothing new for Mr. Pearce. He authored the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which revokes the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal workers, which has been tangled up in court since it passed in 2007. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Dec. 8.
So far, Mrs. Brewer hasn’t taken a position on the repeal of birthright citizenship, but Mr. Pearce is confident she’ll come on board. As any number of Arizona pundits have pointed out, she owes him: She was trailing in the Republican primary until she signed S.B. 1070, on which he was lead Senate sponsor.
It’s also worth noting that Republicans now hold a veto-proof majority in the Arizona Senate.
“She’s been vigilant in defense of 1070, so I think she’s in our corner,” Mr. Pearce said. “She’s not committed to the 14th Amendment [proposal], but maybe she just doesn’t want to show her hand.”
Also on Mr. Pearce’s agenda is beefing up border security. Given that the Border Patrol is a federal agency, he wants to see the state step in by deploying more troops from the National Guard, the state Department of Public Safety or even citizen militias.
“Put them under the National Guard or Homeland Security so they can get proper training,” Mr. Pearce said. “Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution gives states the right to declare war. If this isn’t an invasion, I don’t know what is.”
The right to declare war is generally held by Congress as one of its enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8. However, the later section cited by Mr. Pearce, which lists powers specifically denied to states, has one little-used caveat.
“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress … engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay,” it says.