Blog polls are not scientific, in part because the people who respond to them are self-selected, and may not be representative of the community at large. Still, a couple of recent polls conducted on this blog and Glend558 may be worth looking at.
The poll on Glend558 asks: “Will you support a candidate in the next election if they support Fitial filing a lawsuit against the federal government?” The poll was conducted in response to the CNMI Legislature’s resolution to support the governor’s lawsuit (it has been referred to committee, where it will probably die a slow death). The results of the poll are astounding. As of today, 85.3% of those who responded say they would not support any candidate who supported the governor’s plan to sue the federal government.
This site’s poll asks whether people think Fitial could win a lawsuit challenging the federalization of immigration and labor, and fully 70% have responded “Fat chance.”
Numerous posts on this site and others have focused on the drawbacks of filing suit against the feds, and the seeming lack of any legal merit to it. There are many arguments against filing. A lawsuit will make it uncertain, perhaps for several years, whether foreign investors will be allowed into the CNMI, and whether employers will have access to foreign workers. Not knowing who’s in charge or what the rules will be will discourage private investment. Many have also pointed out that we should be working with the Department of Homeland Security to help draft the regulations to implement the new federal law, so we can get regulations that are favorable to our economy. A lawsuit will limit the degree of cooperation between the local government and the feds, and likely result in less favorable consideration.
Other posters have pointed out that the government can’t afford the cost of litigation, which the Fitial Administration has said will be $50,000 a month, and most believe there is little or no chance that the CNMI would win.
Fitial cannot even argue that the new law will harm the CNMI until the regulations are drafted and about to go into effect on June 1, 2009, only about six months before a new governor is inaugurated. Whoever the new governor is could withdraw the previous governor’s lawsuit, just as Fitial did with Babauta’s lawsuit to claim our cover-over money from the feds.
So here is the question: would you be more inclined or less inclined to support a candidate for governor who publicly committed to the following statement:
If I am elected governor, my first official act will be to withdraw any lawsuit filed against the federal government over the federalization of immigration in the CNMI.