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Dec 17, 2008

US Justice Department Mocks Anti-Federalization Lawsuit

The U.S. Justice Department has moved to dismiss Governor Fitial's anti-federalization lawsuit against the Federal Government.

Justice cited several reasons why the case should be dismissed. For example, Justice asserted that only the CNMI Attorney General can bring such an action on behalf of the CNMI. This suit was filed without the involvement of the Attorney General, with Howard Willens listed as the CNMI's attorney.

Justice also noted that the damages the Governor claims will occur as a result of federalization are speculative, based largely on a GAO study that contains numerous disclaimers stating that the report has no predictive value whatsoever. As we all know, the CNMI's current economic troubles began quite some time ago, and federalization has not even gone into effect yet.

The Governor has asserted that he has no objection to the Federal Government taking control of CNMI immigration law, as clearly allowed by the Covenant. Fitial and Willens assert, however, that the new federalization law also takes control over CNMI labor law because it would impact the number of foreigners who could work in the CNMI. According to Justice, this argument makes no sense, and reflects a fundamental failure to understand U.S. immigration law: "Laws pertaining to whether aliens are authorized to be present in the United States and, if so, whether they are authorized to be employed in the U.S. labor markets, is exclusively the subject of federal immigration law," according to Justice. "U.S. immigration laws affect labor markets. That is one of their primary purposes, but it does not make them 'labor laws.'"

As others have pointed out, no community in the U.S. gets to decide how many foreign workers will be admitted to work in that community. That is controlled entirely by U.S. immigration law.

Clearly, the Justice Department is not impressed with Howard Willens' legal arguments. Might even opponents of federalization concede that this lawsuit is a waste of the CNMI's scarce fiscal resources?

21 comments:

We need Homeland Security here said...

Bob Jones is now a spokesperson for our citizens here. Greg and TTT should investigate that joke. He does NOT live here, he lives in GUM. I heard he uses us for his tax haven and thats why he supports Fitial's momsters. Dick Pierce, Siemer, Willens, and poor stupid Cinta are some others involved with the conspiracy and cover-up.

Who is funding the suit...the rumor is duty free.

Anonymous said...

I'd really be surprised if it's DFS.

g00$e said...

Neither Willens nor Siemer are in this to impress the Feds or anybody else. They're in it for the money. It doesn't matter how shamefully stupid they make da Guv or the CNMI look- they still get paid.

Stand by for more drivel from that despicable cockroach Baka.

Anonymous said...

DFS has better things to do with its money, or time, to fund Fitial's lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

DFS is more focused on making sure that the visa waiver program ends up being good for the tourism industry. That's quite legitimate. They don't care about protecting the old cheap labor system; they already pay all of their workers US minimum anyway. I'm sure they're not funding the suit.

buy me a ticket on an airplane said...

goose is correct, there is no such thing as santa or free lawyers jetting around.

locals could boot them outta here but they are either afraid or don't know what to do

locals have been told what to do forever. first the spanish told'em what to do and what name to call god, then the japs, then the americans in the trust territory days, then willie tan and the garment industry, and lastly ben fitial's failed administration. hard to believe the ttt or local house and senate are still looking for heroes to rescue them and tell them what to do

hard to imagine siemer and willens running the show here now in post textile industry saipan

we would be better off managed by the philippines than those old arrogant hoales

cactus said...

Has it ever occurred to you that the self-government rights the Governor is standing up for are YOUR rights too, and that he is therefore fighting FOR YOU, even as you mock and deride him for doing it?

Just wondering . . .

Anonymous said...

He's not fighting for me. I believe in what the Covenant actually says, not what Howard Willens wishes it says. It was a fair deal that we freely chose and both sides should live by it. You may think that we all should want something else, but we're all free to choose what we want and don't want. We chose to be part of the U.S., and the legitimate exercise of U.S. authority here is part of the bargain we signed up for. If this governor is fighting for US, then he should tell US how much public money is being used for this lawsuit and who is funding the rest. And for goodness sakes, if he's fighting for US, he needs to do better than trot out these dumbass arguments that make us all look bad.

Question for you Cactus: I respect that you support the objective of the lawsuit. But do you honestly believe, for example, that controlling the number of foreigners who can come here to work is labor law and not immigration law, and hence the feds can't do it under the Covenant? That's just plain silly.

cactus said...

Yeah, I'm not too crazy about that argument either. The way I read it, the Covenant limits how far the US can reach into the CNMI with ANY kind of law, so trying to draw a line between what is "labor law" and what is "immigration law" strikes me as a distraction.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Cactus, the Covenant does not provide much of a limit into how far the US can reach into the CNMI. Section 502 expressly applies to the CNMI "those laws...which are applicable to Guam and which are of general application to the several States as they are applicable to the several states." That means that just about all federal laws, including labor laws, apply to the CNMI. As an exception to the general rule that just about all federal laws apply to the CNMI, Section 503(a) initially allows the CNMI to control its own immigration. However, Section 503 makes it crystal clear that Congress can take back control of immigration whenever it chooses, to the extent that it chooses and in any manner that it chooses.

There's no way that the right of self-government, which is not defined and which has never been interpreted even close to what the Governor is suggesting for any state or territory, could trump the very specific language of the Covenant as to what the Feds can do.

I respect the fact that you believe that the law should be different, but I think that there's little doubt as to what the law actually is. In light of that, the lawsuit is a criminal waste of resources, time and good will.

cactus said...

Actually, there is a whole lot of doubt about what the law actually is, and a whole lot of disagreement. And by "the law," I don't just mean the Covenant.

For example, think about the US Constitution. It has received far more attention and analysis over the years than the Covenant ever has, yet people still vigorously dispute about what is or is not constitutional. People who are just as sure as you are that the answer is "crystal clear" are constantly being surprised, and plenty of people who have been told that their case was "a criminal waste of resources, time and good will" have emerged triumphant in the end. I'm sure everyone told good old Miranda that it was ridiculous for him to insist that police must read people their rights, for example.

So why should the Covenant be any clearer? It isn't. And what is wrong with our understanding of the Covenant developing in the same way, one dispute at a time? Frankly, I think if we disputed things like this more often, we would all understand each other better.

a scribe said...

The right of self governance was repeatedly compared to that of a state, so the autonomy argument will not win- or is a winner if you favor federalization like 80% of the residents here.

Anonymous said...

Just which 80% is that, Scribe? 80% of the clowns that read these blogs? 80% of the haoles hanging around drunk at the local bar patting each other on the back? 80% of the school teachers who will be leaving here in 2 years to go back to the States? It is sure as hell not 80% of the CITIZENS of this Commonwealth or even of the Residents. I might buy maybe 5%.

cactus said...

Let's put it to a vote and find out. Or would that in itself be too much "autonomy"?

That's the real problem here, isn't it? The pro-self-government view allows any view, any law, any social policy, to prevail that is capable of commanding popular support. The pro-federalizers, on the other hand, want to CLAIM they have all this popular support -- 80%, 90%, whatever -- but then have the US step in and enforce their own preferences regardless of whether there really is any such support or not.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the operative vote was the overwhelming vote in favor of the Covenant. We now don't get the opportunity to have our side only vote as to how the Covenant should be interpreted.

cactus said...

OK, fair enough -- but then how DO we figure out how the Covenant should be interpreted?

Ask the courts? Oh wait, I forgot -- "the lawsuit is a criminal waste of resources, time and good will."

So I guess the only answer you would find acceptable is: "We let the feds tell us how the Covenant should be interpreted."

While we're at it, why don't we let the police decide how the bill of rights is interpreted, the insurance companies decide how your policy is intepreted, and Exxon decide how the environmental and tax laws are interpreted?

Anonymous said...

If there's a legitimate issue as to how the Covenant should be interpreted, of course the courts should decide. There is no legitimate difference of opinion here, and the lawsuit is indeed a criminal waste. IMHO.

Anonymous said...

80 percent of your group can't even read, noni.

captain said...

Anybody who read the Covenent, it is followed by the legal court actions that was taken to contest certain action dureing the time from1986 through 2007. the out come has favored the "language" of the covenant. It is spelled out exactly in 503, on immigration and 103 in regards to impostion of Federal law in relation to the NMI. there is no "gray area" It is exsplicit and has stood up in the courts. (localy and Fed)It is not imbiguos.

Anonymous said...

Read the US slapdown of the lies at unheardnomore

El at Tantalizing Stitches said...

nice to see debate live and kicking....

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