State Capitol News
2:26 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

Activist Files Suit Against Russell Pearce

Phoenix, AZ – The federal court lawsuit stems from an incident in February where hundreds turned out for a hearing on legislation Pearce supports to crack down on illegal immigrants. With the small hearing room filled, most were shunted off to an overflow room to watch on closed-circuit TV. There, some audience members cheered and clapped during the hearing, conduct not normally permitted in hearing rooms where live testimony is taking place. According to police reports, Pearce, who was in his office, told Department of Public Safety officers to identify and photograph the leaders and deny them future entrance into the Senate. One of those was Salvador Reza. Attorney Stephen Montoya said that was an illegal act.

(Citizens have the right to petition their elected officials. And the government, or government agents like Sen. Pearce, cannot arbitrarily sever that right or in any way impede that right without due process of law. Sen. Pearce can't just arbitrarily say this individual or this group of individuals are banned from the Senate.)

That banning resulted in Reza being arrested days later when he returned to the building to meet with his senator. The lawsuit claims that Pearce targeted Reza, a long-time foe of the senator's politics. But Pearce told Arizona Public Radio he did not know when he issued his directive who was the leader, a contention backed by a police report. But Pearce did say that Reza is a trouble maker.

(These are radical, radical open-border anti-American who hate anybody that believes in enforcing the law. Their history is clear. He's been arrested many times in protesting. Enough's enough. The lawsuit's not going anywhere because none of his allegations are founded.)

But Montoya said he intends to prove in court that Pearce did in fact target Reza. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages as well as a court order prohibiting Pearce from violating Reza's rights in the future. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.