Who is David C. Bury?
See, that wasn't so bad. I try so hard to be nice you know? I really do.
Oh, stop laughing.
It should surprise no one that MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense Foundation) filed the lawsuit against Prop 200. But listed as the plaintiffs were "some 'undocumented' residents, who are listed only by first name and last initial." [Prop. 200 blocked by judge for now By Howard Fischer and Lourdes Medrano. The Arizona Daily Star, December 1, 2004]
You might be asking how the plaintiffs—illegal aliens—were able to file a lawsuit without identifying themselves?
Habeas Corpus or "bring forth the body" is the salient cornerstone of American liberty, right?
In this case it is just a rough guideline. And by rough guideline I mean not a guideline.
Bryanna Rant: This just enrages me. A woman who is raped may not sue her assailant in civil court without showing her face…even if there is a perceived danger by doing so. The accused has the right, in civil or criminal law, to face and question their accuser.
But according to the Star's Fischer and Medrano,
"The Tucson human-rights group Coalición de Derechos Humanos has documented more than 120 complaints from U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants saying they've been denied services or fear they will be because of Proposition 200, said co-chairwoman Isabel Garcia. She declined to identify them because of the pending legal action."
Side note: Do me a favor: here is Isabel Garcia's email at the "Arizona Border Rights Project." Also, her email for Derechos Humanos. Tell her what a treasonous…lady she is (from me if you would be so kind!).
Reportedly, MALDEF attorney Hector Villagra "said they fear trouble if they send their undocumented children to school. Federal law specifies that legal presence in this country is not necessary for education."
U.S. District Judge David C. Bury maintained that MALDEF raised "serious questions" about the legality of Prop 200. He wrote:
"It seems likely that if Proposition 200 were to become law, it would have a dramatic chilling effect upon undocumented aliens who would otherwise be eligible for public benefits under federal law."
A "dramatic chilling effect"? What is that supposed to be?
For the sake of perspective, this is my fictitious narration of an analogous constituent pursuit of which you might have heard.
A little something I like to call Tort Reform.
Voters: We don't want the trial lawyers flooding and abusing our civil tort system with gobs of frivolous lawsuits. We have exercised our 10th amendment [a.k.a. States' Rights] privilege and limited their litigious power with a new ballot measure.
Trial Lawyers: We strongly disagree with your decision. We are going to sue you.
Voters: There you go! You're doing it again!
Federal Judge: Here I come to save the day! [1812 Overture playing in the background.]
Federal Judge: [Trial lawyers sneering from behind his back yet cloaked by the pall of his black robe]: This lawsuit was filed to stop trial lawyers from filing mountains of frivolous lawsuits. I fear, if implemented, this tort reform measure would reform the tort system. This could have a 'dramatic chilling effect' on Ambulance Chasers by dissuading them from filing lawsuits that they could otherwise file under federal law.
Trial Lawyers: Ha! Take that, insolent voters.
Actually, I have "serious questions" (to borrow Judge Bury's phrase) about Judge Bury.
For example, who is he?
The United States Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy listed various letters of support from judges and attorneys for his Presidential appointment to the federal bench.
They say that David Bury is a funny guy. That appears to be a qualification for the Federal Judiciary. (Yeah, so is my mother funny, but believe me, you don't want her presiding over anything.)
"He is one of the top five or six trial lawyers in the State of Arizona, and with his experience, his sense of humor, and his excellent work ethics, he will make an outstanding District Court judge."
"David has every fine quality that a judge should have, including humility, a wonderful sense of humor, extreme intelligence and extensive knowledge in legal matters."
"His wonderful sense of humor and his understanding of the practice will serve him well."
You know how unattractive people are described as having "a great sense of humor?"
In the legal community, this must be a euphemism for describing a lawyer who has no understanding of law.
Another fictitious dialog…well, maybe not so fictitious:
Appointment Secretary for Bush II: We need a judicial appointment for the Third District Court in Tucson. I think you should nominate David Bury.
Bush II: Is he an astute trial lawyer with extensive experience in federal law?
Appointment Secretary: Well, he has a great sense of humor.
Bush II: Great, give it to him. And make sure he knows how to handle immigration issues for me…tell him, when in doubt, side with the Mexicans.
Something tells me that my imagination on this particular appointment is pretty much on the mark
Bury's other qualifications:
This is a law firm known best for their Juvenile Law and Workman's Compensation litigation.
Not, notice, Constitutional law.
OK, the Ninth Circuit!—that makes sense!
Only rarely does a Circuit Court break with legal precedent, not to say logic, to the extent that the Ninth Circuit does.
In fact, the Ninth frequently disregards the Constitution altogether. Instead, it appears to justify decisions in terms of the deep, legal ethics of things like faculty lounge opinion.
So why did President Bush II nominate him when there appears to be a disparity of conservative principles?
Shame on me, there I go again, presupposing that Bush is a conservative. When will I learn?
The answer is a bit more complicated. You see David Bury is not a very liberal judge.
In fact, Bury just issued a ruling that really upset MALDEF—the same organization he pleased greatly with his TRO against Prop 200.
According to Chris Limberis, writing in the Tucson Weekly
"Business at Tucson Unified School District is anything but usual as U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury goads the district to quit clinging to a 26-year-old desegregation agreement.
"Bury, appointed to the federal bench by George W. Bush, has ordered TUSD and the litigants in the desegregation lawsuit that dates to 1974 to enter discussions and to demonstrate why the desegregation order should not be lifted." [Desegregation's Demise, November 4, 2004]
Ahh, I love the smell of conservative principles in the morning!
Here's the low-down: Tucson Unified School District receives roughly $62 million dollars in local funding for desegregation programs that date back to the thirty year old Brown V. Board of Education ruling.
Residents say enough is enough and want to put an end to unnecessary funding for the TUSD. MALDEF lawyers have picked up the scent and want to continue the mandated funding for minority students.
Interestingly enough, the TUSD is comprised of roughly 61% minority students. So evaluating the objectives of desegregation funding I would say "mission accomplished"…unless you are white; then I would say "transfer to another school."
So how do we reconcile these two seemingly diverse decisions?
First, we have the David C. Bury who thumbs his nose at Arizona voters by placing the self-righteous wish lists of illegal aliens above the will of American voters, trampling the Constitution in the process.
My guess is Judge Bury is basically a good, conservative fellow who, like every other politician, is beholden to his benefactor.
Judge David C. Bury is not a bad guy. He's just a Bush guy.
Not to imply they are mutually exclusive.
Bryanna Bevens [email her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff for a member of the California State Assembly.