Monday, January 12, 2009

Federalization lawsuit-1/12/2009

Both the Saipan Tribune and the Marianas Variety report today on the CNMI's responses to the US Defendants' filings in its lawsuit challenging federalization of immigration here.

Both articles parrot the content of the CNMI's response, and give no analysis of the situation. For that, you need to check out Wendy's Unheard No More blog reports here and here.

There are two motions pending: the CNMI's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and the US Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

For me, there is no legal merit in the CNMI arguement that control of alien labor is a matter of "local self-government" under the Covenant. It's hard to imagine that anything could be less "local" than a foreign work force.

I also find no legal merit in the repeated blathering that the US is breaching its contract with the CNMI by extending immigration here in the way it does. The Covenant is so crystal clear that the US could extend its control of immigration here, and do so by US Congressional action in a way it deems appropriate, that it's inconceivable how any respectable person would argue that to do so violates the contract between the US and the CNMI.

I can only hope that the federal court decides to dismiss the action and the CNMI attorneys are slapped with sanctions for filing a legally frivolous lawsuit.

Let us get on with the real task at hand--drafting regulations that will improve the situation here.


wendy said...

Jane, is it common for sanctions to be handed down in cases like this? I think that would serve as a good lesson. I thought the reply was arrogant and wondered if the judge would be annoyed or is that common too?

Saipan Writer said...

Judges don't sanction attorneys for being arrogant. (good thing...that's very subjective)

It's unlikely there will be sanctions. The judge would have to find the pleadings were completely without legal merit or factual support, so much so that it is deemed frivolous. As long as a litigant has any possible argument, sanctions aren't appropriate.

In my humble opinion, the CNMI has no argument that merits legal consideration. But I'm biased and not a fair judge of the situation. Judges are a fairly tolerant lot when it comes to leeway to make arguments about the law.