This little town in Pennsylvania has become the lightning rod for many of the ills infecting America. An unlikely hero in this legal battle, Mayor Lou Barletta, grandson of an Italian immigrant himself, has never faltered in standing up for what is good and fair for the citizens of Hazelton, Pa.
The forces of evil, in a crass disregard for our Constitutional laws, are focusing on Mayor Barletta's stand for what is good in America, because if he ultimately wins this legal battle of illegal immigration, it will set the stage for a nation-wide rejection of this government-sanctioned flood of illegal immigrants. And the ACLU knows it.
Barletta will continue to fight the take-over of his town, and this case will eventually be fought on the grand stage of the US Supreme court. The outcome is uncertain, but could prove to be a landmark case of state vs federal jurisdiction.
Mayor Barletta says:
“When you have violent crimes committed, it takes away and chews at our quality of life. I don’t need numbers. These people,” he said, motioning to the opposing attorney, who have criticized his lack of statistics, “need numbers. The people in my city don’t need numbers.”
Meanwhile, the ACLU and other assorted shameless lawyers and riff-raff organizations want the citizens of Hazelton to foot the bill for all legal expenses incurred in this war against illegal immigration.
They want Hazletonians to pay
Thursday, 06 September 2007
When a group of lawyers filed a petition last week to recover the legal costs fighting Hazleton’s illegal immigration law, they may have stripped their work of any nobility it might have once had.
Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund and other organizations that successfully fought the Hazleton’s ordinance want a federal judge to force the city to pay their legal fees and costs.
The tab is $2.4 million. A total of 37 lawyers and paralegals from seven different law firms and organizations submitted bills showing 5,409 hours of work. If you divide the amount sought by the number of hours, you get an average fee of $444 per hour. That’s a heavy price from folks who tried to portray themselves as Good Samaritans rushing to the defense of immigrants victimized by a ruthless mayor’s witch hunt.
The biggest bill — $1,067,931 for services by 22 lawyers — comes from Cozen O’Connor, a Philadelphia firm that touts its commitment to free services for the needy. Cozen O’Connor points out on its Web site that “in 2005, the firm ranked 28 out of 200 law firms nationally and first in Philadelphia for pro bono service logging almost 20,000 pro bono hours.”
Those who fought the city may have viewed their cause as humanitarian, but their effort to recover the legal costs at the expense of Hazleton taxpayers is anything but.
The challenge smacks of vindictiveness. Some of groups’ spokespeople have made it clear they don’t like Barletta and now they see a chance to make him pay. The trouble is, if they succeed, it will be regular Hazletonians who will pay.
“Barletta is playing games with taxpayer money,” the ACLU’s Witold Walczak said last week. “Somebody needs to ask the question if Barletta is promoting his political ambitions on the backs of taxpayers.”
Has Barletta benefited politically from the publicity generated by his anti-immigration campaign? Of course. Republican Party strategists have mentioned him repeatedly as a strong candidate to unseat Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski.
And, the mayor has taken steps to expand his visibility outside the 11th Congressional District. In addition to making numerous appearances on national news programs for more than a year, he’s been traveling throughout Pennsylvania in recent weeks. He has made appearances as far away as Lancaster, Gettysburg and Westmoreland County.
However, whatever political benefits the mayor receives from the hoopla is entirely beside the point to this central question: Is it fair to make city taxpayers pay for what is essentially a political battle between two extremes in the immigration debate?
The answer is no. It would be nice if those seeking retribution showed as much concern for Hazleton’s taxpayers as they did for the anonymous plaintiffs in the federal court case.
Lou Barleta will stand up for what is right, and against what is wrong in America. If the courts shoot him down, as they are likely to do, what does that say about justice in America?
trackbacked: Freedom Folks, DeMediacratic Nation