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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Refuses to Defend her Views on SB 1070 Before Senate Subcommittee

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jan brewerJan Brewer is one very busy governor.

The Arizona Governor has been in town for the National Governors’ Association 2012 Winter Meeting, with a schedule so booked up that she’s had to decline invitations left and right.

She declined President Obama’s invitation to attend the White House dinner for the nation’s governors—“I’ve got priorities,” she said.  Obama and Brewer’s last meeting, of course, famously ended in this angry spat (see picture to the right for a reminder).

Brewer did, however, manage to find time to appear on “Meet the Press” to talk to David Gregory. While there, Brewer used that opportunity to explain why she declined Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) invitation to testify before an April Senate subcommittee about SB 1070, Arizona’s punitive anti-immigrant, which she signed. Brewer will be back in DC to hear the Supreme Court arguments on SB 1070, but doesn’t want to defend that law in a Senate hearing.

“At this hearing, we will be examining whether it is both constitutional and sound public policy for states to enact broad laws, such as S.B. 1070 in Arizona, that are designed to deter and punish illegal immigration,” Schumer wrote in a letter to her.

As The Hill explained, Schumer also said that the committee wanted to hear Brewer’s explanation for signing the law, as well as if she thinks it’s still necessary and whether it should be “made a permanent law irrespective of whether conditions further improve along the southern border.”  

“We would also appreciate any other insight you can provide regarding the legality and prudence of enacting state immigration laws,” Schumer continued. “As you frequently ask the President to visit the southern border to discuss border security, we expect that you will be eager to engage in a productive dialogue with the congressional committee responsible for acting upon any border security recommendations you provide.” 

In declining Schumer’s invitation, Brewer noted that Schumer’s hearing (on April 24) is scheduled for the day before the Supreme Court is to begin hearing arguments on the SB 1070 court case.  That made the entire idea, to her, “more or less a publicity stunt and self-serving,” she said, claiming she simply didn’t have the time. 

“He’s invited me to the party a little late,” Brewer added. We suspect Brewer will again find time in April to answer questions from the media, but not Senators.

Surely adding to her packed schedule is her weekend endorsement of Mitt Romney—a fellow supporter of harsh, enforcement-heavy, self-deportation-aimed laws like SB 1070.  The Arizona primary is scheduled for tomorrow, February 28.