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Special fund will store cash flowing in to defend S1070

Gov. Jan Brewer established a special fund for the thousands of dollars sent by people who want to help Arizona defend itself from the lawsuits filed against S1070.

Since Brewer signed S1070 on April 23, the state has received about $10,000 from nearly 300 people across the country who said they wanted to contribute to Arizona’s legal defense, the Governor’s Office said. The money will go into the legal defense fund, which Brewer created through an executive order on May 26.

The move came one day after Brewer announced that the Governor’s Office would hire attorney John Bouma, chairman of the law firm Snell & Wilmer, to defend her in four lawsuits filed against S1070. A fifth lawsuit against the illegal immigration law does not name Brewer as a defendant.

The Governor’s Office did not say how much Bouma would be paid, but said the legal fees would be paid by the legal defense fund and other state money.

“There are five lawsuits with over 40 attorneys representing numerous plaintiffs,” Brewer said in the press release. “It is important for me to hire excellent and highly experienced counsel with the resources and expertise to defend Arizona’s immigration laws.”

In most lawsuits, the state is represented by the Attorney General’s Office, but Attorney General Terry Goddard declined to take up the case. Goddard, the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for governor, is opposed to S1070.

The Governor’s Office said Snell & Wilmer will also work with outside attorneys who are providing pro bono assistance on the case.

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