Goddard withdraws from SB 1070 cases
Saying he wants to avoid a costly court battle with Gov. Jan Brewer, state Attorney General Terry Goddard will withdraw as Arizona's legal counsel in suits over SB 1070 and HB 2162.
Goddard sent a letter to Brewer on Friday, notifying Brewer that he will not represent the state in defense of the controversial immigration bills.
He based his decision on a June 14 letter from Brewer "that made clear her unwillingness to work cooperatively with the Attorney General's Office in defending the immigration bills," Goddard said in a press release.
Brewer's letter to Goddard asked him to step aside from defending the new immigration law, which takes effect July 29.
"It is unfortunate that you have chosen to reject that cooperative effort and seek to score partisan political points by threatening to challenge my authority as Attorney General to defend our State in court," Goddard wrote to Brewer.
"I am duty-bound to put my client - the State of Arizona - first," Goddard told Brewer in the letter. "I am acting today to avoid a costly and highly disruptive legal showdown despite my belief that I would prevail in such a contest."
Both Goddard, a Democrat, and Brewer, a Republican, are seeking their parties' nomination for governor. Arizona's primary election is Aug. 24.