POSITION:  UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY

NOMINEE:  Janet Napolitano

Born: New York City, November 29, 1957

Occupation:  Governor of Arizona  - elected in 2002 and again in 2006

Education: Santa Clara University and law degree from University of Virginia

Political Career:  While a partner in the Phoenix law firm Lewis and Roca LLP, Napolitano served as attorney for Anita Hill when Hill testified against the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas.  Appointed by President Bill Clinton as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, she then ran for and won the position of Arizona Attorney General in 1998 where she focused on consumer protection issues and general law enforcement.

Abortion:  "I am committed to women's reproductive rights.  Current protections must not be eroded, and we must continue to fight to provide Arizona women with the support they need in making decisions about their own bodies.  Thus, I am pro-choice."

Campaign web site, www.GoJanet.org , "Issues" Sep 9, 2002

Napolitano vetoed every piece of abortion legislation that came across her desk - seven pro-life measures in total including a partial-birth abortion ban as well as a bill to strengthen parental consent requirements.  She refused to sign measures to make sure taxpayer funds do not pay for abortions for state workers.  As Governor she vetoed a bill that would allow women to know that an unborn baby will feel pain during an abortion procedure.  She vetoed a bill in 2004 that would have allowed women to receive information about abortion's risk and alternatives that abortion businesses sometimes withhold from women considering abortions.  In addition, she vetoed a measure that would have protected pro-life pharmacists from being forced to dispense drugs that could cause abortions.

Appointment of Judges:  "Governor Napolitano defends appointment of judges even though the system never throws anyone out." "Governor Napolitano is quoted in the Yellow Sheet defending the system of merit selection in Arizona's larger counties, which allows the governor to appoint judges instead of requiring them to run for election.  They are only required to run for re-election, but it's impossible to vote them out at that point since they have no name recognition from having never run a real campaign."...."It is impossible to get rid of bad judges with merit selection, and the governor is able to appoint her political flacks like former legislator Bill Brotherton who has little relevant legal experience; his background consists mainly of Democrat political activism.  Three of Napolitano's 15 or so judicial appointments have been gay, considering this (20%) is significantly higher than the proportion of gays in the general population, it is clear that Napolitano is able to pursue her own political agenda in the appointment of judges.  Instead of getting judgeships based on real merit, political leftists are able to get judgeships based on their leftwing ideological connections to Napolitano." [source]

Napolitano's Appointees:  As Governor, Janet Napolitano has embedded pro-gay rights and pro-abortion activists throughout her administration.  One example is Bryan Howard, who was appointed as a member of the governor's Commission on the Health Status of Women and Families.  The Planned Parenthood Federation of America awarded Howard their highest honor for leadership for his role as CEO of Planned Parenthood of Arizona.  In his acceptance speech, he said the following: "I am proud of what I have accomplished and how we've accomplished it.  I am proud that more mothers and babies survive the perils of pregnancy.  I am proud that more families celebrate a new addition rather than regret it.  And I am proud we are helping more young people to experience their sexuality in a healthy, thoughtful way, whether they are gay, straight, bisexual or transgendered."  According to the Planned Parenthood account, Howard's "advocacy on behalf of reproductive rights has led to significant progress for women and families in Arizona, including Governor Janet Napolitano's rejection of federal abstinence-only funding." [source]

Law enforcement:  As Secretary of Homeland Security the Governor's future performance can best be judged by her record on the issue of immigration in a border state.  She used her veto power on some key bills to cut benefits for and the flow of illegal aliens into the state.  Some of those bills included one denying in-state tuition and day care for illegal aliens and one allowing local authorities to enforce immigration law.  She vetoed a bill making English the official state language. She went directly up against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's successful border operations and developed a new task force headed by the Department of Public Safety concentrating on illegal felons with outstanding warrants.  Her mantra in dealing with the illegal immigration problems in her border state has been, "Security and immigration are the federal government's responsibility."

'While she has complied with allowing the border fence to be built, she has been unenthusiastic about its success.  Last year, Ms. Napolitano reached a deal with Mr. Chertoff to make driver's licenses more secure under a federal program known as REAL ID, but in June she signed a bill refusing to put the standards in place, calling the program an unfinanced federal mandate.  She was a vocal critic when Congress failed to pass legislation last year revamping immigration law and has also backed proposals favored by some immigrant advocacy groups, including a temporary worker program and 'a strict and stringent pathway to citizenship' for illegal immigrants already here that would include learning English and paying fines.  But last year she also signed into law sanctions against employers who knowingly hire illegal workers and later complained when the Bush administration withdrew the bulk of the National Guard from the Mexican border earlier this year, as it had planned."  Randal C. Archibold, New York Times, November 20, 2008

 

Defending Marriage: Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona announced her opposition this week to a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, according to The Arizona Republic. While Napolitano made it clear that she believes marriage is a union between a man and a woman, she is not in favor of the proposal and finds it unnecessary at this time. Napolitano said, "I don't think the constitutional amendment is necessary. The voters of Arizona will have a chance to decide this. Personally, I'm going to oppose it. We already have a statute that defines marriage. The courts have already said the statute is constitutional(The Advocate) ."

 

Miscellaneous: In 1991, Janet Napolitano, then a well-regarded partner in the law firm of Lewis & Roca, LLP, served as the attorney for law professor Anita Hill when Hill testified against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.  USLiberals.com