Legislature may bring in Starr power
Jul. 30, 2006
Wishing upon a Starr? . . .
Does the name Kenneth Starr ring a bell?
He was the former prosecutor Republicans loved and Democrats loved to hate after
he spearheaded a high-profile, hard-charging investigation into the Monica
Lewinsky sex scandal that engulfed President Clinton's second term.
As the independent counsel, Starr probed various Clinton real estate dealings.
His investigation was eventually expanded to include Lewinsky, the White House
intern who had an affair with Clinton. That became the infamous Starr Report and
led to Clinton's impeachment trial.
Why the stroll down impeachment lane?
Well, House Speaker Jim Weiers wants to use that Starr power to help the
Legislature win an English-learner case should it make it all the way to the
U.S. Supreme Court.
It could happen.
The case, Flores vs. Arizona, is being decided by a federal Appeals Court in San
Francisco and could determine how Arizona pays for students who struggle to
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel is expected to rule by the end of
the year, potentially deciding the fate of about 160,000 students in Arizona.
And apparently Starr, who has argued 25 cases before the Supreme Court, is
Weiers' office originally called Starr's Los Angeles law office during the
legislative session and discussed a possible retainer and a rate at a
"He definitely has name ID and credibility that could help us," said Weiers'
chief of staff, Jodi Jerich.
Jerich said the plan would be to team the Legislature's attorney, David Cantelme,
with Starr, dean of Pepperdine Law School in California.
The Insider heard about it last week after Weiers told some friends at the
annual summer get-together of conservative lawmakers and policy wonks.