Ted Vogt

Ted Vogt, University of Arizona 3L and Arizona Representative

Arizona’s harsh new immigration laws are causing debate across the country. Apparently, having to show your papers for being brown might not conform with federal law. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is considering getting involved, threatening to file a federal lawsuit against the state, according to the Washington Post, based on the “doctrine of ‘preemption’ — arguing that the state’s law illegally intrudes on immigration enforcement, which is a federal responsibility.”

As we’ve written before, the national debate has caused some local acrimony at the University of Arizona College of Law. Third-year law student Ted Vogt was appointed to the Arizona State House of Representatives in March, and voted yes on two of the controversial bills. Prior to becoming a state politician, he was voted by his classmates to represent the class as a student speaker at the Law Center’s graduation ceremony in May.

As the immigration debate heated up though, some students regretted their decision to give Vogt a platform. They said they wanted him to step down or they would protest by holding big signs, turning around when he speaks, handing out flyers, and demanding “a certified copy of his birth certificate” before he will be allowed to talk. A vicious debate broke out on the law school list-serv, between those who oppose and support Vogt, those who oppose and support the new immigration laws, and those who see the laws as fundamentally racist.

The dean has weighed in on the debate, stating that he is in support of both Vogt and those who wish to protest him. We also reached out to funny 3L and now-controversial politician Ted Vogt and have a statement from him…

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It’s a heart-warming story turned cold.

Earlier this year, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law 3L Ted Vogt was appointed to the State House of Representatives, after the previous seatholder was promoted to the Senate. Vogt, who went to Yale for undergrad, wasn’t necessarily a typical law student — age 37, he was the district chairman for the Republican party. Still, it was an exciting final semester of law school. He told the Arizona Capital Times in March:

“We’re actually on spring break now,” Vogt said. “It’s not the traditional spring break, but talk about an exciting spring break!”

Vogt said he is determined to find a way to balance his newfound legislative responsibilities with the last few weeks of his law school studies, and has the blessing of the school’s administration to spend time at the Capitol in Phoenix and away from the school.

He’s been busy at the Capitol. Since he took office, the Arizona House has passed two controversial laws that have made national news: the “birther” bill and the “racial profiling/legal papers” bill. Vogt voted yes on both bills.

Vogt had been a popular guy on campus. Prior to his appointment to the House, Vogt was voted by the class to be one of its graduation speakers. But now some of his classmates (and friends) — who see the bills as “racist measures” — have chilled towards him and changed their minds about wanting him as a speaker next month. Vogt plans to speak despite opposition from fellow students, according to the Arizona Sun. A debate has broken out on the list-serv about Vogt and the bills, and a number of students are planning to protest during his speech. What do they have in mind?

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