AG Brnovich: Arizona Can Declare ‘Invasion,’ Defend Self Under Constitution

AG Brnovich: Arizona Can Declare 'Invasion,' Defend Self Under Constitution AG Brnovich: Arizona Can Declare 'Invasion,' Defend Self Under Constitution Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich speaks to reporters during a news conference at his office in Phoenix on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)

By Jack Gournell | Monday, 07 February 2022 07:22 PM

The crisis at the southern border represents an "invasion," and the U.S. Constitution therefore gives the state of Arizona the authority to defend itself, the state's attorney general says in an opinion issued Monday.

"The violence and lawlessness at the border caused by transnational cartels and gangs satisfies the definition of an 'invasion' under the U.S. Constitution, and Arizona therefore has the power to defend itself from this invasion under the Governor’s authority as Commander-in-Chief," Attorney General Mark Brnovich writes. "An actual invasion permits the State to engage in defensive actions within its own territory at or near its border."

According to Brnovich, the Constitution's definition of invasion applies not only to hostile foreign states, but also to "hostile non-state actors."

"The on-the-ground violence and lawlessness at Arizona’s border caused by cartels and gangs is extensive, well-documented, and persistent. It can satisfy the definition of 'actually invaded' and 'invasion' under the U.S. Constitution," he writes.

"No State should be put in the position that Arizona and other border states have been put in through the federal government’s recent actions," Brnovich added, alluding to President Joe Biden overturning the border policies of former President Donald Trump on his first day in office.

"Furthermore, the commonly understood meaning at the time of the word 'invade' covers the activities of the transnational cartels and gangs at the border — they enter Arizona 'in [a] hostile manner'; they 'enter as an enemy, with a view to … plunder'; they 'attack,' 'assail,' and 'assault'; and they 'infringe,' 'encroach on,' and 'violate' Arizona," Brnovich argues.

That said, it is the choice of Gov. Doug Ducey, also a Republican, whether to use those powers.

GOP state lawmakers and former officials in the Trump administration, including former Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought and former acting deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli have urged Ducey to use war powers to push back on the increasing number of migrants at the border, presumably with Arizona police or National Guard units, Fox News reported.

Cuccinelli called Brnovich's move a "big deal," telling Fox he and others now call on Ducey to act.

"It's not enough for states like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to complain about Joe Biden's failure to do his job, they have the authority to protect themselves," he said.

Ducey himself has blamed the Biden administration, saying cartels are now controlling border policy.

Original Article