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Extremist Highlights from the 2015 Western Conservative Summit

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-LGBT by Hatewatch Staff on June 30, 2015 - 3:27 pm

This past weekend, the annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colo., brought a number of the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls to the battleground state, as well as a number of extremists and members of hate groups. Some of the major themes of the gathering included attacking the Supreme Court for its ruling on marriage equality and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Here is a rundown of some extremist highlights from the 2015 Western Conservative Summit:

  • A number of the 2016 Presidential nominees decried Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court granting marriage equality for same-sex couples. Mike Huckabee called the decision “disgusting” and an act of “judicial supremacy.” Rick Santorum said the decision was “based on a lie” and that the family unit “has further been assaulted.”
  • Tony Perkins, head of the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council (FRC) also used his speech to attack the Supreme Court decision, saying that he “rejects the notion that we must get on the right side of these causes.” Perkins and FRC often make false claims about the LGBT community such as claiming that gay men are pedophiles.
  • Later in his speech, Santorum referenced white nationalist Charles Murray, one of the most influential social scientists in America, who uses racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor.
  • Santorum also called for a reduction to the number of immigrants entering the United States legally each year, a common argument voiced by the established anti-immigrant movement in the U.S.
  • The most prominent anti-immigrant group in Colorado, the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIRCO), had an exhibitor’s booth at the event. Among the materials CAIRCO distributed was a pamphlet produced by the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American immigration Reform (FAIR), founded by white nationalist John Tanton, the founder of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement.
  • Joyce Mucci, FAIR’s Southern Field Representative, manned the CAIRCO booth. Mucci’s presence at the booth further indicates the close relationship between FAIR and state-based groups such as CAIRCO.
  • Frank Gaffney, head of the anti-Muslim group Center for Security Policy (CSP) ran a workshop on day two of the conference. Gaffney’s speech was littered with anti-Muslim rhetoric, including an often repeated claim among Islamophobes that all Muslim Student Associations in the United States are a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • During the Q&A session, an attendee asked Gaffney to comment on “Somali colonies” working in meatpacking plants in Colorado. Gaffney responded to the question by stating, “I don’t know about you, but it kind of creeps me out that they are getting jobs in the food supply of the United States.”

This conference, similar to the CPAC gathering in Washington, D.C., in February, demonstrates that conservatives are doing little to appeal to minority and LGBT voters. With the 2016 election just around the corner, hardline stances on topics such as same-sex marriage and immigration could turn out to be very damaging for the GOP at the polls.

Ann Coulter Cites White Nationalists, Anti-Muslim Activists and Other Racists in New Book

Posted in Anti-Immigrant by Hatewatch Staff on June 30, 2015 - 12:33 pm

511nk5odwLL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Ann Coulter’s latest book, “¡Adios, America! – The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole” hit the shelves late last month and is currently sitting at the #18 spot on the New York Times best sellers list. Predictably, the radical right has lauded Coulter’s anti-immigrant screed, with many calling for the GOP to take up Coulter’s stance on immigration.

On June 16, Coulter did a live webcast hosted by the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA. During the show, both Coulter and the NumbersUSA staff encouraged listeners to immerse themselves in the almost 100 pages of endnotes in Coulter’s book to get further educated on the immigration issue.

Hatewatch staff decided to take Coulter up on her offer. An investigation into the book’s 89 pages of endnotes reveals that she routinely cites white nationalists, anti-Muslim activists and anti-immigrant groups in her latest screed.

Here’s a rundown of the cast of extremist characters Coulter cites:

Jason Richwine – Disgraced Former Heritage Foundation Senior Policy Analyst

Jason Richwine came to prominence during the most recent major push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, when he co-authored a report for the Heritage Foundation on the “costs” of undocumented immigration. Coulter cited the report in her book. After the report was published, a number of immigrant and civil rights organizations discovered his racist ties. For example, he penned articles for the white nationalist blog Alternative Right, founded by Richard Spencer, a leading white nationalist ideologue.

Richwine’s 2009 doctoral dissertation at Harvard makes the standard white nationalist claim that there are deep differences in intelligence between races, and that there may be a genetic component to those differences, which, he argues, are persistent over time. He wrote that, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.” What does that mean with regard to immigration into the U.S.? Richwine argues for simply testing the IQ of those who want to immigrate, excluding those with lower scores. Coulter also cites Richwine’s dissertation in her publication.

That wasn’t the first time he has made statements like that. Five years ago, Hatewatch noted that when Richwine was a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) earlier in 2008, he also compared the intelligence of earlier, mainly white settlers favorably to later, mostly Latino ones. “The argument that immigrants themselves are no different from the ones that came 100 years ago I think is quite wrong,” Richwine said in a discussion at AEI that aired on C-SPAN, “and I think that the major difference here is ethnicity — or race, if you will. Races differ in all sorts of ways, and probably the most important way is in IQ.”

Peder Nøstvold Jensen aka “Fjordman” – Norwegian Anti-Muslim Blogger

In chapter 10 of her book, Coulter cites the Fjordman blog, founded by Peter Jensen, a prolific anti-Muslim blogger. The anti-fascist group HOPE not hate describes Jensen as “arguably the single most important influence on Anders Breivik.” In 2011, Breivik set off a bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, Norway, killing eight and injuring over 200 before he traveled to the island of Utøya and murdered 69 more, many of them teens participating in a summer camp organized by the ruling Norwegian Labour Party. Breivik’s reasons for committing this horrific act of domestic terrorism: blaming the government for allowing Norway to be “invaded” by Muslims.

After the Breivik murders, Jensen stopped writing and relocated to Denmark, but an archive of Jensen’s anti-Muslim articles is still online today. In it are pieces with titles such as “Does Global Warming Cause Rape Waves?,” “Creating a European Indigenous People’s Movement” and “Why Muslims Like Hitler, but Not Mozart.”

Robert Spencer – Co-founder of the anti-Muslim hate group Stop Islamization of America

In chapter seven of her book, Coulter cites an article on JihadWatch, a blog managed by Robert Spencer, one of the leading anti-Muslim activists in the country. Spencer insists, despite his lack of academic training, that Islam is inherently violent and that radical jihadists who commit acts of terror are simply following its dictates. Spencer argues that radical Muslims, like Osama bin Laden, are interpreting the Koran properly. Peaceful and moderate Muslims, according to Spencer, either do not understand their own holy book or are faking their moderate stances. Spencer’s writings on JihadWatch were cited dozens of times in a manifesto written by Anders Breivik. Spencer was banned from the United Kingdom as an extremist in July 2013.

Peter Brimelow – English White Nationalist – Founder of the Racist VDARE

In Chapter 16 of her book, Coulter cites a blog by white nationalist Peter Brimelow written on his racist website VDARE. In her NumbersUSA webcast earlier this month, Coulter praised Brimelow for his book, “Alien Nation,” published in 1995. Brimelow’s book argued that America is historically white-dominated and should stay that way and described the role of race as “elemental, absolute, fundamental.” Though most of the content on VDARE focuses on immigration, Brimelow also gives a platform to a number of other haters including Kevin MacDonald, one of the most important anti-Semites in America and Jared Taylor, thought of as one of the premier white nationalist ideologues of the past quarter century. Many of Coulter’s syndicated columns are also housed on the VDARE site.

Center for Immigration Studies– The Anti-immigrant Movement’s Think Tank

As Media Matters succinctly reported earlier this this month, Coulter’s book is chock full of talking points from the organized anti-immigrant movement in the United States. In fact, Coulter cites the anti-immigrant think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) at least once in each of the first seven chapters of her book. CIS was created in 1985 by white nationalist John Tanton, the founder of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement. Tanton once wrote, “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” The longtime head of CIS is Mark Krikorian. After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Krikorian wrote, “My guess is that Haiti’s so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough.”

Last month, Hatewatch wrote about Coulter’s history of racist statements, many of which echo points made by a number of leading white nationalists. After examining the endnotes from her new book, it is clear that she has no issue citing these figures in an attempt to justify her positions.

Hatewatch Headlines, 6-17-15

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-LGBT, Extremist Crime by Hatewatch Staff on June 17, 2015 - 8:00 am

New York Times: Media focus on Islamists, but law enforcement fears right-wing extremists as sources of domestic terror.

Think Progress: Watch Donald Trump go full-on nativist in his announcement of presidential bid.

Talking Points Memo: Texas state government to ‘repatriate’ gold to new facility, responding to paranoid fears of fiscal Armageddon.

Topeka Capital-Journal (KS): Topeka residents receive recruitment letters from Ku Klux Klan.

Media Matters: Ann Coulter’s new book, ‘Adios, America,’ is just a collection of recycled old nativist talking points.

Right Wing Watch: David Lane warns conservatives that ‘homosexual fascism’ will destroy America.

South Bend Tribune (IN): Three people arrested in Warsaw in connection with alleged white-supremacist plot to kill local man.

Raw Story: Father of Dallas man who attacked police station claims ‘liberal people’ made his son do it.

DiversityInc: The FBI vastly undercounts police-related killings.

Texas Border-Militia ‘Camp Rusty’ Calls It Quits: ‘It Wasn’t That Great’

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Antigovernment, Militias by David Neiwert on June 16, 2015 - 2:59 pm

Back when it was bustling with militiaman volunteers eager to stop immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, they called Cuban “Rusty” Monsees’ rural property outside of Brownsville, Texas, “Camp LoneStar.”

But as the sheen faded – and the arrests of participants at the camp mounted – the encampment of “Patriots” began to dwindle to almost nothing, and it gradually came to just be dubbed “Camp Rusty.”

Monsees recently announced that the property is now up for sale. He reflected on the changes with a reporter for KRGV-TV.

“Some of the stuff that was taking place, it wasn’t that great,” Monsees admitted.

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The encampment first made news in Texas a year ago by attracting number of armed militiamen from around the rest of the nation to the little spot on the Rio Grande where participants could go rambling on “missions” running reconnaissance on border-crossing activities.

At times, the gun-toting militiamen even detained border crossers they caught – cuffing them with plastic ties and guarding them with weapons until Border Patrol arrived to take them away – while at other times they would chase people swimming over the Rio Grande back across the river.

Then participants began having run-ins with the law. First, a Border Patrol officer took shots at one of the militiamen while pursuing a border-crossing fugitive. Then it emerged that the man who had been shot at, who was carrying a weapon at the time of the incident, was a felon prohibited from possessing firearms. And so, it then emerged, was Kevin C. “K.C.” Massey III, the ostensible “commander” of Camp LoneStar, who was with the militiamen at the time and whose background check revealed a similar felony conviction.

Both men were charged with felony weapons violations and currently await trial in federal court in Texas.

Monsees, a longtime Brownsville-area rancher, explained to reporters at the time that he invited the militiamen to come to his property and set up camp there because he was concerned about “security” on his border ranch. But he told the KRGV reporter that he regretted the whole business now.

“They jeopardized my safety and some other people’s safety by what they were doing,” Monsees said.

He said he had made mistakes about who could participate. “Number one because I misread some of the people,” he said. “I found out that there were people here that I didn’t do far enough of a background check on. That’s a regret that I have.”

Some neighbors told KRGV that they appreciated having the “Patriots” gathered in their vicinity. But other reporters had earlier found a number of neighbors who found their presence intimidating and fear-inducing.

“We don’t know who these people are. They’re carrying high-powered weapons. It makes us feel less safe, not more safe to have them here,” one of them said. “I just hope they leave soon.”

That wish has been granted.

After Stacking Subcommittee, Anti-immigrant Lawyer Complains That It’s Not Fair

Posted in Anti-Immigrant by Hatewatch Staff on May 6, 2015 - 3:10 pm

Ian Smith is really, really upset –– or at least he wants us to think so.

A blogger for the conservative National Review, Smith wrote a piece in the wake of last week’s House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee hearing on birthright citizenship entitled, “How Congressional Democrats Try to Control the Immigration Debate.” In the piece, he bizarrely alleged that Democrats controlled the panel and went on to charge that they had “launched a barrage of personal attacks on an 85-year-old law professor testifying that birthright citizenship is unconstitutional.”

The idea that Democrats controlled the panel is frankly ridiculous. The subcommittee, like the House itself, is controlled by Republicans. And it was the panel’s leadership that stacked last week’s hearing with three out of four witnesses who openly advocate removing the birthright citizenship clause in the 14th Amendment. One of those witnesses, Jon Feere, is a fellow with the anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a “think tank” that puts out hundreds of reports blaming immigrants for America’s ills.

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This isn’t the first time the debate has been weighted heavily toward a conservative perspective. At previous hearings on immigration in the House and Senate this year — both of them controlled by the GOP — no fewer than 11 witnesses active in the organized anti-immigrant movement have testified.

And this is not some unforeseen happenstance. Stacking both the House and Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Immigration has been an objective for the modern anti-immigrant movement and its founder, white nationalist John Tanton, for decades.

In 1986, Tanton distributed a series of secret memos outlining his grand strategy for creating a viable and impactful anti-immigrant movement. In them, he warned of a coming “Latin onslaught” and complained about Latinos’ allegedly low “educability,” as well as discussing his “long-range project” for advancing nativist immigration policies.

“We should make every effort to get legislators sympathetic to our point of view appointed to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, and their Immigration Sub-Committees. Think how much different our prospects would be if someone espousing our ideas had the chairmanship! If we secure the appointment of our people as freshmen members of the committee, we will eventually secure the chairmanship. Remember: we’re in this for the long haul,” Tanton wrote in the first memo in the series, under a section titled “Infiltrate the Judiciary Committees.”

Following the 2014 mid-term elections, Tanton (not for the first time) got his wish. The Senate Judiciary Committee tipped in favor of the Republicans, many of whom were sympathetic to the nativist cause and willing to work with anti-immigrant groups.

That’s what makes Smith’s outrage so absurd.

While Smith accused the subcommittee’s Democrats of unfairly attacking University of Texas law professor Lino Graglia, he also alleged that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) “had heavy input in the Democrats’ smear campaign.” He was apparently referring to the fact that the one witness advocating leaving the 14th Amendment intact was SPLC President Richard Cohen.

If anyone really merited criticism, it was the Republicans who invited Graglia, a man with a history of racist statements, to testify. In 1997, Graglia told a press conference that black and Latino students were “not academically competitive.”

In his article, Smith went on to attack Sheila Jackson Lee, a black Democratic member of the committee from Texas. Smith claimed Lee’s sympathetic questioning of Cohen “no doubt sent Barbara Jordan, the late true immigration reformer and fellow Texas Democrat rolling in her grave.” For years, the anti-immigrant movement has used Jordan, an African-American woman who believed in limiting immigration, as a cover to veil their racist beliefs.

Perhaps it is no surprise that Smith would come out swinging — his biography at the National Review identifies him as an attorney at the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm the Tanton-founded Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which is listed by the SPLC as an anti-immigrant hate group.

The current leader of FAIR is Dan Stein, who used to head up Smith’s IRLI, where he remains on the board today, before making the shift to FAIR in the 1980s. In 1997, in a fairly typical FAIR statement, Stein warned: “Immigrants don’t come all church-loving, freedom-loving, God-fearing. Many of them hate America, hate everything that the United States stands for. Talk to some of these Central Americans.”

Smith may have been genuinely angry that not every witness in the hearing parroted his own point of view. But the fact is that we live in a democracy, and even though Smith and his party now control both houses of Congress, they will still have to listen to a little dissent.

Anti-immigrant Movement Renews Assault on the 14th Amendment

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Nativist Extremist by Hatewatch Staff on May 1, 2015 - 3:14 pm

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, lead by a Republican majority, held a hearing on Wednesday to debate whether a clause in the 14th Amendment granting U.S citizenship to children born on U.S. soil should be scrapped.

The debate, which included testimony from Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen, is the most recent example of a decades-long campaign by anti-immigrant groups to scrap one of America’s core Constitutional rights.

Nearly three decades ago, in 1986, white nationalist John Tanton, the founder of the anti-immigrant movement, distributed a series of memos he penned outlining his grand strategy for creating a viable and impactful anti-immigrant movement. In these memos, he warned of a coming “Latin onslaught” and complained about Latinos’ allegedly low “educability,” but Tanton discussed his plan for advancing nativist immigration policies.

“This is a long-range project. We should make every effort to get legislators sympathetic to our point of view appointed to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, and their Immigration Sub-Committees. Think how much different our prospects would be if someone espousing our ideas had the chairmanship! If we secure the appointment of our people as freshmen members of the committee, we will eventually secure the chairmanship. Remember: we’re in this for the long haul,” Tanton wrote in the first memo in the series, under a section titled “Infiltrate the Judiciary Committees.” ( continue to full post… )

Anti-immigrant Groups Flock to Large Earth Day Event in Texas This Weekend

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Hate Groups, Nativist Extremist by Hatewatch Staff on April 23, 2015 - 2:24 pm

Some of the most prominent anti-immigrant groups in the nation, including the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), will be in Dallas this weekend to participate in a large Earth Day gathering.Earth Day Texas

While the established anti-immigrant movement in the United States has attempted for decades to coax environmentalists into taking an anti-immigrant stance by blaming immigrants for environmental degradation – a tactic called “greenwashing,” this year is different. At least five anti-immigrant groups will have exhibitor’s booths, including NumbersUSA, which routinely takes credit for stopping comprehensive federal immigration reform.

( continue to full post… )

Arizona Supreme Court Intervenes, Delays Simcox Trial to Mull Victims’ Testimony

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Crime by David Neiwert on April 10, 2015 - 8:18 am

The Arizona Supreme Court intervened in the child-molestation trial of onetime Minuteman leader Chris Simcox on Thursday afternoon, calling a halt to the proceedings until it can consider whether Simcox – who is insisting on his right to represent himself at trial – should be permitted to cross-examine the young girls he is accused of molesting.

KPHO-TV in Phoenix reported that Justice John Pelander of the state’s high court granted a stay in the trial at the request of Phoenix attorney Jack Wilenchik, who is representing the parents of one of the girls pro bono. Wilenchik had filed an emergency motion on behalf of the victim with the Arizona Supreme Court on Wednesday night, after the state appeals court declined to stop the trial while it considered whether or not it was appropriate to allow Simcox to cross-examine the girls.

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Maricopa County prosecutors had asked Superior Court Judge Jose Padilla, who is overseeing the trial, to require Simcox to cross-examine the girls through court-appointed associate counsel, but Padilla had refused. And when the appeals court declined to prevent the trial from proceeding while it waited to consider the prosecutors’ arguments, Wilenchik stepped up with what he admits was “a Hail Mary pass,” in an interview with Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times.

“If the court allows the child victim to be subject to cross-examination by her abuser,” Wilenchik argued in his motion, “then the victim’s constitutional right [under the Arizona Constitution] to be free from harassment and intimidation will be permanently violated.” ( continue to full post… )

Appeals Court Declines to Hold Up Simcox Child-Molestation Trial, Clearing Way for Him to Query Alleged Victims

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Nativist Extremist, Trial Updates by David Neiwert on April 8, 2015 - 5:56 pm
Chris Simcox.

Chris Simcox.

Prosecutors in the child molestation trial of erstwhile Minuteman leader Chris Simcox were rebuffed by a three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals in their attempt to appeal the trial judge’s ruling allowing Simcox to cross-examine his alleged victims on the witness stand.

The ruling, following a teleconference between three appeals-court jurists, means that Simcox’s trial will get under way this week. It also means that Simcox, who has insisted on representing himself in this trial, will certainly be permitted to directly cross-examine the two young girls he is accused of molesting – ages 8 and 7, now, and one of them his daughter.

Maricopa County deputy prosecutor Keli Luther argued strenuously against forcing the girls to face cross-examination from their alleged molester, insisting that they could be potentially victimized a second time. Luther requested the judges issue a stay until a full hearing could be held on whether permitting Simcox to engage his alleged victims would be psychologically traumatizing. Padilla had previously dismissed assertions by the girls’ mothers that such a situation would be traumatic for them, but Luther warned of a “very real risk of irreparable harm” by forcing the girls to “endure the defendant’s cross-examination without the buffer of defense counsel.”

She noted that:

Children who are victims of sexual abuse already re-experience that abuse when they are forced to testify in a courtroom in the presence of the accused. The trial court’s order inappropriately subjects the victims in this case to additional trauma by allowing the very man who victimized them to question them on the stand. This issue undoubtedly raises a question of public importance. The harm to the victims and society can only be stopped by preventing Defendant from personally cross-examining the victims and allowing advisory counsel to conduct the cross-examinations – a remedy recognized by several jurisdictions including the United States Court of Appeals in Fields v. Murray. Fields v. Murray, 49 F.3d 1024, 1035 (4th Cir. 1995).

The judges overruled her request, but set a hearing for oral arguments on the underlying issues for April 29. They conceded that the trial may well have concluded by then, making the argument moot.

Simcox was arrested in July 2013 and charged with molesting three young girls at his home earlier that year, when the girls were ages 6 and 5. After a grand jury declined to indict him for any crime involving the third girl, who he allegedly enticed to expose her genitals in exchange for candy, those charges were dropped. However, that girl is expected to testify as a witness for the prosecution.

According to the papers filed by prosecutors, Simcox “is alleged to have digitally penetrated his biological daughter’s [vagina] on two occasions, penetrated her vagina with an object on [one] occasion and to have fondled the genitals of his daughter’s friend on two occasions.

Simcox had initially been offered a plea bargain that would have required him to serve 10 years in prison, but he refused and insisted on taking the case to trial. Eventually, after months of disputes with his court-appointed attorneys, Simcox decided to assert his constitutional right to defend himself in court. Padilla granted him that.

However, prosecutors then sought to require Simcox to relay questions to the alleged victims through his associate attorneys, but Simcox fought them, insisting he be given the right to directly confront the girls. Judge Padilla sided with Simcox.

Judge Padilla is no stranger to controversy. In 2009, he came under harsh criticism for having refused to allow a Phoenix woman named Dawn Axsom to move herself and her son out of state to avoid violence she feared would come at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, who a short while later shot and killed both Axsom and her mother before killing himself.

Simcox was warned by a previous judge in the case (the trial has been delayed nine times) not to mount a “grand conspiracy” defense predicated on fanciful claims of a nefarious plot to persecute him for his long history of anti-immigrant activism on the Arizona border.

That long history, as the SPLC reported in 2005, includes previous allegations of sexual misbehavior with another daughter, not to mention a well-established record of erratic behavior as the leader of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps prior to its demise in 2010, as well as allegations of abuse by his third ex-wife, the mother of his current accuser.

Arizona Judge Rules That Simcox Can Cross-Examine Young Alleged Victims

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Extremist Crime, Nativist Extremist by David Neiwert on April 3, 2015 - 10:20 am

The oft-delayed Arizona trial of erstwhile Minuteman leader Chris Simcox on child-molestation charges has blown up once again, thanks primarily to Simcox’s insistence on having the right to personally cross-examine his alleged victims — two young girls aged 7 and 8.

Simcox had previously raised the possibility that this might occur when he announced that he intended to represent himself at his trial, something he has a constitutional right to do. However, Maricopa County prosecutor Yigael Cohen requested before the trial began that Superior Court Judge Jose Padilla require that Simcox’s two “advisory” attorneys question the girls, one of whom is Simcox’s daughter.

Chris Simcox

Chris Simcox

Now, according to a report by Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times, Judge Padilla has conceded to Simcox’s counter-argument — namely, that he should be permitted to directly cross-examine the two girls because doing so is “a crucial cornerstone of his desire to present his best defense.” Padilla ruled in a hearing Thursday afternoon that Simcox would be allowed to question the girls, who were 5 and 6 years old when the crimes allegedly occurred.

But Padilla refused to remove himself from the trial, which Simcox had also requested.

According to The Associated Press, prosecutors plan to immediately file an appeal of Padilla’s ruling, meaning the trial — which had already been delayed nine times since Simcox’s arrest in July 2013 — is likely to last into the summer. Lemons reported that deputy county attorney Kelli Luther argued strenuously against allowing Simcox to “control his own victims in the courtroom,” pointing to U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate court rulings allowing for special accommodations to be made in similar instances.

However, Padilla said he would need evidence that the children are traumatized at the prospect of being interrogated by their alleged molester, and brushed aside letters from the girls’ mothers attesting to that effect: “With all due respect,” he said, “[the mothers] are simply not qualified to make that assessment.”

In the filing made this week, Simcox argues that the children “were never subjected to … harm in the first place,” so the county attorney is “asking the court to find the defendant guilty … before the trial has even begun.”

Simcox was originally charged with also molesting a third little girl, whom Simcox allegedly bribed with candy to expose her genitals, but those charges were dropped after the grand jury chose not to indict him in that case. However, that girl is expected to be a prosecution witness as well.

Simcox’s trial was most recently scheduled to begin March 24. However, when attorneys gathered in Padilla’s courtroom that day, they were informed that Simcox was in the hospital, for reasons that could not be disclosed under medical-privacy laws, and would be there for a week. At a pretrial conference on Thursday, Judge Padilla scheduled jury selection to begin on April 6.

But if the prosecutors proceed to take the ruling on the girls’ testimony to an appeals court, that schedule seems unlikely at best.

These developments are the latest in a long and twisted road to trial for Simcox, who previously had suggested he would present a “grand conspiracy” defense that he had been targeted for prosecution, and the evidence against him invented, because of his prominent role as a leader and co-founder of the nativist extremism group called the Minutemen. The judge later informed him that such a defense would not be allowed.

At the height of the border vigilante movement, Simcox was president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a nationwide, anti-immigration organization that led armed “citizen border patrols” in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, along with a smattering of states on the Canadian border where Minutemen had deployed to protect America from northern invaders. Never modest, the cigar-chomping Simcox was a hyper and relentless self-aggrandizer who came across with the smug egotism that quickly earned him the nickname “The Little Prince.”

He was known for over-the-top claims, like his repeated assertion that he had seen Chinese Red Army men at the Mexican border, preparing to attack the U.S. Nevertheless, he was featured repeatedly on Lou Dobbs’ CNN show and a plethora of shows on Fox News, where he was treated as a serious critic of immigration policy.

But even then, there were allegations of sexual abuse. As the SPLC reported in 2005, Simcox was accused by his first wife of molesting another daughter when she was a teenager, although no complaint was ever made to police. His second wife also sought custody of their teenage son because, she said, Simcox had become violent and unpredictable. His third wife — the mother of his current accuser — took out a restraining order against Simcox in 2010 when she divorced him.