Breaking News

Arizona Supreme Court lifts stay in Clean Elections Case

On December 17, 2013, the Supreme Court heard argument in the campaign contribution limits case and shortly thereafter lifted the injunction against the legislation that had increased the limits nine times their preexisting levels.  The Center had argued that voters had fixed the limits in the Clean Elections Act that they approved in 1998 and that, consequently, the legislature was not authorized to change those limits without complying with the Voter Protection Act.  Under the Voter Protection Act amendments to voter approved measures are only authorized if the amendment furthers the purposes of the measure and passes on a 3/4 vote. The Court apparently disagreed with that argument, although the order lifting the stay was without explanation for now.  An opinion will follow shortly. 

 

 

Campaign Finance Reform

Center files Amicus Brief Disputing Legislature's Authority to Challenge Independent Redistricting in Court

On December 5, 2013, the Center filed an amicus brief on behalf individuals and organizations who either drafted or supported the Arizona Independent Redistricting Initiative that was approved by Arizona voters in 2000.  The Arizona legislature recently brought suit in federal district court seeking to have the law declared unconstitutional under the U. S. Constitution. In its Brief, the Center asserted, among other things, that the Voter Protection Act--an Arizona Constitutional amendment that limits the power of the legislature to repeal laws approved by voters--prohibits the legislature from using lthe courts to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. You can read the brief here.

Court of Appeals Grants Preliminary Injunction

Immediately following oral argument on October 15, 2013, the Arizona Court of Appeals accepted jurisdiction and granted a preliminary injunction in Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission et al. v. Bennett enjoining Secretary State Ken Bennett from enforcing or implementing House Bill 2593 pending further order of the Court. The Center, representing Arizona Advocacy Network and State Representative Victoria Steele, joined with Osborne Maledon, representing Louis Hoffman, and Ballard Spahr, representing the Citizens' Clean Elections Commission, in filing an action seeking a ruling that HB2593, which increases the amount of money a privately funded candidate can accept from individuals, PACs and Super PACs, is unconstitutional.

Campaign Finance Reform