Breaking News

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

A Big Win for Education!

On September 26, 2013 the Arizona Supreme Court issued its opinion in the inflation funding case and held that the Arizona legislature was required by the Voter Protection Act to comply with the mandates included in Prop. 301, passed by the voters in 2000.  The Court rejected the State's argument that voters do not have the power to enact statutes that direct the legislature to exercise its discretion in a particular manner.  The Court held that the voters have the same power to legislate as the legislature, and that unless the Constitution forbids or limits them, they can exercise that power as they see fit.  Moreover, because the Arizona Constitution limits the legislature's ability to repeal or amend voter-enacted legislation, the legislature must comply fully with such laws unless and until they are repealed by the voters.  This was an important victory for education, but also for Arizona voters!