Garcia v. Reagan
On March 27, 2015, the Center filed Garcia v. Reagan, a lawsuit that challenges the Legislature's referral of a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would amend the Constition to allow the legislature to divert State Trust Land funds away from schools and use it to replace general fund appropriations. Just as they did in 2009 when we successfully sued to stop them in Rumery v. Baier, the legislators are proposed to use millions of dollars from the sale of State Trust Lands to fund the state land department. Since the Supreme Court found that this plan violated the Arizona Constitution, this time, they are trying to amend the Constitution, but they have ignored the fact that the Arizona Supreme Court also found that this diversion of trust funds was contrary to the federal Enabling Act which imposed the conditions on the gift of land. We are suing to prevent the measure from being put on the 2016 ballot. Although that election is more than a year away, state law requires any challenge to this type of referral to be brought within 20 days of the measure being submitted to the Secretary of State, which occurred on March 9, 2015.
The parties agreed to dismiss this case on the grounds that it was not the type of challenge that needed to be brought within 20 days; the challenge can be reasserted by the plaintiffs, however, if the measure is passed by the voters,