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ACLPI Lawsuit Challenges Unconstitutional Education Prohibitions

On August 18, 2021, the Center, along with the lawyers at Coppersmith Brockelman PLC, filed a lawsuit asking the court to declare unconstitutional a number of laws that were improperly crammed into budget bills during the final hours of the last session, including:

  • The mask mandate prohibition affecting public schools,
  • The vague prohibition on teaching certain “concepts” related to race, ethnicity, or sex,
  • The prohibition precluding universities and community colleges from implementing certain COVID mitigation measures,
  • The prohibition on other governmental entities from implementing COVID mitigation measures, and
  • Various measures within the “budget procedures” bill that cover a wide range of topics (but very little if anything having to do with budget procedures).

These laws are unconstitutional and were passed without proper notice to the public and on subjects that are completely unrelated to one another.

What’s worse is that they hurt Arizona citizens — especially public school students, teachers and staff. Local government and public schools should be able to decide what’s best for their communities, including necessary Covid-19 risk mitigation policies. The laws also treat private schools differently. That’s also unconstitutional. The logrolling and horse trading on laws for political purposes and at the expense of our public schools and students is reprehensible and we are suing to strike down those illegal provisions.

Danny Adelman, executive director, appeared on Arizona Horizon to explain the civil protections the Arizona Constitution provides, as well as the legislature’s abuse of power at a time when the health risk to children is especially high. Watch the full interview here and read the complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief and motion for preliminary injunction.