Arizona’s lawless legislature smacked down by the Arizona Supreme Court

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Last November, Arizona voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 115, a citizens initiative by the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) that would have given the governor more say in appointing judges to the state’s appeals courts and the superior courts in its three largest counties. The CAP assault on the independence of the judiciary.

Not to be deterred, our "Sun King" Tea-Publican legislature enacted HB 2600 earlier this year to get what they and the CAP demanded, despite the will of the voters. "Screw the voters! I am the law!"

The Arizona Constitution cannot be
amended by a simple legislative act, it must be amended by approval of the voters. So four members of the commission that nominates judicial candidates for
the state’s appellate courts filed a special action in the
Arizona Supreme Court, asking the high court to throw out the law on the
grounds that it is unconstitutional. Effort targets judicial picks.

Today, the Arizona Supreme Court struck down HB 2600 as unconstitutional. The larger issue which remains is our lawless legislature's creeping encroachment on the independent judiciary on behalf of the CAP.

The full opinion is
Here, Dobson et al. v. State of Arizona ex rel Appeals Court Appointments, CV-13-0225-SA.

Highlights from the opinion below the fold:

On its face, H.B. 2600 conflicts with our state constitution. Arizona’s Constitution
provides that the Commission will nominate no fewer than three persons for each judicial vacancy, unless a majority of the Commission votes to nominate additional persons, Ariz. Const. Art. 6, §§ 36(D), 37(A). H.B. 2600, in contrast, directs the Commission to submit at least five nominees, unless the Commission
rejects an applicant by a two-thirds vote. H.B. 2600, § 1. This requirement fundamentally changes the selection process set forth in the constitution.

* * *

Because H.B. 2600 conflicts with Article 6, Sections 36 and 37, the court of appeals’ analysis in Turley v. Bolin is more instructive.

* * *

Under Turley’s analysis, H.B. 2600 cannot be said to “reasonably supplement” Arizona’s Constitution. Instead, H.B. 2600 materially changes the process of submitting judicial nominees to the governor as established in Article 6, Section
37. It works a fundamental change in the constitutionally prescribed balance of power between the Commission and the governor. By increasing the number of
nominees the Commission must submit, H.B. 2600 simultaneously increases the
governor’s discretion and narrows the commissioners’ constitutionally
granted discretion to nominate no more than the three candidates whom
they determine best meet the constitutionally mandated selection criteria. … Further, H.B. 2600 imposes a two-thirds voting requirement in a context not authorized by the constitution. … Even if the change were “merely procedural,” the legislature has no authority to statutorily mandate procedures inconsistent with Arizona’s Constitution.

* * *

When a state statute conflicts with Arizona’s Constitution, the constitution must prevail.

* * *

Section 1 of H.B. 2600 is to be codified as A.R.S. § 12-3151(A)–(C). [Section 2
of H.B. 2600 is a severability clause.]

* * *

Newly enacted §12-3151(A) concerns the appellate court nominating commission
as just discussed, but our analysis establishes that § 12-3151(B), which concerns the trial court nominating commissions, similarly violates the constitution and therefore cannot be upheld. See Ariz. Const. art. 6, § 41(J). Section 12-3151(C), which requires the commissions to maintain individual voting records for each
commissioner, also is not severable because it conflicts with the constitution
’s provisions regarding the commissions’ rules of procedure. See Ariz. Const. art. 6, §§36(E), 41(K).

* * *

We hold that H.B. 2600 is unconstitutional because it directly conflicts with Arizona’s Constitution. We enjoin the Commission from applying the statute and award reasonable attorney’s fees to Petitioners[.]

If it wasn't for an independent judiciary, we would all be living under the tyranny of a theocracy imposed by the Christian Taliban at the CAP.

One response to “Arizona’s lawless legislature smacked down by the Arizona Supreme Court

  1. It has got nothing to do with Christian! What does this have to do with religion by the way? I am not seeing anything about religion in the HB2600 writ-up? The BAR has been seeding members within the judiciary as such to direct rulings! The constitution would not have been changed by HB2600 but reworded as such to prevent lawyer tactics on skirting the intent of what is written. Justice Bales and his BAR buddies amplify nothing to something just like any tactical member of the BAR when they intend to get away with lying including willful child endangerment and use of children for money! The BAR is the pup-it master of the judiciary! And the BAR calls and directs judgement from outside of court means without due process! The Judicial Branch is a branch that processes the laws and not authorized to change the laws to its personal liking. We are lucky the Judiciary does not have too many KKK lovers but we have plenty of father haters Judiciary that act on that hat on a regular basis!