Two critical lawsuits to get a hearing in December

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Two critical lawsuits will get a hearing in December.

The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court on behalf of 36 Republican legislators and a pair of citizens by lawyers for the Goldwater Institute contends the hospital assessment in the law is a tax that required a 2/3 vote of the Legislature under the state Constitution. It also alleges that allowing the director of the state's Medicaid program to set the assessment and exempt some providers gives him taxing authority that properly belongs to the state Legislature. Judge sets date to hear Medicaid expansion lawsuit:

Maricopa County Superior Court judge Katherine Cooper set a Dec. 9 date to hear the suit filed in September on behalf of 36 Republican state lawmakers and a pair of citizens.

* * *

Brewer's lawyers want Cooper to throw out the suit. They say the plaintiffs don't have standing to sue and lawmakers could sue to stop any law it moves forward.

The Arizona Republic reported, Brewer’s lawyers: Suit challenging Medicaid expansion has no merit:

Arizona lawmakers on the losing side of the Medicaid expansion vote have no legal authority to stop the new law that broadens eligibility for low-income residents, attorneys for Gov. Jan Brewer argued in a court filing Wednesday.

Brewer’s attorneys asked Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper to dismiss the lawsuit, filed last month by the conservative Goldwater Institute, saying the court should not get involved in a legislative dispute.

The Republican lawmakers “are a disgruntled faction within the Legislature that was outvoted by a bipartisan coalition,” wrote Douglas Northrup, an attorney with Fennemore Craig. “Legislators’ alleged injury is a loss of legislative and political power.”

Three other plaintiffs — two constituents and the state director of Americans for Prosperity — also lack authority to sue, he argued, largely because they can’t show they’ve suffered any harm from the portion of the law that’s being challenged, which is an assessment on hospitals to help pay for expansion.

“If the court found that standing to challenge a law’s constitutionality is found with such tenuous allegations of injury, every constituent whose legislator voted against an allegedly unconstitutional bill would have standing,” Northrup wrote.

He argued that the Arizona Supreme Court recognized the limits of legislative standing in a 2003 case, ruling that individual legislators did not have authority to challenge then-Gov. Janet Napolitano’s line-item veto authority.

The other critical case is the campaign contribution limits already struck down as unconstitutional by the Arizona Court of Appeals. Arizona Supreme Court agrees to hear contribution limits case:

The Arizona Supreme Court today agreed to hear arguments in the case over Arizona’s new campaign contribution limits.

The court agreed to accept the case and scheduled oral arguments for Dec. 17. Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker Andy Tobin want the Supreme Court to overturn the Court of Appeals’ injunction against HB2593, which dramatically raised contribution limits for state-level races.

However, the Supreme Court rejected Biggs and Tobin’s request to stay the injunction, meaning the old limits will remain in place for now.

While the case has primarily revolved around the issue of whether HB2593 violated the Voter Protection Act, the Supreme Court will only hear arguments on a narrower statutory construction issue that the appellate court cited in its injunction.

In other words, only the injuncton is at issue before the high court. As I previously explained, Our lawless legislature wants its higher campaign finance limits now!,

Last month, the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a preliminary injunction against HB2593 (new higher campaign contribution limits) in a ruling in Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, et al. v. The Honorable Mark H. Brain, and real parties in interest (.pdf).

Our Tea-Publican lawless legislature never tires of pissing away taxpaper dollars on litigation to defend its unconstituional acts, so naturally our Tea-Publican legislature has filed an appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court challenging the preliminary injunction (the Court of Appeals sent the case in chief back to the trial court for a decision on the merits).

* * *

There is no reason to believe, as the Court of Appeals apparently believed by issuing a temporary injunction, that candidates will suffer irreperable harm if the 2014 election is conducted under the same campaign finance limits law in place for the 2012 election. The merits of the case will be tried to the trial court, and whatever decision Judge Brain renders will be appealed by the parties to the Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court in the normal course of the appeal process.  A final decision will be rendered in time for the 2016 election.

 As I said, our Tea-Publican lawless legislature never tires of pissing away taxpaper dollars on litigation.

Comments are closed.