Update on Special Action challenge to the consolidated elections bill


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Last year, Rep. Michelle Ugenti (R-Scottsdale) sponsored HB 2826 (consolidated election dates; political subdivisions), a bill providing for the consolidation of elections in the fall of even numbered years only. The law will apply to elections in 2014 and thereafter.

The City of Tucson filed its special action for declaratory and
injunctive relief on October 10, 2013 in the Pima County Superior Court,
City of Tucson v. State of Arizona et al. (Case No.
C20126272). The City of Phoenix Intervened as a
plaintiff. The case is assigned to Judge James E. Marner.

Last Monday, the Court heard pending motions in this special action. I am not sure why it took a week for the Minute Entry for that hearing to be posted, but here it is.
Minute Entry dated April 29, 2013.

The posture of this case is as follows:

There being no objections,

IT IS ORDERED that Defendant State of Arizona’s Motion for Leave to
File Consolidated Response to Motions for Summary Judgment Filed by Plaintiff City of Tucson and Intervenor-Plaintiff City of Phoenix is GRANTED.

* * *

As to the Goldwater Institute's Request to file Amicus Brief,

The Court did not find a rule, either cited or un-cited, statute, case law or law review article that would have supported the notion that an Amicus Brief could be filed at the trial court level. Further, there was not a rule that was directly on point or even tangentially.

IT IS ORDERED that Goldwater’s Request for Amicus Briefing is DENIED.

And these high-priced suits call themselves constitutional law experts. They just make up their own rules as they go along. Such arrogance.

As to State’s Rule 56(f) Request for Continuance,

* * *

THE COURT FINDS that there has not been an adequate showing of the necessary efforts by counsel for the State to informally resolve this matter prior to the State’s filing for Rule 56(f) relief. Further, while the affidavit of the State meets some of the requirements of Rule 56(f), it does not meet them all.

THE COURT FURTHER FINDS that both parties have known what the issues have been in this case for several months. Most significant in this matter is the impact of delay on the upcoming election cycles of both Plaintiffs.

IT IS ORDERED that the State’s Rule 56(f) Request for Continuance is DENIED.

Translation of judge-speak: the Court finds that the State of Arizona has engaged in inexcuseable delay and bad faith in this action.

The Court directs counsel to incorporate their arguments regarding City of Tucson’s Motion to Strike Affidavit of Representative Ugenti with the arguments for their respective Summary Judgment Motions.

As to the Motions for Summary Judgment/City of Tucson’s Motion to Strike Affidavit of Representative Ugenti,

* * *

The Court takes these motions UNDER ADVISEMENT.

The Court notes that in regards to the Motion to Strike, the Court will most likely incorporate the rulings on that motion into the ruling on the Summary Judgment Motions the Court is taking under advisement today.

So essentially we are in a holding pattern waiting on the Superior Court to issue a ruling on the parties' motions for summary judgment. This could be a while, but Judge Marner will not delay in issuing his ruling.

When the Superior Court does issue its ruling, the losing party will immediately file a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals, and we can start the lengthy appeal process. Stay tuned.


  1. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, the SEC disclosure rule making, expected by the end of April, has been delayed. http://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/the_sec_campaign_to_force_disclosure_of_dark_money_explained.php?page=all

    “The SEC is already locked in a lengthy struggle to implement the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, and proposing a new restriction on corporate political spending would likely result in another pitched battle with Wall Street and other powerful business interests.

    The SEC cited these challenges in a statement to CJR that suggested it may further delay its decision. “The staff is considering whether to make a recommendation, but the timing of any recommendation will be influenced by the ongoing workload of Dodd-Frank and JOBS Act rulemaking,” said SEC spokesman John Nester.”

  2. First visit here. Lots of info. Looking for Mary Jo White’s SEC ruling – did she do it – list corporate donars? The 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizens United is appalling & incomprehensible.
    To SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) Chairman Mary Jo White, I say: I am extremely concerned about the influence of corporate money in our political process, in particular its undisclosed appearance, as allowed by the 2010 Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United. Who is to say that an individual boss making the donation decision even has his own company’s interests at heart? Although I disagree with the Supreme Court’s (strange) decision, as a taxpayer, I have to report each time I make a political donation, and I strongly believe that corporations should have to do the same. That’s why I’m writing you today to urge you to mandate that publicly held corporations disclose their political spending.” Corporations are wonderful, but often get away with murder, paying their execs unnecessarily exorbitant salaries and departure bonuses, as well as ridiculous perks, like congress has done with their own health care plan, rather than considering the average American citizen. Fair is fair? Or, it should be.