Update on the City of Tucson’s legal challenge to consolidated election dates


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.

This legislation purportedly is the first of its kind enacted in the
nation – a strong indication that it is an ALEC drafted bill, as it was
also supported by other "Kochtopus" funded groups such as Americans
for Prosperity, the Goldwater Institute, and the Tea Party.

Charter cities are entitled under the Arizona Constitution to determine how they are governed, and how to conduct elections. Arizona Supreme Court unanimously rejects 'Paton's Law'.

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 filed a Motion to Intervene as a plaintiff. The case is now assigned to Judge James E. Marner.

In a Minute Entry Order dated March 20, 2013, Judge Marner ordered:

IT IS ORDERED as follows:

1. Opening briefs are due by March 29, 2013 and are limited to a maximum of thirty pages.

2. Responses are due by April 15, 2013 and are limited to a maximum of fifteen pages.

3. There will be no replies to the responses.

4. Oral Argument on Plaintiffs’ Complaint for Special Action and for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief set on Monday, April 29, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. in Division 10
for two hours is affirmed.

Judge Marner granted the Motion to Intervene by the City of Phoenix. The Court ordered, nunc pro tunc, that the City of Phoenix’s Complaint will be deemed filed as of the date previously submitted absent any compelling objection from either party.

All parties filed their Motions for Summary Judgment by March 29, 2013. As indicated, their responses are due by April 15, and oral argument is scheduled for Monday, April 29 at 2:00 p.m.

I previously posted last year that the League of Arizona Cities and Towns in its "2013 Final
Resolutions" for legislative recommendations to the 51st Arizona
Legislature adopted "League Staff Resolution #1" called upon the
legislature to repeal HB 2826 (at p.34). League of Arizona Cities and Towns 2013 Final Resoultions (.pdf). This recommendation was not taken up by Sen. Michelle Reagan (R-Scottsdale) who chairs the Senate Elections Committee. God forbid she upset her District 23 seatmate, Michelle Ugenti.

The Arizona Republic(an) even editorialized in favor of the repeal of HB 2826. Let's shorten Nov. ballot:

The Legislature's mandate was a classic example of a solution to a problem that didn't exist.

* * *

The Legislature… has made matters worse
by taking away the rights of such midsize and smaller cities to hold
elections on a nonpartisan date. Even Phoenix will have to switch to the
partisan cycle, unless the Legislature's edicts are thrown out in

So, let's get this straight. Where there
were no problems, now there are. The Legislature should reverse course
and allow local elections on nonpartisan dates.

Sen. Reagan and the Tea-Publican Arizona legislature ignored this plea for reasonableness. It will now be decided in Court.