Friday, July 12, 2024

BREAKING: People Are Voting "Kari Lake" for Senate; Today, She Is Asking the AZ Supreme Court To Declare Her Governor

Thousands of people have already voted in the July 30 primary, and presumably, many have voted for Kari Lake to be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. Today, Lake is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to declare her to be the Governor by reversing the 2022 election.

As promised to Arizona's Law one month ago, Lake filed her Petition for Review last night, waiting the full 30 days allowed by law to appeal the lower courts' rulings against her. 

In it, they argue that the Superior Court and the Court of Appeals judges should have reinstated her case because of "new" evidence that Maricopa County did not conduct the necessary logic and accuracy testing on the vote tabulators. Her new evidence is a declaration by Clay Parikh and her belief that Maricopa County Elections Director later contradicted himself about the testing. 

(Those new evidence claims have been rejected by multiple federal courts in Lake's separate effort to throw out electronic voting machines, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the matter.)

Lake's Petition also renews claims that Maricopa County did not properly verify signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes. The Petition asks the Justices to either order a new 2022 gubernatorial election, or "proportionally strike 275,000 ballots".

"Because Hobbs eclipsed Lake by more than 10% of Maricopa’s early voting, under Grounds, Lake would win."

The Petition was filed by Lake attorneys Kurt Olsen and Jennifer Wright (subbing in for the temporarily suspended Bryan Blehm).

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

BREAKING: Stephen Richer Can Push Forward With Broad Discovery Against Kari Lake For Punitive Damages, Judge Sets 4-week Schedule For Parties To Work On It; Also, Mike Lindell and Merissa Hamilton Subpoenaed

Stephen Richer can pursue broad discovery against Kari Lake in his defamation case, a judge ruled today. But, Richer must first come up with a specific list of documents he wants her to to turn over about both punitive damages and general damages.

Meanwhile, Richer has subpoenaed both Mike ("My Pillow Guy") Lindell and Merissa Hamilton for information, and has filed a Motion to Compel against the latter.

The defamation case has rotated to Judge Randall Warner, and he issued a Minute Entry today (below) on Richer's Motion to Compel (also below). Warner suggested that Richer "has not shown that evidence he needs to prove special damages is within Defendant Lake's control", and denied that part of the Motion.

Judge Warner also acknowledged that Lake is correct that Richer is not entitled to discovery on punitive damages until he has made a basic case for punitive damages. "But, Richer met this prima facie burden WHEN LAKE ADMITTED THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT." (emphasis added) Richer is thus entitled to discovery about Lake's (and her committee's) wealth "and the degree of culpability".

(Lake defaulted rather than contest the merits of the defamation case.)

Richer has until July 19 to make a "reasonably tailored... specific list of documents sought", noting that there is no limit to that list, within the bounds of the previous requests. Lake then has two weeks to respond, and the parties must update the court by August 9.

Earlier in the week, Richer also filed a Motion to Compel Merissa Hamilton to comply with a subpoena for documents. Hamilton has assisted Lake and her "Save Arizona" committee (also a defendant). (LATER: Hamilton informs Arizona's Law that she attempted to comply with the subpoena, but that Richer's attorneys did not accept her offered documents.)

And today, Richer sent a subpoena for documents to national election denier Mike Lindell. Given today's Minute Entries, those actions might end up waiting until after the Lake discovery is sorted out.

Also worth noting is that Lake added Dennis Wilenchik to her legal team. Wilenchik is now representing her, as Tim LaSota and Jen Wright slid over to represent "Save Arizona Fund" and "Kari Lake for Arizona", respectively.

A pre-trial conference is on the calendar for August 21.

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

BREAKING: Abortion Rights Proponents Sue To Stop "Legislative Mischief" By Calling a Fetus an "Unborn Human Being" In Ballot Summary

UPDATE, 7/11, 11:45am: The initial Order to Show Cause return hearing has been set for 2:30 on Friday (7/12).

***********

Original article, 7/10, 4:20pm: "BREAKING: Abortion Rights Proponents Sue To Stop "Legislative Mischief" By Calling a Fetus an "Unborn Human Being" In Ballot Summary"

On Monday, the Arizona Legislature's Legislative Council decided to summarize the citizens' abortion rights ballot measure as dealing with an "unborn human being" instead of a "fetus". On Wednesday, the initiative's proponents filed suit to overturn the "legislative mischief".

In addition to filing the Complaint, Arizona for Abortion Access filed for a Preliminary and Permanent Injunction (and for a Writ of Mandamus ordering the Republican-controlled Leg Council to produce "an impartial analysis" for the November ballot.

Republicans in the Legislature had considered placing their own competing measures on the ballot, but never produced the votes to do so. Providing a slanted analysis for the AAA measure seems to be have become their backup plan.

The suit claims that using the term "fetus", as is done in the proposed constitutional language, is the scientifically-accepted way, and points out that the Legislature has used the word "fetus" many times in their statutes regulating abortions.

It also highlights some of the Republicans' comments at Monday's meeting. 

So how did the Council’s members respond? In a word, poorly. Speaker Ben Toma conceded that the term “unborn human being” is “charged,” while also declaring – in a moment of rare and welcome candor – that he is “not a doctor” and didn’t “care what the medically accurate term is.” Senator Sonny Borrelli – in one of the more bizarre moments in recent Arizona Legislature history – asked the Committee’s counsel whether an “unborn horse” is a “fetus or . . . an unborn horse.” And Representative Teresa Martinez – as a preface to a strange assertion that she is, in fact, a legislator – opined that using the term “fetus” is an “insult to an unborn baby.” Never mind the scores of Arizona statutes and public health resources that use the term “fetus,” and never mind the indisputable fact that the phrase “unborn human being” and similar formulations are the fundamental watchwords of the anti-abortion movement.

Andy Gaona is representing the Plaintiffs. The case has initially been assigned to Judge Christopher Whitten. 

Disclosure: This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul has been actively supporting the abortion rights initiative.

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

FINALLY: After Multiple Reversals, U.S. Supreme Court Majority Gives A Thumbs-Up To Arizona Supreme Court Justices On A Murder Case Sentencing

On the last day of their session, a 6-3 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear (or reverse) a 2023 Arizona Supreme Court Opinion upholding a life without parole sentence for a juvenile murderer.

Petitions for Review from convicted murderers are routinely rejected by the (U.S.) Supreme Court. But, what makes this noteworthy is that the U.S. Supreme Court has made a mini-practice of reversing Arizona death penalty sentences due to former laws.

The three liberal justices "respectfully" dissented and thought the highest court should accept Lonnie Bassett's appeal. Bassett killed two friends 20 years ago, when he was 16. At the time, he was sentenced to life without parole. Between 1994 and 2014, Arizona had prohibited the option of parole for 1st degree murders.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court found that "mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles violate the Eighth Amendment." (Arizona was one of 28 states that had to change its laws due to that decision.)

Last year, the Arizona Supreme Court reviewed Bassett's sentence and found that "Bassett’s natural life sentence was not mandatory within the meaning of Miller, and he was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing." (Miller was the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 Opinion forbidding mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles.)

Justice Sotomayor (writing for the dissenters) stated that the three arguments urged by Attorney General Kris Mayes' office "each run(s) contrary to Miller's clear command." 

In February 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court scolded Arizona and overturned John Montenegro's death sentence for killing a Tucson police officer. Writing for the 5-4 majority, Justice Sotomayor stated bluntly that Arizona's Justices had repeated mistakes they had previously been rebuked about by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Former Acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal represented the petitioners in both last year's and this year's cases.

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 


AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Friday, June 28, 2024

UPDATE: Toma-Petersen-RNC Lose In One Court, Quickly Ask 9th Circuit For Emergency Stay On Proof of Citizenship (Federal Elections) Issue

Arizona legislative leaders Ben Toma and Warren Petersen (along with the Republican National Committee filed an Emergency Motion with the 9th Circuit after an Order saying that new requirements to require documentary proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections cannot go into effect for November's election.

Judge Susan Bolton had previously issued a stay preventing portions of the 2022 laws from going into effect. Today, she refused to allow them to go into effect while the Republicans appeal to the 9th Circuit. The Emergency Motion was filed yesterday.

Both sides have appealed (different) portions of Judge Bolton's previous Order, and briefing will continue into the Fall. Secretary of State Adrian Fontes's attorneys have argued that allowing new requirements to go into effect this close to the elections would cause chaos.

Also in today's ruling, Judge Bolton decided - again - that the Arizona Republican Party cannot intervene in the case at this time. The latest attempt was filed by former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Gould, and Bolton rejected it as moot, based on timing.

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

NEW: Court of Appeals Knocks Legislators' Suit Against "Voters' Right To Know Act", But Gives AZ Legislature a Chance To Limit (READ Opinion)

Arizona's "Voters' Right To Know Act" is still standing after the Court of Appeals today mostly ruled against House Speaker Ben Toma and Senate President Warren Petersen. However, the judges did find that a provision designed to limit the Legislature's ability to limit the Citizens' Clean Elections Commission's authority is unconstitutional.

Therefore, the Legislature can try to pass laws (with the Governor's signature) that could limit the CCEC's rules or enforcement actions.

Toma-Petersen retained outside counsel Snell & Wilmer to contest both that provision and, more importantly, the Act's giving the CCEC the power to enforce the voter-approved measure to prompt the disclosure of "dark money".

At oral argument, an attorney for the Commission acknowledged that if the term "legislative governmental body" in the Act included the Legislature, then the limitation would be unconstitutional.

No word yet on whether the legislative leaders intend to appeal the unfavorable part of today's Opinion or whether they plan to try to pass laws limiting the CCEC (as they have done before).

Other lawsuits challenging the Voters' Right to Know Act have also fallen short, and the rules passed by the CCEC are in effect for this year's elections. They require disclosure of the original source of monies behind certain larger expenditures.

In fact, today's decision came out just as the CCEC was meeting to pass another Advisory Opinion to give committees (and, attorneys) guidance on what spenders are subject to the Act. (More on that later.)

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

BREAKING: AZ Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Resolution Copper Mine, State Could Issue Water Permit (READ Opinion)

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled today in favor of the Resolution Copper Mine in Superior, in one of several legal battles about the controversial mining operation. The Justices unanimously vacated a lower court ruling that the state should not have granted a water permit, because the expansion of the existing mine was a new pollutant source that could damage the Queen Creek (desert) river.

The permit - initially granted before this 2017 case began - has since expired. However, this Opinion (authored by Justice Kathryn King) can set the stage for a reissuance.

Queen Creek - the dry river, not the booming suburb - is legally defined as "impaired water" because of previous mining pollution. Therefore, if "Shaft 10" constituted a "new source" of potential damage, the state permit should not have been issued - as the San Carlos Apache Tribe argued to the courts.

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, an Administrative Law Judge and the Superior Court judge all ruled in favor of the permit. However, last year, the Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that Shaft 10 was a "new source".

Today's Opinion established a step-by-step test to make the determination, and found that Shaft 10 is more integrated with the existing mine components. "According to Resolution’s General Plan of Operations, in the event of future ore extraction, two new shafts “will be production shafts dedicated to hoisting ore and other rock material from the Mine”—these will be Shafts 11 and 12. The Plan of Operations does not state that Shaft 10 will be used for ore extraction. Thus, we cannot speculate about such alleged future use of Shaft 10."

Resolution Copper Mining is owned by two of the four largest mining companies in the world - Rio Tinto and BHP. Several other challenges to the expansion of the mining complex into the Oak Flat area continue to work through federal courts. (In March, the 9th Circuit ruled against a preliminary injunction against the mine on the basis that the 2014 land exchange sought by members of the San Carlos violated their rights and treaties.)

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

BREAKING: Maricopa County Attorney Tells Judge GOP Official Shelby Busch Gave False Testimony About Election Worker Threats This Month (NEWS ANALYSIS)

This weekend, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer released a video of Republican official Shelby Busch telling an audience that she would "lynch" Richer if he walked into the room. The video has received national attention, and Busch now claims that the comments she made in March were "a joke".

The video is now being brought to a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge's attention as evidence that Busch gave "false" testimony earlier this month in a case she brought against the County for access to lists of election workers from past elections. That Motion is published at the bottom of this article.

Busch is First Vice Chair of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, and is the Arizona GOP's Delegation Chair to next month's Republican National Convention. 

Chandler attorney and Arizona's Law stalwart Tom Ryan posted the following thread on X/Twitter this evening:

Dear 'Zona Litigation Disaster Tourists, tonight I have some interesting news to share with you. Many of you have been following the disgraceful comments by @ShelbyBusch7 where she said she would lynch County Recorder Stephen Lynch if she could. 1/ 

What @shelbybusch7 did was engage in what is known as Stochastic Terrorism*. Shelby claims she was joking, but her passive/aggressive behavior is Stochastic Terrorism. 2/ *

How Stochastic Terrorism Uses Disgust to Incite Violence

@ShelbyBusch7 Stochastic Terrorism is used to dehumanize and incite others to violence against individuals or a class of individuals. In this case, Ms. Busch's (phony) claim of being a good Christian woman referring to Stephen Richer, a known Jew, is that type of terrorism. 3/ 

@ShelbyBusch7 So if Stochastic Terrorism and antisemitism were not enough for you to be disgusted by this woman, I give you one other to ponder. You see, Ms. Busch is a litigant in a case entitled "We The People Alliance Arizona v. Stephen Richer." Maricopa County Cause No. CV2022-053499. 4/ 

@ShelbyBusch7 Ms. Busch and her so-called alliance is represented by none other than Kari Lake's sanctioned (and soon to be suspended) attorney, Bryan Blehm. The lawsuit they cooked up was to compel Richer's office to cough up names & identities of County Elections employees. 4/ 

@ShelbyBusch7 (Grr! Last one should have been "5/", so this one will be "6/". Sorry) Thank goodness that after County employees have received so many death threats due to the type of Stochastic Terrorism employed by people like Ms. Busch, the County sought to protect their identity. 6/ 

@ShelbyBusch7 I represented one such high-level employee who had horrendous death threats made against her, caused her to leave her employment & flee her home. These threats are real, they are scary, & they have their desired affect on these public servants. 7/ 

@ShelbyBusch7 On June 12, 2024, there was an evidentiary hearing on We The People's demand for County Employees' identities. Judge Scott Blaney heard the case & took the matter under advisement. But before the close of evidence: SHELBY BUSCH TOOK THE STAND & SWORE AN OATH TO TELL THE TRUTH. 8/ 

@ShelbyBusch7 Shelby Busch was asked, UNDER OATH, if she was aware of any threats made against Maricopa County Elections workers. I watched the trial online. Ms. Busch testified that she had seen NO EVIDENCE OF ANY SUCH THREATS made against County Elections Workers. 9/ 

@ShelbyBusch7 On June 12, 2024, when Shelby Busch answered the question about her knowledge of threats made against Maricopa County Elections Workers she HID THE FACT that on MARCH 20, 2024 after claiming unity with only Christians she HERSELF said she would like to lynch Stephen Richer. 10/ 

@ShelbyBusch7 Ms. Busch's testimony on June 12, 2024, after swearing upon her oath, was false. She should be investigated for false swearing & perjury. And before any MAGA heads "poo poo" this, her false swearing deprived County Counsel of the right to impeach her testimony! 11/ 

@ShelbyBusch7 The problem is until June 24, 2024, when the Arizona Republic 1st reported on Ms. Busch's disgusting, antisemitic threats against Mr. Richer, her false testimony was hidden from Maricopa County Counsel. 12/

.'I would lynch him': Maricopa County Republican party vice chair threatens recorder

In the video, Shelby Bush contrasts Stephen Richer, who is Jewish, against someone she says is a "good Christian man that believes what we believe."

@ShelbyBusch7 Earlier today, I called on @Rachel1Mitchell to condemn the stochastic terrorism and antisemitism of @ShelbyBusch7 I should have waited. Tonight Rachel Mitchell's office through the phenomenal attorneys in the Civil Service Division filed their Motion to Reopen Evidence. 13/ 

I hope you're following along with @arizonaslaw for a fuller expose of the County's blockbuster filing. So I leave you with these thoughts: (1) I believe Ms. Busch should be referred for investigation for false swearing, & if not at least sanctions; 14/ 

@arizonaslaw (2) we need more AZ GOP elected leadership to have the courage to PUBLICLY condemn this kind of outrageous conduct; (3) the Maricopa County GOP leadership should expel Ms. Busch from any leadership position; & (4) we need more police enforcement to protect election workers. END 

The County's Motion is not asking Judge Blaney to refer Busch for perjury charges, although it states that the testimony was "false". Rather, the County asks the Judge to consider Busch's credibility in light of the newly-surfaced video. (Richer noted earlier that he only received the video this past weekend.)

Judge Blaney has Busch's/We the People's claim under advisement.

 

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Friday, June 21, 2024

BREAKING UPDATE: AZ AG Mayes Dismisses Opioid Settlement Case; Governor, Legislature Demand Attorneys' Fees

UPDATE, 6/28, 3pm: "AZ AG Mayes Dismisses Opioid Settlement Case; Governor, Legislature Demand A Second Sweep... For Attorneys' Fees"

Attorney General Kris Mayes officially threw in the towel on her legal effort to prevent the Legislature from sweeping $115M of opioid settlement monies from the AG's Office into the General Fund. However, legislative leaders and Governor Katie Hobbs are not quite done, asking the judge to award them attorneys' fees - in effect, a second sweep.

Judge John Hannah's ruling dissolving the TRO that the AG had previously obtained is now in Minute Entry form (below), and we can see that it is a bit more nuanced than previously believed. Hannah relied on a distinction between the appropriations process and how the funds are then spent. It would appear that because the settlement monies were not in a segregated fund (under the AG's control), the Legislature has the right to appropriate them as Arizona's revenues.

The judge then notes "If the money is (mis)spent, there is a recourse." ("mis" added)

The lawmakers and Hobbs cite an Arizona statute that makes an award to a prevailing governmental entity mandatory in a suit brought by another governmental entity. (A.R.S. §12-348.01) In this case, the outside counsel retained by the lawmakers (Snell & Wilmer) and the Department of Administration (Coppersmith Brockelman) will be paid out of the AG's budget.

The voluntary dismissal ensures that there will be no last-second appeals that could throw the last-minute budget deal into chaos as the fiscal year is ending.

*************

Original article, 6/21; "BREAKING: Arizona Budget Partners - Hobbs, Toma, Petersen - Lawyer Up and Strike Back vs. Attorney General Over Opioid Settlement Monies"

The legal battle over whether Arizona budget partners - Governor Katie Hobbs and the Legislature - could sweep $115M of opioid settlement monies from the Attorney General office - heated up this afternoon, with allegations of misleading the Court filed.

Attorney General Kris Mayes obtained a Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO") yesterday to prevent the budget sweep from happening. To get that Order signed (by a Court Commissioner) without a hearing or response ("ex parte"), they needed to represent that it was such an emergency that it needed to be signed before giving notice, or that they had given notice.

Today, Governor Katie Hobbs - through the Department of Administration and its Executive Deputy Director - retained outside counsel (Andy Gaona at Coppersmith Brockelman). They filed a Motion to move up the hearing set for next Thursday, and explain that the notice was only given to the Department of Administration's Executive Deputy Director's assistant (that is also in a separate legal dispute) after the pleadings had been filed (but before Commissioner Cronin was reading and considering them).

The AG's Motion stated that "Plaintiff is notifying the Arizona Department of Administration of this motion and papers via email and contacting it by phone upon their filing." Hobbs' Motion today states "this is simply not the way we practice law in Arizona.

...“notice” was provided by email and a single phone call to the ADOA Executive Deputy Director’s assistant after counsel filed those pleadings and while they were awaiting assignment to a judge to present them. Twenty-four minutes later, the Attorney General’s counsel emailed ADOA’s in-house counsel to inform it that Commissioner Cronin “is reading the papers now” and that counsel was “in her waiting room.” And by the time undersigned counsel was able to look briefly at the Complaint and speak for just a moment with ADOA’s in-house counsel, Commissioner Cronin had already granted the Attorney General her requested TRO and set the matter for an order to show cause hearing on June 27 before Judge Minder.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Ben Toma and Senate President Warren Petersen retained Brett Johnson and team (Snell & Wilmer) to file Motions to Intervene and to Dissolve the TRO.



 





This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

UPDATE: Toma/Petersen Tell Court: Our "Bell Cannot Be Unrung"; Ask To Stay Their Depositions In Transgender School Sports Case While They Appeal Order

Update, 6/21, 4pm: "UPDATE: Toma/Petersen Tell Court: Our "Bell Cannot Be Unrung"; Ask To Stay Their Depositions In Transgender School Sports Case While They Appeal Order"

One day after being ordered to sit for depositions in the case challenging the Legislature's 2022 ban on transgender girls playing school sports on girls teams, House Speaker Ben Toma and Warren Petersen asked for a stay so that they can appeal. 

They did not also ask to stay their retaliatory depositions of the young girls they asked to take.*

Toma-Petersen - represented by a Missouri law firm - indicated that they want the stay while they appeal yesterday's decision. They claim that the 9th Circuit will rule in their favor and allow them to maintain legislative privilege in a case where they have intervened. "The Legislative Leaders cannot remedy the harm caused by disclosing the documents and sitting for depositions. The bell cannot be unrung."

The 9th Circuit recently ruled against Toma-Petersen in a similar situation dealing with challenges of 2022 voter registration and registration rolls laws.

* I verified the portion of Judge Jennifer Zipps' ruling that implied that Toma-Petersen's request to depose the minor girl plaintiffs was retaliatory. The Toma-Petersen Response to the Motion to Compel stated simply that "If the Legislative Leaders are deposed, Plaintiffs also should be deposed under the discovery rules and the facts of this case."

*************

Original article, 6/20: "BREAKING: AZ House Speaker Toma & Senate Pres. Petersen Waived Leg Privilege, Must Sit For Depos In Transgender Sports Case; But, Minor Girls Do, Too"

In a twist this afternoon, a judge issued an Order compelling Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma and Senate President Warren Petersen to sit for depositions in the long-running battle about whether an Arizona law can ban transgender girls from playing school sports on girls teams.

The Speaker and President told the Court that if they were to be deposed, that they would also seek to depose the minor girls who brought the lawsuit against State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne. The Judge agreed to allow the girls to be deposed, with strict limits on what could be asked.

U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer Zipps issued the 14-page ruling this afternoon, finding that Toma and Petersen had waived their legislative privilege after they moved to intervene in the lawsuit.

The limits she put on Toma/Petersen in deposing the girls are that (1) they "shall not question minor Plaintiffs about the legitimacy or the appropriateness of the Plaintiffs’ medical and/or mental health treatment; and (2) they "shall not ask the minor Plaintiffs any questions regarding sexual abuse, assault, or misconduct."

The Judge indicated that Toma/Petersen "may reference the minor Plaintiffs’ medical records and/or letters from mental health providers only to the extent that it is necessary to confirm or clarify the record."

Zipps has ruled the 2022 Arizona law unconstitutional and kept it from going into effect. Horne has unsuccessfully appealed the injunction. The 9th Circuit currently is considering an appeal from the America First Legal Foundation, which is also seeking to intervene in the case. 

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

BREAKING: People Are Voting "Kari Lake" for Senate; Today, She Is Asking the AZ Supreme Court To Declare Her Governor

Thousands of people have already voted in the July 30 primary, and presumably, many have voted for Kari Lake to be the Republican nominee fo...