Tuesday, November 26, 2019

LISTEN: "AZ Law's" Nov. 27 Installment - Border Aid Harboring Verdict, Supreme Court Appeal Of Payson Mayoral Recall, Duelling Commentaries On ASU Omni Case, More

In this installment of "AZ Law", we feature articles and commentaries regarding the verdict in the humanitarian aid volunteer's trial on harboring, the Supreme Court appeal on the recall effort against Payson's mayor, duelling commentaries about the case against ASU's Omni Hotel deal, and much more.
"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.
Subscribe for future episodes wherever you get your podcasts!
"AZ Law" also 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.
Thanks for listening, and your input is appreciated - Paul.Weich.AZlaw@gmail.com.

NEW: Supreme Court Told Recall Of Payson Mayor Tom Morrissey Should Be Back On the Ballot, Framers Were Clear

The group that gathered more valid signatures than required by the Payson Clerk reached back to Arizona's 1910 Constitutional Convention to explain to the Arizona Supreme Court why the recall of Mayor Tom Morrissey should be put back on next March's ballot.

Unite Payson filed their opening brief in the expedited election matter this past week. Judge Randall Warner (filling in in Gila County Superior Court) determined that the Recall Provision of the state constitution should use the number of votes cast in the most recent mayoral election to determine how many signatures needed to be collected for a recall.

The Constitution references the "last preceding general election". However, Payson has not had a general election since 2002 because the successful candidate in the "primary election" has received more than 50% of the vote - eliminating the need for a "general election."

When a group of citizens (using "Unite Payson" as their moniker) applied to circulate a recall petition in August, the Town Clerk - after seeking legal counsel - used the 2002 general election total rather than the 2018 primary election total. When the signatures were turned in, she set March 10, 2020 for the recall election.

Morrissey sued, and after a well-attended trial, Judge Warner found in his favor and struck the recall petitions.

Unite Payson has appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court and says that the judge should not have unilaterally rewritten the constitutional language simply based upon his belief that the higher threshold is more appropriate due to Payson's growth over the past 17 years. Attorney Eric Spencer argues that the court must give meaning to all of the words in that "last preceding general election" phrase.

The case is being handled on an expedited basis - as all election cases are - and Morrissey's response is due before Thanksgiving. The Court will decide the matter without oral argument.


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"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. (Sun Sounds is 

"AZ Law" can also be downloaded and subscribed to in all major podcast stores - iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podbean, etc.

Friday, November 15, 2019

LISTEN: "AZ Law's" Nov. 16 Installment - Border Aid Volunteer Trial, New Judges, a Commentary On Arizona's Suit Vs. Obamacare, and More

This broadcast episode of "AZ Law" features articles and commentaries regarding the re-trial of a border aid volunteer, the suspended Maricopa County Assessor's court appearance in Utah, President Trump's new nomination for an Arizona judgeship, a commentary on the Attorney General's Obamacare lawsuit, and much more.

"AZ Law" includes articles and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts etc.

AZ Law also 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.

Thanks for listening, and your input is appreciated - Paul.Weich.AZlaw@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

BREAKING: AZ Supreme Court Clears The Steps/Etc...Out Of Last Month's Order Prohibiting Pictures (READ new and old Orders)

(UPDATED, 5:30pm: Supreme Court Communications Director Aaron Nash responded to our questions - after 5pm, btw - and they are incorporated into the article below.)

The Arizona Supreme Court this afternoon released a NEW Order easing restrictions on photography, videography and live-streaming on the courthouse steps (and elsewhere near the court), after an October uproar about an order banning such activity.

The new Administrative Order will still prohibit activity in those more public areas if it "threatens any person, disrupts court operations, or compromises court security at entrances and exits and on patios, steps, and adjacent parking areas."

AZ Law followed up with the Court, and Dave Byers, the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, explained: “The wording of the first version of the administrative order drafted by court staff was not clear enough and caused legitimate confusion. We listened to the concerns raised and redrafted the order, after seeking additional input, hopefully clarifying the issues."

Attorneys expressed concerns that the original order restricted the freedom of the press, and Phoenix media attorney Dan Barr suggested the restriction would be unconstitutional.

Barr told AZ Law this afternoon that he is grateful: "I greatly appreciate that the Supreme Court listened to our concerns and took out the language concerning photography outside the courthouse. The new order rightly focuses on disruptive conduct outside the courthouse as opposed to photography. I thank the Supreme Court for quickly fixing what was an unintended consequence of its original order."

Aaron Nash, the Court's Communications Director, tells AZ Law that he had spoken with members of the public who were planning to come to protest last month's Order, and that "everyone I spoke with on the phone was respectful in discussing their concerns and were relieved to hear they could come and record – that the order was not a ban on that activity."

AZ Law has not yet received comment from the Court.





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"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.

"AZ Law" can also be downloaded and subscribed to in all major podcast stores - iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podbean, etc.

BREAKING: President Trump Nominates Tucson Judge John Hinderaker For U.S. District Court Bench

President Donald Trump today nominated Pima County Superior Court Judge John Hinderaker for a judgeship with the U.S. District Court. Hinderaker left private practice last year when Arizona Governor Doug Ducey appointed him to the bench.

If confirmed to the lifetime position, Hinderaker will fill the vacancy created earlier this year when Judge Raner Collins moved to Senior status. If both Hinderaker and Judge Scott Rash are confirmed by the Senate, Arizona will have no vacancies on the District Court Bench for the first time in many years.

Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema was the first to respond to our  request for comment, and indicated that she was "pleased the White House worked with me" to move forward with the nomination.

“John Hinderaker brings a wealth of experience to the U.S. District Court as one of the most well-respected professionals in the Arizona legal community. He has served Arizona with distinction. I am confident he will continue that legacy on the District Court and I am pleased the White House worked with me to find a highly qualified nominee for this important position,” said Sinema.

Governor Ducey also responded with a tweet calling Hinderaker an "excellent judge" and expressing pride that he had placed him on the bench last year.

Rash was nominated by the President in September. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not yet conducted a hearing on Rash, apparently because his committee questionnaire has not yet been turned in.

Hinderaker was in private practice for his professional career until 2018, at Lewis Roca Rothberger Christie. He volunteered with or provided pro bono legal services for a number of community organizations in Tucson, and was featured at one Federalist Society event shortly after being placed on the Pima County bench.



(Thanks, as always, to Judicial Nominations Blog for giving us early notice on the appointment.)

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"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.

"AZ Law" can also be downloaded and subscribed to in all major podcast stores - iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podbean, etc. 

BREAKING: Supreme Court Orders Hearing For Death Row Inmate On Whether Juror Misconduct Contributed To Second Conviction In Notorious Yuma Murders

The Arizona Supreme Court is ordering an evidentiary hearing for death row inmate Preston Strong, to determine whether juror misconduct cont...