Thursday, June 25, 2020

BREAKING: Democratic Suit Challenging Arizona's Ballot Order Statutes Dismissed By District Court Judge

A Democratic suit challenging Arizona's ballot order statute was dismissed this afternoon by U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa.  The judge stated that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the statute.

The plaintiffs consisted of three voters and three Democratic organizations - the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Priorities USA (a Super PAC supporting Democrats - including Mark Kelly in Arizona's Senatorial contest).

They claimed that Arizona's statutes - which determine which party's candidates are listed first on a county's ballots by which party gathered more votes in that county in the previous gubernatorial election. They also claimed that research establishes that the first-listed candidate has an unfair advantage (of between 2.2 and 4.4 percentage points). Based on Governor Doug Ducey's 2018 win, 82% of Arizonans will receive a ballot with all Republicans listed before their Democratic opponents.

Judge Humetewa wrote that "he Voter Plaintiffs allege that they intend to cast ballots in the November 2020 election. However, the harm that Plaintiffs allege is not a harm to themselves, but rather an alleged harm to the Democratic candidates whom they intend, at this juncture, to support.... Moreover, although the Voter Plaintiffs attempt to frame their injury as personal to them, the Plaintiffs do not argue that they, personally, are at greater risk of losing an election due to the alleged effects of Arizona’s Ballot Order Statute. Nor could they, as none of the Voter Plaintiffs allege that they are, or intend to be, candidates on the ballot."

Judge Humetewa was even more frutstrated by the Democratic organizations' claims of standing, noting that two of them do not even represent members and that the DNC did not claim that any of its seven Arizona members are candidates.

Arizona's Law will update this article as it receives responses from the parties, including whether the plaintiffs plan to appeal to the 9th Circuit.
"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.

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