Wednesday, June 30, 2021

NEW, LISTEN: "AZ Law" Podcast Episode - "Audit" Public Records Suit, Brnovich, U.S. Supreme Court and More

 In today's installment of "AZ Law", we bring you several articles and commentaries about legal issues in Arizona. Articles feature the public records lawsuit regarding the State Senate's recount/"audit", Attorney General Mark Brnovich's cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, who will replace Brnovich next year, and turmoil at the Pima County Attorney's Office.

"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 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.


Monday, June 28, 2021

JULY 4TH FIREWORKS *INSIDE* SUPREME COURT??? No Word On Decision In Arizona's Major Voting Rights Case

UPDATE, 6/29, 8am:  Opinion in Brnovich v DNC will be released Thursday, July 1 (at 7 or 7:10am, Arizona Time).

UPDATE, 6/29, 7:20am: The Justices ended up releasing three opinions this morning. Arizona's Brnovich v DNC was not one of them. Only two cases remain. Date(s) have not yet been posted for them. (It is extremely rare for them to go into July.)

5pm Update: The Court has posted an after-hours "perhaps" announcement: "The Court may announce opinions on Tuesday, June 29." Election law expert and law professor Rick Hasen tells Arizona's Law: "I wouldn’t read anything into the short delay. These are tough cases and they have a lot to do at the end." 

***

Arizona's voting rights case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court is the most prominent of the five still-undecided cases, so the Court's surprising silence on when those Opinions will be announced has Arizona legal and political eyes looking for clues. 

"A loaded God complex, cock it and pull it"?

Typically, the Supreme Court gives advance notice of when it will announce opinions. However, after Friday's opinions came and went, there were no more such "Opinion Days" on their calendar. And, no updates were made to SupremeCourt.gov today.

Couple that with their tradition of finishing their "term" by the end of June and the upcoming Independence Day holiday, and speculation is ramping up.

Everyone seems to agree that this is an indication that the Justices are wrestling over elements of the case about Arizona's so-called ballot harvesting ban and the out-of-precinct rules. Those elements might include the actual result, but are more likely about portions of the written opinions and which Justices support which portions.

The case is titled Brnovich v. DNC, and Arizona Attorney Mark Brnovich has been tweeting about it frequently during the past few weeks. Brnovich argued the case for the state and he is advising people to "stay tuned" and to visit the AG's website for more info. He must be on pins and needles - they pinned the tweet about the coming ruling - but his office has not responded for comment.

Arizona's Law has asked several experts what Brnovich and other Arizonans should think of this silence.

Amy Howe, the co-founder and reporter for the popular SCOTUSblog, confirmed that it is "unusual".

"With the caveat that it is of course impossible to know exactly what's going on behind the scenes, the fact that the Court hasn't said when it will next release opinions this week is unusual. At a minimum, it suggests that they are going down to the wire on the five remaining opinions -- of which Brnovich is the highest-profile, and one on which the justices seemed likely to be divided."

Some of the Twitter speculation has been, errr, a bit whimsical. Michigan Law Professor Leah Litman spun out a hypothesis about Justice Samuel Alito going emo to persuade fellow Justices.

More seriously, though, Litman tells Arizona's Law that it is not "super weird" IF they finish up on Wednesday. 

"Honestly, I don't make that much of it yet. I assume they are waiting to see if they can finish up everything to release all on Wednesday (possible some lingering disagreements about opinions & Covid delays have created some uncertainty about whether that's possible) before announcing Wednesday. It's inconvenient but not (yet) super weird (to me)...assuming they finish up Wednesday"

 We also reached out to the Supreme Court for an explanation (just in case we could get a scoop), but the Public Information office was as quiet as the nine Justices have been.

"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: Maricopa County Will Not Re-Use Voting Equipment Turned Over To State Senate for Recount/"Audit" (ARIZONA'S LEGAL SHORTS)

3:40pm: BREAKING: Maricopa County Will Not Re-Use Voting Equipment Turned Over To State Senate for Recount/"Audit"

(This is a developing story. Please check back for additional information.)

Maricopa County announced today that it WILL get new voting equipment for future elections, as a result of the ongoing State Senate recount/"audit".
The letter from Deputy County Attorney Joe LaRue notes they raised this concern to the judge who authorized the subpoena for the equipment.

Today's decision was in response to a May 20 letter from Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, in which she noted that the chain of custody for the hundreds of vote-counting machines had now been broken. The County leases the machines, and the decision may cost millions of dollars. The County and State Senate agreed that the latter would indemnify the County for such losses.

Maricopa County indicates that it is "working with our current vendor to replace the subpoenaed equipment so we will be able to serve voters for the November 2021 election." Considering that Dominion Voting Systems is heavily involved in lawsuits seeking damages from individuals and organizations that have spread allegations about its machines without any evidence of fraud, it is conceivable that the company would replace the un-certifable machines and add it to its damages.

"
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.

Monday, June 21, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court DENIES Review Of Arizona Man Sentenced To 7 Life Terms For Sexual Abuse Of A Minor (ARIZONA LEGAL SHORTS)

7:30am: U.S. Supreme Court DENIES Review Of Arizona Man Sentenced To 7 Life Terms For Sexual Abuse Of A Minor
To absolutely no one's surprise, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of a southern Arizona man who was sentenced to seven life terms for sexually abusing a minor (under the age of 14) in the early 1990s. He was tried in absentia and his sentence was later reduced to 147 years, but the Supreme Court was not moved to consider his case.

Byron Hagans is currently serving his sentence at the state prison in Florence.

The Supreme Court did NOT hand down its decision in Brnovich v Democratic National Committee today. The closely-watched voting rights case is one of the 12 remaining decision to be made before the Justices take their summer vacation.

"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 18, 2021

BREAKING: Maricopa County Supervisors Holding Special Monday Meeting For Legal Advice Re: Election Audit, More (ARIZONA LEGAL SHORTS)

10am: BREAKING: Maricopa County Supervisors Holding Special Monday Meeting For Legal Advice Re: Election Audit, More

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will hold their 19th Special (and/or Emergency Special) Meeting of the year this coming Monday to discuss the State Senate's ongoing election audit and other election-related matters.

The meeting starts at 9:30am with a hearing and approval of the County's budget. They will then go into a Special Executive Session, which means there will then be no live-streaming or public input. They are slated to get legal advice and discuss "election authority and responsibility re: compliance with Senate subpoena". Interestingly, they list four different election-related items to get the legal advice.

The decision to schedule the meeting would appear to be to prepare for different case scenarios, depending on the possible announcements from State Senate President Karen Fann and the Cyber Ninjas about their findings. 

 8:30am: RELEASE THE KRAKEN...ATTORNEY: Alex Kolodin Plans To Run For State House Seat

The Arizona attorney who worked with Sidney Powell and the Trump team to bring several of the lawsuits claiming widespread fraud in Maricopa County's November elections wants to be on next year's ballot. Alex Kolodin last night filed a Statement of Interest to run for one of the State House seats in Legislative District 23.

Kolodin intends to run as a Republican and hopes to take the slot currently occupied by Rep. John Kavanagh (R). (Kavanagh is aiming to move back to the State Senate.) This is his 2nd attempt to get to the legislature; he lost to Michelle Ugenti-Rita in the 2020 Senate primary.

Kolodin not only worked on several of the cases that unsuccessfully tried to un-do Donald Trump's loss in Arizona by alleging unsubstantiated fraud, but he briefly represented the Cyber Ninjas in the election audit case. Kolodin caused the first judge to recuse himself, unsuccessfully tried to keep his filings under seal, and was replaced (by Wilenchik & Bartness) on the second day of hearings. (The judge had to kick him out of the hearing after they tried to use the switch to delay the case.)

LD23 contains part of North Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and the surrounding area.

*****

"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 podcast.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

NEW: AZ State Senate Will Release More About the Election "Audit", But Moves To Dismiss Public Records Lawsuit That Would Require Cyber Ninjas' (and Subvendors') Correspondence (READ Motion)

Two weeks ago, American Oversight released a trove of emails from Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann related to the ongoing election recount/"audit". Fann's attorneys tell Arizona's Law today that more records will be turned over "in coming days". However, they have filed a Motion to Dismiss the public records lawsuit, claiming there is no reason to turn over anything possessed by Cyber Ninjas or their subvendors. 

Oral argument on the case* has been set for July 7. The Motion to Dismiss was filed last week, which means it is unlikely to be before Superior Court Judge Michael Kemp before then.

The Motion to Dismiss (filed by attorneys Kory Langhofer and Tom Basile) lays out a strong argument as to why public records requests should not apply to the contractors hired by the state.  

Condensed to its essence, the Plaintiff’s argument appears to be that because the Audit is a governmental function, the Disputed Records are “public records” that presumptively must be disclosed, absent some particular claim of privilege, confidentiality, or undue burden. This paralogism, however, evinces a misunderstanding of the PRA. The statute does not secure some disembodied “right” by any person to obtain any document that may be a “public record”—regardless of where or with whom it may be found. Rather, the PRA obligates two delimited classes of individuals and entities—to wit, “officers” and “public bodies”—to preserve and make available their “public records.” It is at this interpretive juncture that the Plaintiff’s claims dissipate; Cyber Ninjas and its subvendors are not “officers” or “public bodies,” and hence the Disputed Records are not governed by the PRA.

They then try to turn the tables on American Oversight and its supporters, noting that if Cyber Ninjas' internal documents are subject to public records requests, so too would Dominion's and Runbeck's - the providers of the voting machines and systems used in November's election.

American Oversight's initial Complaint obviously anticipated the (key) contractors defense, including its own presentation of case law to support the release of documents in Cyber Ninjas' possession. (Such detailed legal argument is somewhat unusual for a Complaint.)

*In a public records lawsuit, the Order to Show Cause is, for all intents and purposes, the case.

"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 podcast.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

BREAKING: Trump Administration/Allies Pushed DOJ For Pre-Jan.6 Supreme Court Action To Nullify Arizona Election, Order "Special Election" In 6 States (READ Proposed Complaint)

Former President Donald Trump pressured the Department of Justice to file a pre-January 6 Supreme Court action to force a special election in Arizona and five other states. 

The DOJ and Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen pushed back, asking for previous caselaw that would support the arguments. Although they did not file such a case, even the pressure campaign from the White House and its allies was inappropriate and unethical, without either factual or legal support for the claims.

The House Oversight Committee released the documents earlier today, which it received in response to a letter last month to DOJ demanding documents related to the lead up to the violent January 6 takeover of Congress to halt the acceptance of the Electoral College results.

The Complaint that Trump would have had the DOJ file alleges that the states had "rampant fraud" and that the temporary court-ordered extension of the voter registration deadline helped lead to an illegal result in Arizona. It cites then State Senator Warren Peterson claiming "evidence of tampering, there is evidence of fraud" in Maricopa County. It also included mentions of all of the other unproven and kraken-like theories of fraud that had previously been found lacking.

Trump also enlisted private attorney Kurt Olsen to pressure the Attorney General into filing the action. Olsen had represented Texas in its ill-fated Supreme Court action (that was also pushed by Arizona Republican lawmakers), and he advised Arizona State Sen. Sonny Borrelli that he knew of technology that could help Borrelli piece together shredded ballots allegedly found in a dumpster. (Thanks to Arizona Capital Times reporters Julia Shumway and Dillon Rosenblatt.)

Here is the Complaint to nullify Arizona's election that President Trump wanted the Department of Justice to file with the Supreme Court.

"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 podcast.

Monday, June 14, 2021

UPDATE: Trial Court Hearing On GOP Suit To Stop "Invest In Ed" Surcharge VACATED Pending Supreme Court Decision

UPDATE, 6/23, 9am:  UPDATE: Trial Court Hearing On GOP Suit To Stop "Invest In Ed" Surcharge VACATED Pending Supreme Court Decision

Following last week's trial court ruling (below) whittling down the Republicans' lawsuit to stop the Invest In Ed surcharge, the judge and the parties agreed today to vacate next week's hearing and put the case on hold until after the Arizona Supreme Court issues its decision.

State Senate President Karen Fann filed the suit (with others) last November and told the court a quick decision was needed so that the Legislature could consider and pass a budget. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on April 20 and could issue its decision on the "no supplant" clause at any time.

A pre-trial conference in front of Superior Court Judge John Hannah was set for July 1.

6/14: NEW: Judge Dismisses Most of Republicans' Suit To Stop Prop. 208 From Taking Effect ("Invest In Ed"); Waiting For Supreme Court On Last Claim

In January, State Senate President Karen Fann, other Republican lawmakers and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club sued the state to keep the voter-approved Invest In Ed tax surcharge from going into effect. Today, Superior Court Judge John Hannah dismissed three of their constitutional arguments as an exercise in "futility".

The only remaining claim - that it violates the state constitution's school expenditure limitations by specifying that the monies raised do not count toward those limits - is currently awaiting a decision by the Arizona Supreme Court. (Hannah previously ruled that that "no supplant" clause is directed at the schools and not the legislature when it sets its budget.)

The claims Hannah disposed of today were:

1) That voters do not have the power to tax themselves by initiative. Hannah: "It could hardly be clearer that the people of Arizona reserved to themselves the authority to exercise all of the legislature's powers, including the power of taxation". And: "The planitffs' bald assertion... that the Voter Protection Act does not mean what it says...underscores the futility of their argument."

2) That Prop. 208 violates the Revenue Source Rule (i.e. initiative must "provide for an increased source of revenues"). Hannah: "They mostly try to explain away the obvious contradiction.... Their explanation is not persuasive."

3) That it violates the Separation of Powers. Hannah: "The claim that Proposition 208 unconstutionally delegates legislative authority to the executive is too insubstantial to survive a motion to dismiss." Hannah compares the present initiative to a 100-year old effort by Arizona voters to create a new executive agency ("the Board of Control") which could do just about anything and would have a blank check. "Proposition 208 is not remotely similar....Moreover, the legislature is not powerless in the face of (it).

Oral argument on the "no supplant" rule (and somewhat-related issues) was held on April 20. The legislators had argued that a quick decision was necessary to assist them with their budgeting process. Of course, since then, the proposed flat tax which they are one vote short of passing in each chamber has become another way to emasculate the Invest In Ed tax surcharge.

"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 podcast.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

BREAKING*: Arizona Supreme Court DISMISSES "Quo Warranto" Action Against Secy/State Katie Hobbs; "We the People" leader had demanded answers about fraud in elections, etc.

(Updated 6/8/21, 12pm)
BREAKING*: Arizona Supreme Court DISMISSES "Quo Warranto" Action Against 
@SecretaryHobbs; "We the People" leader had demanded answers about fraud in elections, etc.

As expected, the Arizona Supreme Court has quickly dismissed the Quo Warranto action filed by Daniel Wood this past Friday. Justice James Beene signed the Order today in his capacity as the "Duty Justice", although it is unlikely any of the other six Justices would have dissented.

The one-page dismissal notes that Wood gave no indication that he had asked Attorney General Mark Brnovich to bring the action and that the AG had refused. (In fact, as noted below, Wood indicated in his livestream that he had simply delivered a courtesy copy to Brnovich's office.) Therefore, he did not comply with the legal prerequisites to filing the action on his own.

Here is the dismissal Order. For more details about the lawsuit, see the original article below. 


6/5/21: "We the People" Group Leader Heads Back To AZ Supreme Court, While Accusing Justices - And Hobbs - Of Treason and Sedition For Not Acting On "Fraud" In November Elections

Hard on the heels of last month's hasty dismissal - and unmasking - a leader of the "We the People" group headed back to the Arizona Supreme Court yesterday to demand answers from Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs about last November's elections. Later in the day, the Congressional candidate declared this to be "war" and accused the Supreme Court Justices of implicating themselves in the crimes of "maladministration, treason and sedition".

The Justices unanimously dismissed the then-anonymous petitioners' action to declare Arizona elections in 2018 and 2020 to be invalid and temporarily install them in 20 (city/county/state) government offices. The Justices then denied the group's request to stay anonymous.

Daniel Wood was not one of the petitioners in that case, but was publicly behind the filing. Yesterday, he filed a new quo warranto action with the state's Supreme Court, in an effort to force Hobbs to explain her authority to make several decisions surrounding the November elections.

Wood charges that Hobbs had a duty to ask the Legislature to decide who the Presidential electors should be, and that she should not have certified the election. He also re-raises the certifications of election machines and asks why Hobbs did not immediately appeal the October court decision extending the voter registration deadline.


Arizona law gives the Attorney General the sole authority* to file a quo warranto action challenging a public official if they are believed to be unlawfully holding or exercising their office. (The most recent time such an action was filed by the AG was in 2005 when (late) David Burnell Smith was removed from the State Legislature.)

In a Facebook livestream later Friday, Wood read his new action and vowed to supporters that he would keep fighting, declaring this to be "war". He stated that the "judge" (Justices) had implicated themselves in dismissing last month's action. "He (they) didn't even look at the evidence. That's something serious to take into consideration....Now, the (justices) have implicated (themselves) in a crime....Now (they) have evidence of fraud in our election process and (they) did not look at it."

In explaining why you do not give up after last month's dismissal, Wood makes the aim clear: "We're dealing with a lot of corruption, folks....It is our duty to overthrow such government that is outside of their...oath of office."

He demands answers from Hobbs within five days. It is likely that the Supreme Court will take some steps to deal with the case within that same time period.

* If AG refuses, then the person who is being usurped can ask the court for permission to file. Wood says he gave AG Brnovich a courtesy copy yesterday.

 "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 podcast.

Friday, June 4, 2021

NEW: Tucson Cop Killer Loses Another Supreme Court Appeal, Death Sentence Still In Place (READ Opinion)

 For the third time, the Arizona Supreme Court today rejected an appeal from John Montenegro Cruz. Cruz has been on Arizona's death row since his 2005 sentencing for killing Tucson Police Officer Patrick Hardesty in 2003. 

Today's unanimous decision (below) rejects a claim focused on a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Lynch v Arizona) finding that Arizona had misapplied a previous case and deprived a capital defendant of his rights*. Writing for the Court, Justice Bill Montgomery noted that the earlier Supreme Court opinion (Simmons) HAD been known and considered in Hardesty's initial trial and appeal, and that the Lynch II opinion thus was not a significant change in the law. Therefore, it is not an appropriate basis for a new appeal.

"Thus, the law relied upon by the Supreme Court in Lynch II—Simmons—was clearly established at the time of Cruz’s trial, sentencing, and direct appeal, despite the misapplication of that law by Arizona courts. Consequently, Lynch II does not represent a significant change in the law for purposes of Rule 32.1(g)."

The opinion also notes that Cruz has not yet exhausted exercising his legal options. In addition to the likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of today's decision, he currently has habeas proceedings in federal court.

 "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 podcast.



Thursday, June 3, 2021

UPDATE: Judge Finds MCSO Responses "Unpersuasive", Will Move Forward With Contempt Hearing In Long-Running Discriminatory Policing Suit

 A 2nd Maricopa County Sheriff will "absolutely" face contempt hearings in the long-running discriminatory policing case, U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow declared this morning after a 80-minute hearing in the Melendres case.

Sheriff Paul Penzone will likely be on the hot seat in August, although Snow gave his attorney a week to confer with the other parties and see if they can agree on limiting the scope of the hearing. The Sheriff could concede the substantive part of the claims from the ACLU and the USDOJ about the department taking way too long to conduct internal investigations, and focus on the methodologies for improving the system. (Two to three months is required, but the MCSO is averaging 550 days.)

Judge Snow told counsel that he found the MCSO's defenses "unpersuasive", which helped prompt attorney Mary O'Grady's request for the week. One attorney opposed the meet and confer week, but Judge Snow rejected that.

Much of the hearing had focused on the discovery that the plaintiffs would be permitted to take of the MCSO's experts before the OSC hearing.

This case was filed in 2007 by the ACLU (as Melendrez v MCSO/Arpaio), focusing on Sheriff's deputies targeting Hispanic drivers. There has been a long-running court-appointed Monitor involved in overseeing County efforts to remedy such issues. 

The case drew the most national attention when former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was found in contempt of court for disregarding Court orders in the case. That resulted in former President Donald Trump offering Arpaio his first Presidential pardon in 2017.

The next few months should determine whether a second successive Sheriff is subject to a contempt finding. (Penzone defeated Arpaio in 2016 and was the only countywide Democrat to win (re)election last year.)

 "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 podcast.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

NEW, LISTEN: AZ Law Conversation With Mike Bailey - U.S. Attorney for Arizona (2019-2021)

In today's BONUS installment of "AZ Law", we bring you our recent conversation with Mike Bailey, the most recent U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Bailey served during the later part of the Trump Administration and resigned shortly after the Biden Administration took the reins. (That is SOP.)

We had a wide-ranging talk about his tenure in that important office, focusing on border-related enforcement issues, last year's election and other topics. We also touched on the current interim U.S. Attorney and Bailey's plans for the future.

"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 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.

 "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 podcast.

How AZ AG Brnovich Got To File "1st Lawsuit In the Nation" Against Biden's Yet-To-Be-Detailed Vaccine/Testing Mandate; The Double-Flip With A Twist (READ Lawsuit)

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich boasted today about his "first lawsuit in the nation" status against the Biden Administrati...