Tuesday, August 17, 2021

BREAKING: Phoenix Sues State For Stepping On Its Civilian-Led Police Review Office...In An Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Bill (READ Complaint)

The State Legislature wanted to monkey with Phoenix's new ordinance establishing civilian-led review of police officer misconduct. So, they stuck the restrictions in one of their many omnibus budget bills at the end of the session.

Today, the City of Phoenix struck back, filing a lawsuit claiming that the Republican-led legislature violated the single subject rule - among other constitutional violations.

That same bill also broadened legislators' ability to have the Attorney General investigate actions taken by cities (and counties, etc). Today's lawsuit attacks that measure, as well.

Phoenix's lawsuit is similar to that filed last week by the Arizona School Boards Association and others in attacking five of the other reconciliation bills. That Complaint - which has not yet been set for an initial hearing - focuses on the Legislature's attempt to ban face mask mandates in schools.

It is conceivable that the State might try to consolidate these two cases (and any other similar cases that may not have been filed yet). The City's lead attorney, Jean-Jacques Cabou of Perkins Coie, tells Arizona's Law that that could happen. "I do see the arguments here as aligned with, though not entirely the same as, those raised in the case in which ASBA is the lead plaintiff...." 

To make matters even more interesting, a few of the sections attacked by the ASBA lawsuit are also the subject of one of the referendum petitions currently being circulated. Arizona Deserves Better is trying to put several sections of SB1819 on the ballot for voters to decide in 2022, and Invest In Arizona is collecting signatures on three other budget bills which attack the 2020-voter-approved Invest In Ed initiative.

Lawsuits are flying back and forth on those referenda drives, as well. The dark money Arizona Free Enterprise Club claimed that the tax bills are not subject to the constitutional referendum power. Invest In Arizona struck back last week, arguing that the Legislature violated the Constitution's Voter Protection Act when trying to undo the tax surcharge.

Here are the newest entries in the legal wars:

 "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.


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