Wednesday, September 29, 2021

STILL ON HOLD: AZ Supreme Court Refuses To Let Ban of Face Mask Requirements Go Into Effect, As State Appeals Monday Decision (READ Motions, Orders)

The Arizona Supreme Court denied the State's last minute effort to allow its ban on schools requiring face masks to go into effect today. The law is on hold after Monday's Superior Court decision saying that the law (and other portions of the budget reconciliation bills) are unconstitutional.

The Justices will consider whether or not to accept the state's direct appeal (bypassing the Court of Appeals), and the victorious plaintiffs have until tomorrow to oppose the State's request. Duty Justice Ann Timmer then gave the State one more day to reply, thus confirming that this will be handled on an expedited basis.

The State, represented by both the Attorney General's Office and private outside counsel (Fennemore Craig), argued that the state will suffer "irreparable harm" if the four budget reconciliation bills are not permitted to go into effect today, and that Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper's Order was incorrect and "alters the delicate balance between the elected branches of government and the courts."

Meanwhile, the State also filed an Emergency Motion in the Court of Appeals to get the process started even while the Supreme Court considers whether to skip the intermediate court. The Court of Appeals set an October 13 deadline for the Plaintiffs to respond.

"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, September 28, 2021

UPDATE: Brnovich Appeals, Asks District Court and 9th Circuit To Allow Arizona Ban On Abortions Due To Genetic Abnormalities To Go Into Effect (READ Filings)

UPDATE, 1018, 6pm: Judge Refuses Request To Allow Arizona  Anti-Abortion Law To Go Into Effect Pending Appeal; Brnovich "Misconstruing" Court's Decision

As expected, federal Judge Douglas Rayes tonight DENIED a request by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to allow Arizona's new anti-abortion law to go into effect while an appeal is pending.

The state's "abstract injury is outweighed by the real-world harms a stay would visit upon the provider Plaintiffs and their patients," Judge Rayes bluntly stated in denying the stay. The portion of the law would prohibit abortions sought solely because of a genetic abnormality in the fetus.

UPDATE, 10/6, 3:45pm: Brnovich Appeals, Asks District Court and 9th Circuit To Allow Arizona Ban On Abortions Due To Genetic Abnormalities To Go Into Effect (READ Filings)

As expected, the state of Arizona is appealing an injunction against a new law that would prohibit abortions sought solely because of a genetic abnormality. Attorney General Mark Brnovich is also asking the District Court judge to allow the law to go into effect while the case is before the 9th Circuit as an "emergency".

U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Rayes is unlikely to agree to stay his injunction pending appeal, and today gave the Plaintiffs until October 13 to respond to the motion.

Brnovich argues that the Legislature intended “'to send an unambiguous message that children with genetic abnormalities, whether born or unborn, are equal in dignity and value to their peers without genetic abnormalities, born or unborn.' While the law is enjoined, doctors can continue performing abortions knowing that the abortion is sought solely because of a genetic abnormality. This certainly constitutes irreparable harm."

The Plaintiffs have not filed their own appeal of Rayes' decision to not block the "personhood" provision in the new law, and based on comments from Plaintiffs' attorney Emily Nestler, they will probably decide to continue fighting that at the trial court level (rather than appealing the denial of an injunction against it).

Original article, 9/28: BREAKING: Judge Refuses To Block Arizona Anti-Abortion "Personhood" Provision From Going Into Effect Tomorrow; DOES BLOCK Prohibition On Abortion Due To Genetic Abnormality (READ Order)

In an Order that will further enrage - and, make happy - both sides in a fierce abortion debate, a federal judge this afternoon allowed a key part of a new Arizona anti-abortion law to go into effect tomorrow, while preventing a prohibition on abortions sought because of a "genetic abnormality" from taking effect.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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 Administration's yet-to-be-detailed vaccine/testing mandate. The broad outline was announced by the President last week, so how is it that noone beat Arizona to the courthouse?

The answer lies in the creative legal argument presented today by the Attorney General's Office.  Brnovich's fellow Republican AGs and Governors were likely drafting their Complaints to be ready when OSHA finally files the proposed emergency rule requiring companies with more than 99 employees to either mandate vaccinations or testing of all employees.

Since the Arizona AG team already has honed its arguments against the Biden Administration's policies regarding illegal immigrants and the southern border, some gymnastic moves were in the repertoire.

Brnovich is attempting to land a double-flip with a twist. He notes that there is no vaccine requirement for "unauthorized aliens", so to (kind of) impose such a requirement on U.S. citizens is a sort of reverse discrimination and violates the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. (And, therefore, the action is subject to "strict scrutiny".

To stick the landing and file the case today, Brnovich notes that his colleagues with the traditional arguments must wait. "Courts will have an opportunity to review and invalidate those forthcoming mandates as to private employers, federal contractors, federal employees, and health care workers. But this particular component—i.e., the unconstitutional discrimination against U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens lawfully residing and working in the U.S.—is ripe for judicial review and invalidation now.

Much of the lawsuit is a strongly-worded press release. Literally, the first six pages are an "Introduction", and much of it is repeated in the subsequent facts section. "The same Administration that would not dream of infringing upon the right of unauthorized aliens to choose whether to be vaccinated (or not), has no equivalent regard for the rights of United States citizens."

And, it includes a shout-out and reference to Fox News, for noting that Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klain had retweeted a commentator's opinion that the yet-to-be-delivered vaccine/testing requirement is a "workaround". (Brnovich has already announced his first national interview on a conservative show to promote today's lawsuit.)

The entire legal allegations could have been published in a very brief Twitter thread. Here it is in its entirety:


The case has been assigned to Michael Liburdi, former General Counsel for Governor Doug Ducey.

"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.

"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 DENIES Cyber Ninjas & Sen. President Fann's Appeals Of Public Records Lawsuits; Stay Is Dissolved

The Arizona Supreme Court today DENIED separate appeals by both State Senate President Karen Fann and the Cyber Ninjas. 

The first appeal was brought by the Ninjas in the Arizona Republic case for public records. It focused on whether the Supreme Court could remove parties' right to demand a change of judge just because of the pandemic. That was an interesting tack that resulted from Cyber Ninjas' effort to have Superior Court Judge John Hannah removed from the case because he had sanctioned the Republican party in a post-election challenge.

Fann's appeal was directly on the point of whether the Senate was required to gather and turn over records that were in the control of the Cyber Ninja contractor (and their subvendors). The Supreme Court put a temporary stay (or, hold) on the August 31 turnover deadline. This removes that stay.

The newest Justice on the court, Kathryn King, did vote to accept both appeals, and Justice Bolick would have accepted the Ninjas' case in order to determine whether the peremptory right to a change of judge was substantive.


"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, September 8, 2021

UPDATE: Maricopa County Board Schedule Possible Monday Action On State Senate Election Audit/Recount Subpoenas

Update, 9/17,  2:15pm: The Supervisors have scheduled another Special meeting for this coming Monday afternoon. But, this one is more enticing than most: they have listed an *Open* session to possibly take action "regarding the election and compliance with the Senate subpoena and litigation."

This will be the 22nd Special (and/or Emergency) Executive Session of 2021 for the Board, which is overwhelmingly Republican.

As noted below, both the Board's Notice of Claim and the Attorney General's finding are coming up on their calendar towards the end of the month. Given the wording of Monday's 1:00pm agenda, this would more likely deal with the latter.

Original article 9/8/21: Maricopa County Board To Hold Special Meeting To Discuss Election Audit Subpoenas Standoff

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will hold a special closed door meeting to discuss their long-running standoff with the Arizona State Senate regarding the 2020 election and the subsequent subpoenas and audit/recount.

The Republican-dominated Board will receive updates from both their "in-house" County Attorney's Office AND their outside (private sector_ counsel. In addition, they will be joined by other county-wide elected officials (Sheriff Paul Penzone, Recorder Stephen Richer and Assessor Eddie Cook), indicating that the Senate's demands for the county's routers are going to be part of the discussion.

This will be the 21st Special and/or Emergency Executive Session held this year by the Board of Supervisors; all or nearly all of them have had to do with the battle with the Senate.

Currently on the clock are (1) the Board's Notice of Claim against the State Senate, seeking reimbursement for the $2.8M which the County is incurring for new voting machines as a result of the "audit"; and (2) the Arizona Attorney General's finding that the County could lose state funds if it does not resolve the outstanding subpoena issues. Both of those are coming to a head at the end of September.

Here is tomorrow's agenda:

 "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, September 3, 2021

BREAKING: Mesa's Jacob Chansley (aka "Jake Angeli" fka "QAnon Shaman" aka "Face of Jan. 6 Insurrection") Enters Plea Agreement

 Jacob Chansley, the Mesa man who became the face of the January 6 attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, entered into a plea agreement this morning. He has pleaded guilty to obstructing a Congressional proceeding.

The maximum sentence is 20 years, and the Asst U.S. Atty stated today that the Sentencing Commission recommendations will likely be 41-61 months

(We are live-tweeting the hearing: https://twitter.com/arizonaslaw/status/1433810293621092355 )

Chansley previously called himself the "QAnon Shaman" and was a fixture at Arizona protests before becoming one of the most widely-known persons involved in the January 6 storming of the Capitol during the certifying of Electoral College votes.

Chansley turned himself in shortly afterwards and has been in several different jails since. Last month, he was in a Colorado facility for psychological testing.


 "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.

NEW: Despite Injunctions Elsewhere, USDOJ Not Impressed With Brnovich's 3rd Try To Fight Vaccine "Mandate" (READ Opposition)

Despite adverse reactions from several judges around the country, the USDOJ this afternoon blasted Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich&#...