2pm: BREAKING: Planned Parenthood Files Emergency Motion To Stop "ongoing harm caused by the legal limbo of abortion in Arizona"
Planned Parenthood filed an emergency motion this afternoon to stop the "ongoing harm caused by the legal limbo of abortion in Arizona". On September 23, Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson reinstated the abortion ban that had been on Arizona's books since 1864. Last week, she refused to put a hold on it pending appeal. So, today's emergency motion for a pause asks the Arizona Court of Appeals (Division 2) to pause the ban while it considers the conflicting jumble of Arizona anti-abortion laws in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
Today's Motion argues that Johnson's decision to lift the injunction on the Civil War-era law causes irreparable confusion "because that interpretation would impliedly repeal the dozens of abortion laws passed since 1973." The Legislature's 2021 law banning procedures due to a genetic anomaly is currently in front of another court and the 2022 law imposing a ban after 15 weeks went into effect on September 25.
No word yet on how quickly the Court of Appeals will consider the matter.
Here is the Emergency Motion:
12:50pm: BREAKING: AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward "asserted her rights under the Fifth Amendment" in a January 6 Select Committee deposition, according to an attorney for the Committee in today's Phoenix oral argument.
The hearing before Judge Diane Humetewa was to argue whether Ward's cell phone provider should turn over her phone call logs pending Ward's appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Humetewa took the matter under advisement after a 35-minute hearing.
Politico reported on the Committee's attorney's disclosure here. Ward and the AZGOP organized the "alternate" slate of electors that they tried to use to halt the Jan. 6 certification of the Electoral College votes.
Arizona's Law has provided continuing coverage of Ward's lawsuit to stop the Committee's subpoena of her cell phone records. Humetewa dismissed the case last month.
12:20pm: NEW: Finchem & Gosar APPEAL Their $75,000 Sanction For Filing Frivolous Jan. 6 Defamation Case
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar and Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem are appealing a judge's ruling blasting them for filing a frivolous defamation case, and sanctioning them $75,000 (jointly).
The notice of appeal was filed last week and will go to Division 2 of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Finchem, Gosar and Anthony Kern had filed the case against then-State Rep. Charlene Fernandez, complaining that the letter from Arizona legislative Democrats - including her and 42 other lawmakers - defamed them by suggesting they be investigated for their roles in the January 6 (2021) insurrection.
Yuma County Superior Court Judge Levi Gunderson was not impressed, dismissing the case in April and blasting the plaintiffs and their attorneys in August.
The sanctions award is only against the plaintiffs, not also against their attorneys. Judge Gunderson could have made them all responsible for Fernandez's $75,516 in attorneys fees and court costs. Instead, he simply berated the attorneys, literally underlining the importance of the distinction between "zealously" representing your clients and competently and diligently representing them.
There is no set timeline for the appeal. Finchem is the GOP nominee for Secretary of State, running against Democrat Adrian Fontes. Gosar is running for re-election in a re-drawn district, against Democrat David Lucier.
This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul was running for a seat in Arizona's House of Representatives.
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