We're Suing to Protect Voter Initiatives & Independent Courts

As you know, one of this year's biggest battles at the state capitol was against attacks on citizen initiatives. Of all the new rules Governor Ducey and the legislature imposed this year, perhaps the most dangerous is telling courts they have to apply a "strict compliance" standard to initiatives. Simply put, "strict compliance" means tossing out qualified initiatives based on minor technicalities

It's also beyond the legislature's constitutional authority, as we told lawmakers over and over again. The Arizona Supreme Court has been asked time and again to apply "strict compliance" to initiatives, but has declined to do so based on its reading of the initiative power in the Arizona Constitution.

That's why we're suing. Read the amended complaint here.
Old Maricopa County Superior Court
"The history of [Arizona's] constitution and its adoption . . . shows beyond the possibility of contradiction that the people themselves . . . meant to exercise their supreme sovereign power directly to a far greater extent than had been done in the past, and that the legislative authority, acting in a representative capacity only, was in all respects intended to be subordinate to direct action by the people." Whitman v. Moore, 59 Ariz. 211, 220 (1942). 


By enacting HB 2244, the legislature and Governor attempted to overrule the Court's longstanding interpretation of the Arizona Constitution. Imagine if the legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill to take away the Miranda rights, or to overrule the court-mandated "one person, one vote" rule. Those bills would obviously violate the separation of powers by intruding on the judiciary's authority. This is no different. 

We're proud to stand alongside other organizations and individuals in this suit to preserve Arizonans' constitutional right to direct democracy and our constitutional system of separation of powers. 

We'll have more information on our website as the case develops.