Superior Court Decision Flouts Law: Undermines Initiative Process

Posted on July 29, 2004 | Type: Press Release
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PHOENIX-In an unexpected ruling today, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret Downie ruled that the No Taxpayer Money for Politicians Act violates the "single-subject" rule of the Arizona Constitution (Article XXI, Section1), a decision that could stop the initiative from appearing on the November ballot. The defenders of the initiative are rightly filing a special action with the Arizona Supreme Court, requesting review of the lower court decision.

According to the state supreme court, the "single-subject" rule is designed to prevent the "pernicious practice of log-rolling,'" or including multiple proposals in order to force voters to accept unrelated constitutional or legislative changes. The Arizona Supreme Court has articulated a common sense approach in evaluating such claims, saying, "we consistently have examined initiatives challenged under the single-subject rule to determine whether their provisions are sufficiently related to a common purpose or principle that the proposal can be said to constitute a consistent and workable whole on the general topic embraced,' that, logically speaking, . . . should stand or fall as a whole.'"

According to Mark Brnovich, director of the Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Government, "Today's decision defies the spirit of the law, resulting in the thwarting of an important constitutional right and check on government. The Supreme Court should hear this case and properly apply the law."



Mark Brnovich, Director, Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Government, (602) 462-5000 x 232,


Andrea Woodmansee, Director of Communications, Goldwater Institute, (602) 462-5000 x 226,


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