Judge Expected To Rule On New Law Targeting Initiatives

Aug 4, 2017

A judge considering whether a new law tightening the legal standard for challenges to citizen initiatives meets constitutional muster is expected to issue a decision.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens told lawyers after a two-day hearing last month that she'll rule by this Friday.

Attorneys representing advocacy groups argued the Legislature overstepped its bounds when it passed the law making it easier to challenge initiatives. They also said lawmakers outlined their unconstitutional motives when they said the changes were needed because of their inability to change voter-approved laws.

A lawyer for the Legislature and the state solicitor general told Stephens lawmakers were within their rights to overrule decades of state Supreme Court precedent holding initiative efforts to lower legal standards.

Whichever side prevails is likely to appeal.