State Capitol News
9:59 am
Thu September 1, 2011

State Supreme Court to agree whether Russell Pearce will face recall election in November

Phoenix, AZ – In a brief order, the justices agreed to consider whether recall organizers complied with the law. A trial judge had sided with those seeking to oust Pearce last month. And under normal circumstances the case would first have to go to the Court of Appeals. But county officials pointed out that they are required to have the first ballots in the mail no later than Sept. 24. In agreeing to bypass the appellate court, the supreme court justices also said they were not interested in hearing the lawyers argue the case in person but instead would decide the issue solely on legal briefs. Attorney Lisa Hauser who represents Pearce supporters said oral argument is not about getting up to give a speech and repeat what's already in the papers.

(It is the opportunity to answer their questions and make sure that everybody's on the same page, clear up any misunderstandings. It's the opportunity for that give and take with the court that you just don't get anywhere else.)

In Hauser's case she hopes to convince the justices that the wording on the recall petitions was misleading, that circulators failed to properly swear that the signatures are genuine and that many of the other signatures submitted should not be counted -- arguments that the trial judge rejected. The justices promised to consider the case in two weeks. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.