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AZ Citizens Clean Elections Commission et al. v. Ken Bennett, et al. (CV2013-010338) will return to the Maricopa County Superior Court.
The Clean Elections Commission voted on June 19, 2014 to investigate the claims from whistleblower Sarah Blattie that Tom Horne is using the office and staff of the Attorney General for campaign headquarters. The Commission has filed for extensive public records request with the Attorney General. The Maricopa County attorney's office is investigating Beatties allegations and so are retired judge and Gilbert town attorney who were asked by solicitor general to conduct an investigation.
Arizona Ballots: SoS Ken Bennett is directing election officials to separate their 2014 federal election ballots from state and local races to keep those who cannot prove citizenship from voting in the latter. This would pertain to those citizens who have registered with the federal form.
Kris W. Kobach et al. v. United States Election Assistance Commission (13-4095-EFM-DJW)is suing the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC)to impose the two tier system based upon registration with the AZ voter registration form of the federal motor-voter form. The Judge, in his Order Remanding Matter to EAC for Final Agency Action gave the EAC until January 17, 2014 to respond to the order of the Court. The judge's order gives the interim executive director of the EAC authority to respond to the Court's order, but the only appropriate response for the executive director is to deny the request again to maintain the status quo. Whatever the district court in Kansas rules is likely to be appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.On January 17,2014, the Commission denied the state's request. Oral arguments will be heard on August 15, 2014. SCOTUS will review briefs and could set matters for full hearing.
INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
Independent Redistricting Commission: Leach et al v. AZ Independent Redistricting Commission (CV2012-007344), the legislature's challenge to the AIRC's congressional districts map, was in Maricopa County Superior Court. Then the U.S.District Court sided with the commission. It then went to the U.S. Supreme Court on July 7, 2014, which is required to review the findings of the three-judge panel. But that does not require the justices to actually hear arguments as they could rule strictly on the legal pleadings.
The U.S. Supreme Court could announce at its first public session of the year in October whether state lawmakers will get to redraw Arizona's congressional lines.
Harris et al. v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (CV-12-0894-PHX-ROS-NVW-RRC), the legislature's challenge to the AIRC state legislative districts map, was heard by a three judge panel of federal judges on March 22, 2013, and concluded on March 30, 2013. On June 30, 2014, AIRC filed motion to dismiss or affirm with U.S. Supreme Court. The Legislature had appealed the ruling of three-judge panel that had dismissed the lawsuit to invalidate vote of people of AZ to enact the Commission. Legislature filed final brief June 14. On June 2, 2014, a three-judge panel ordered judgment on taxation of costs in amount of $24,030.65 because Republican plaintiff lost. Judgment to be paid but held in trust pending outcome of appeal to SCOTUS of the April 29, 2014 hearing.
The legislature's challenge to the constitutionality of the voter-approved initiative creating the AZ Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC) to determine election boundaries rather than the state legislature, Arizona State Legislature v. AZ Independent Redistricting Commission (CV12-01211-PHX-PGR). The oral argument was heard in U.S. District court on January 24, 2014. The court has not yet ruled.